Last year's update turned the iPad Mini into the tablet we deserved. And this time around they've given us—er, pretty much the exact same thing as last year. But hey—Touch ID! And goldpagne. Don't forget goldpagne.
It's official—goldpagne has finally come to iPad land. But besides taking its color cues directly from the new iPhone 6 (and pretty much looking like an ever so slightly larger iPhone 6 Plus), the new iPad Mini 3 really doesn't look all that different. Because it is not.
There really, really isn't a whole lot new here. You have the exact same camera. The exact same screen. And the exact same processor. In other words, for all intents and purposes, this is the exact same tablet in a vaguely different skin. So what gives?
Apple doesn't want you to buy an iPad Mini. It wants you to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. After all, a phone is something you update every few years, but a tablet is a one time purchase that presumably lasts a lifetime-ish. Which is why we saw Tim Cook prefectly happy to brush the Mini under the rug.
Don't take our word for it. Here's the iPad Mini 3 on the left and the iPad Mini 2 on the right:
The real (and only) new trick here, though, is Touch ID. Formerly relegated to your phone, you can now use Apple's biometric fingerprint scanner in place of a passcode. Which is especially convenient for the iPad Mini in particular; you can have one hand full and still be able to both read and unlock your tablet using the other.
The iPad Mini 3 starts at $400 for the Wi-Fi-only option at 16GB or $529 for the LTE version.
So—not all that much to be excited about here in terms of the new. But on the bright side, the iPad Mini 2 is a lot more affordable—and it's pretty much the same damn tablet anyway.