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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: iPad mini (2019) review

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I was ready to give up on ever seeing a new iPad mini, but the fifth-generation model

is hereand it's awesome.

Sure, I wish Apple had changed the design a bit, but if youre looking for a good

small tablet, it doesnt get any better than this.

The new model looks SO much like the iPad mini 4 from 2015 that you really cant tell

difference just from looking at it.

Its still pleasantly portable, as it measures just 5.3 by 8 inches.

It still has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 and a pixel density of 326ppi, and it still features

Touch ID, a Lightning port, and thick bezels that look increasingly out of date.

Its even still got an 8-megapixel rear camera, although the front-facing camera got

a boost to 7MP.

This familiar design isnt necessarily a bad thing.

The iPad mini was a HUGELY popular device, and I like that were seeing Apple serving

up MORE of the things its customers love rather than forcing new designs on them.

And some of you will be especially happy that Apple stuck with the old design for one specific

reason: Its still got a headphone jack.

All the big changes are in the inside, and theyre impressive enough to help justify

the $399 price tag -- especially when you consider that the larger 9.7-inch iPad retails

for only $329.

The biggest change is the inclusion of the A12 Bionic chip, which is the same beastly

CPU youll find in the iPhone XS and XR.

Its enough to make it run neck-and-neck with the new and larger iPad Air in our benchmarks,

and it absolutely clobbers the 9.7-inch iPad in those same benchmarks.

It ran beautifully regardless of whether I was playing games like Fortnite or editing

photos in Adobe Lightroom.

Better yet, all those games and photos look a lot better thanks to a boost in the color

gamut--although it doesn't have Apple's ProMotion refresh technology from the iPad Pros that

makes scrolling SLIGHTLY more fluid.

The new mini also has 3GB of memory, up from the 2GB we saw in the iPad mini 4, and the

cellular models now support gigabit LTE and dual sim cards.

Im happy to see the new model, but I wished it looked a bit more modernkind of like

the new iPad Pros.

For one thing, an updated design would have given us more display room for the size.

For another, it would have let us use Face ID, which I find well-suited for iPads since

were almost always looking at them when we use them.

Touch ID sometimes gets awkward, especially in landscape mode.

For that matter, a design like the new iPad Pros would have let us use the SECOND-generation

Apple Pencil.

This new mini model introduces support for the $99 FIRST-generation Apple Pencil, but

that means youll have to deal with its easily losable cap and its awkward charging

and pairing process.

You can also use the $70 Logitech Crayon with the new iPad mini, but Im not really a

fan of how it feels like writing with a carpenters pencil.

Mind you, I AM quite happy to see Apple Pencil support in the new iPad mini.

Its great for quick sketches and notes, and its especially well-suited for highlighting

PDFs.

But for other scenarios it feels too small.

For my handwriting, at least, writing on it feels a bit like scribbling on a hotel memo

pad with a Sharpie.

For what its worth, I already thought the 9.7-inch iPad was the low end for using the

Apple Pencil as intended, and the mini confirms this.

For the past few years Ive fel that Apple didnt need to update the iPad mini because

iPHONE displays have gotten so big.

But now I feel the mini still has its place: It almost has the portability of an iPhone,

but its wider display makes it better for games and watching movies.

Im especially a fan of how good Apple Books look on an iPad miniits like holding

a Kindle Paperwhite, but one that can do a heck of a lot more.

And since the iPad mini now supports Apples TrueTone technology, you wont be quite

so blinded by white pages while reading in the dark.

On the flipside, I like how this device is unabashedly a tablet.

It works fine with important iPad productivity featuresincluding split-screen multitasking,

which feels cramped but manageableand I never found myself wishing it could be something

greater, like a MacBook replacement.

The battery didnt hold up as well compared to the iPad Air or the 9.7-inch iPad in our

benchmarks, but in normal use it felt like it lasted longer than I needed regardless

of whether I was playing games or movies.

If you want more display space than what you get on your iPhone XS Max but also dont

want to worry about a gigantic tablet falling on your face when youre watching a movie

in bedand believe me, Ive been therethe iPad mini gets the job done.

If you want a Paperwhite-like device thats quite capable of performing other tasks, the

iPad mini has you covered.

Its even decent for reading magazines in Apple News+ that are still in PDF format,

and it makes for a good basic sketch pad with an Apple Pencil.

If youre looking for portability in a tablet above all else, this mini marvel towers above

everything else.

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