iPad Mini 5 Review
Product Name: iPad Mini 5
Product Description: The new 7.9-inch iPad mini is Apple’s smallest tablet ever. It has a new display technology called True Tone which adjusts the color and brightness levels based on real-life colors in the environment around you. It may look identical to the previous iPad mini but don’t be fooled, there is a lot going on inside. The Retina display screen is a whopping 25% brighter and creates higher quality images due to its 2048 x 1536px screen resolution with a pixel density of 326ppi
Price: 380 - 650
- Build Quality
- Screen Quality
- Easy to Use
The new Apple iPad mini 5 is a fair upgrade in performance although we wouldn’t;t call it groundbreaking. It adds Apple Pencil support and as a whole, it works very, very well. If you liked the old mini and are looking for something new and fresh but with the same size, you will love this one from the moment you turn it on.
Small and super lightweight
True Tone technology
Apple Pencil support
Great for gaming
Thick top and bottom edges
Apple Pencil not included
Smart Keyboard not supported
Cost more than 9.7-inch iPad
User Review( votes)
Apple iPad Mini 5 Review
Apple’s Smallest Portable Powerhouse Tablet
It took four long years for Apple to update its smallest version of the iPad, the mini, released way back in 2015. The long wait is over, the 5th Generation iPad mini 5 starts to hit the market and straight off the block almost got sold out. That must tell you something.
You might find this 3rd party video interesting
The new 7.9-inch iPad mini is Apple’s smallest tablet ever. It has a new display technology called True Tone which adjusts the color and brightness levels based on real-life colors in the environment around you. It may look identical to the previous iPad mini but don’t be fooled, there is a lot going on inside. The Retina display screen is a whopping 25% brighter and creates higher quality images due to its 2048 x 1536px screen resolution with a pixel density of 326ppi. It “supports” both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision playback, although the peak brightness of the display isn’t high enough to give the full HDR effect. In plain and simple language, the display is top-notch, sharp, bright and with vivid colors and the anti-reflective coating works like a charm.
Compared to iPad Pro 12.9 2020, Apple’s flagship iPad, the 5th Gen iPad mini has a thicker top and bottom bezel that measures 6.1 mm, while the side edges remain as slim as the iPad Air. The 8MP rear camera, still, does not have a flash but the new 7MP front-facing camera is a good improvement from its predecessor. The iPad Mini 5 comes in three colors to choose from; Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, and offers the new standard Touch ID Home button for biometric authentication. This is probably obsolete technology in future models if we take the iPad Pro 12.9 2020 as a reference but it is good to know it is present in this model.
To boost its performance, Apple equipped the iPad mini 5 with its latest A12 Bionic chip processor and neural engine to handle specific machine learning algorithms. A new feature for this iPad mini version 5 is its compatibility with the Apple Pencil 1st generation, something anyone who is into drawing and handwriting will love. However, it lacks a Smart Connector to connect with Smart Keyboard which is a sad disappointment. In terms of battery life, it is similar to most Apple iPads, it has an all-day-long battery life that usually lasts up to 10 hours depending on the usage, much less if you use it heavily, which it should not be a surprise as it is the same as with any other tablet in the market.
- A12 Bionic chip processor with the neural engine
- 7.9-inch Retina screen display
- 2048 x 1536 screen resolution at 326 pixels per inch
- Display P3 for more rich, vibrant, and real-life colors
- Anti-reflective coating and laminated display that reduces reflection
- Oleophobic coating to protect the screen from fingerprints
- Compatibility with the first-generation Apple Pencil
- 8 MP back camera
- 7 MP FaceTime HD camera
- Touch ID Home Button
- 3 GB RAM
- Available in 64 GB and 256 GB space storage
- Wi-Fi and Cellular model
- Dual stereo speakers
- 3.5 mm headphone connection
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Electronic SIM technology for carrier authentication
- Gigabit-class LTE bands for additional and higher data rate
- Silver, Space Gray, and Gold color options
Generally, the iPad mini 5 is what you would consider as the smaller, compact, and more portable version of the iPad Air. In terms of design, it is pretty much a clone to the iPad mini 4. It has a narrow body, round corners, plus a thick top and bottom bezel where the front-facing camera and Touch ID Home button is located. At the back, you will find a single-lens camera with no flash along with a lightning port (unfortunately no USB-C yet) and two speakers at the bottom.
The buttons are placed at the slim-side bezel and a 3.5mm headphone jack connection at the top. Yes, Apple has not yet got rid of it! This 7.9-inch iPad mini 5 is what you would call lightweight, weighing 0.66 pounds (300g) for the Wi-Fi model and 0.68 for the Cellular model. You can get the 5th Gen iPad mini in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold.
A12 Bionic Chip and Neural Engine
As mentioned earlier, the iPad mini has been designed with the powerful six-core A12 Bionic chip processor. The combination of A12 Bionic chip processor and Neural Engine means that you get 3x faster performance and 9x faster graphics compared to earlier iPad mini models. Holy smokes!! Through the use of real-time machine learning systems, you get a big boost for iOS features such as enhancing photo-taking, 3D gaming, detecting of augmented reality or real-world objects, and more. The processor inside and what the iPad Mini 5 can do is pretty impressive.
Apple Pencil Support
In the earlier days, Apple limited the support for the Apple Pencil to its most expensive tablets such as the iPad Pro. Nowadays though, it works in all iPad models. The stylus offers great precision and integration and the idea was to get the same feeling of a real pencil. It has specific sensors to detect motions and force needed for drawing and writing activities and to be honest, it works pretty well.
Charging the Apple Pencil is super easy, it has a built-in Lightning connector that you plug into the Lightning port of the iPad. The battery usually lasts up to 12 hours and a 15-second charge provides a half-hour of power. Apple also created a second-generation of Apple Pencil but that model is still exclusive for the new iPad Pro models.
Trackpad and Mouse Support
The upgraded operating system iPadOS 13.4 allows all iPad models to have a trackpad and mouse support. This is great and it was about time. Your finger serves as a pointing device and it translates any motion and position so you can easily scroll through web pages, write texts, or organize emails. A circular cursor shows on the screen display and highlights various user interface features making it clear where to click.
Certain gestures and movements have the ability to switch between apps, activate settings, and open several apps in Slide Over or Split view for multitasking purposes. Trackpad’s main objective is to support both native and third-party apps and judging by our own experience, it has changed the way you experience the iPad in so many positive ways.
After running some CPU and graphics performance tests, there is no question that this is a really good and well-designed tablet worth the money you spend. The benchmark scores indicate that the iPad mini 5 is 75% better than iPad mini 4, 40% faster than the regular iPad, and a range of 55% to 89% faster amongst other tablets of the same size. That is massive!
Also, when we tried the iPad mini 5 to play several games, we were blown away and can say, hand on heart, that nothing comes close in terms of real-world game performance. The quality of the images and graphics is truly amazing and has nothing to envy the bigger models. We put this little tablet through its paces and it came through the goods, a solid, smooth, and satisfying experience all around.
All Apple iPad models have an all-day battery life that usually lasts for about 10 hours. However, the 5th Gen iPad mini 5 only lasts for 8 hours compared to previous models that hit the 9-hour mark. To compensate for this though, the 19.32-watt battery handles the standby mode much more efficiently than its predecessor and if you leave it untouched, it can stay on for days, which we found remarkable (and totally unexpected).
There are no major improvements or changes in the iPad mini 5, however, its portability, performance, and power are hard to beat. It claims to be the best small tablet in today’s market and after playing around with it, it is hard to say otherwise. If you need an on-the-go device that is perfect for work and play, this 5th Generation of iPad mini is made for you.
Yes you could ask or expect more compatibility with accessories, a more modern design, smaller bezels, etc but let’s face it, it is a small tablet that serves a purpose, to be ultra-mobile. If you need any of the fancier features, it is only fair that you consider the iPad Pro 12.9 2020, or alternatively wait for the next model mini model to come out. We think, overall, this iPad mini is brilliant.
If however, this tablet is not what you are looking for and want something different, maybe a little more oomph, why don’t you check out other tablet reviews in our Tablets Reviews section? We’re sure that there is something for you in there.