The iPad mini 3 is a pretty good small tablet. I know this because it is almost the exact same device as last year's retina iPad mini, a device that I reviewed and enjoyed. If you're going to buy an iPad mini, buy that one. It costs $100 less.

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The only reason to buy an iPad mini 3 is if you are willing to part with $100—or as I like to think of it, 10 pretty good lunches—to access one of the two following features:

  1. A gold tablet.
  2. A tablet with Touch ID.

That's it! That is the only difference between the two. The internals are the same. The display is the same. The size and shape and weight are the same. The camera is the same. It is the same thing, just with a gold option and a fingerprint sensor that is almost certainly not worth a 33 percent mark-up. Also, it comes in 128GB model, if you want more space than you could ever know what to do with.

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If you don't believe me, here are the two spec sheets side by side. They are, again, identical in almost every way.

That iPad mini 2, though. Really good tablet! You'll be happy with it. Or spend $100 more bucks on an iPad Air 2, which has a lot of worthwhile upgrades. Or, as Apple would likely prefer since you'll buy a new one every two years, there's always the iPhone 6 Plus.