iPad mini / 2 / 3 Overview Updated June 21, 2016

iPad mini / 2 / 3

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292 iPad mini / 2 / 3 stories

December 2011 - December 2015


Apple originally introduced the 7.9″-screened iPad mini in 2012 as a direct challenger to numerous 7″ tablets from rival manufacturers, describing it as “every inch an iPad” with an uncompromised ability to run full-sized iPad apps. Today, Apple sells three different iPad mini models, all almost identical from the outside. Each model is sold in basic Wi-Fi-only and premium Wi-Fi + Cellular versions.

The original iPad mini ($249 to $379 from the Apple Store) is offered solely in a 16GB capacity and is the only model with a 1024×768 screen. It has an Apple A5 processor inside and is virtually identical in performance to a fifth-generation iPod touch and the since-discontinued iPad 2. However, the very nice 7.9″ screen size and a 7.2mm thickness make it a much better compromise for kids; the storage capacity is, however, extremely limited.

Debuted in late 2013, Apple’s iPad mini 2 ($299 to $479 from the Apple Store) was originally called the iPad mini with Retina display. It is offered in 16GB or 32GB capacities and has a 2048×1536 display with four times the resolution of the original model. The A7 processor inside is virtually identical in performance to the first iPad Air, and the wireless performance has been improved for both Wi-Fi and LTE cellular. Except for adding a second microphone for echo-cancellation, it looks the same on the outside as its predecessor.

Released in October 2014, the iPad mini 3 ($399 to $729 from the Apple Store) is virtually identical to the iPad mini 2. Apart from adding a Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the Home button and adding a gold color option to the prior silver and space gray versions, the iPad mini 3 is internally unchanged from the iPad mini 2, with the same screen, A7 processor, wireless performance, and battery life. It is sold in 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB capacities.

The iPad mini 2 and 3 have 326PPI screens, which is the same as the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c, 5s, and 6, a major improvement over the non-Retina display on the previous model. You can choose the version that fits your needs; we find any mini to be a great pick for kids, with the mini 2 offering a great “sweet spot” of performance and pricing; the mini 3 is a better option if you need more storage capacity.

iPad mini Stories December 10, 2015

AAPL: 116.17

0.55

Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad today received another big update with several milestone features for the mobile image editor. Perhaps most importantly, Pixelmator for iOS now fully integrates with iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. This includes highly responsive brushes taking advantage of the Apple Pencil’s low latency drawing as well as palm rejection support. The Apple Pencil brushes adapt to pressure and tilt of the Apple Pencil accessory.

For the iPhone app, Pixelmator has added 3D Touch support throughout the application …

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iPad mini Stories December 8, 2015

AAPL: 118.28

-0.75

9to5Toys Last Call: iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi 32GB $269, MFi Lightning Cables from $7, iPhone Car Mount $4, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Samsung Ultra-Slim 8X USB DVD-R Optical Drive for Mac/PC/Android: $18 shipped (Orig. $26)

Apple iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi 32GB $269 (Reg. $319), iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 128GB $600 (Reg. $699)

Anker USB Power: 20,000mAh Dual-USB Battery $28 (Reg. $40), MFi Lightning Cables from $7more

Daily Deals: Aukey Windshield Dashboard Car Mount Holder $4more

$100 iTunes Physical Gift Card for $80 w/ free shipping (20% off)

Apple Watch comes w/ a free $100 gift card right now (effective savings up to 29%)

Justin’s Holiday Gift Guide: speakers, Lightning mics, storage, pocket synths & more to up your home recording set-up

Giveaway: SanDisk USB flash drives for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Bluetooth Speakers: URGE SOUNDBRICK PLUS $17 (Reg. $30), Amazon Large $60 (Reg. $80), more

  • Games/Apps: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (all platforms) from $30, iOS freebies, more
  • Keep your coffee hot w/ top-rated Contigo Travel Mugs: from $12 Prime shipped
  • Convert RAW & edit photos at speed w/ AfterShot 2 Standard: $10 (Reg. $40)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Apple’s latest freebie is Afterlight image editing app for iPhone and iPad ($1 value)

This RAVPower Travel Router provides Wi-Fi, a battery pack, and more for $30 (Reg. $50)

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

The latest Omate smartwatch for iOS/Android hits Indiegogo w/ instant success

Minecraft finally makes the jump to Wii U w/ exclusive Nintendo content coming soon

iPad mini Stories December 2, 2015

AAPL: 117.34

-0.96

As you may know from my prior opinion piece on the iPad Pro, I was on the fence about keeping Apple’s new 12.9″ tablet. One of our editors has loved his Pro since day one, another returned his after a week of testing, and a third effectively consigned his to Netflix duty. Up until the Pro came out, I was a very satisfied iPad Air 2 user, so I didn’t feel like I needed a bigger device.

But after three weeks with my iPad Pro, several things have changed my mind, and I’m officially a happy convert to the larger tablet. Moreover, I have no intention of going back to the smaller iPad Air or iPad mini form factors any time soon. Here are the five things that made a big difference to me…

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iPad mini Stories November 30, 2015

AAPL: 118.30

0.49

Welcome to our iPad Holiday Gift Guide! There’s currently a lot of excitement around the world of iPad, and rightfully so.

On the software side, Apple injected new life into prior models by adding side-by-side apps and picture-in-picture video with iOS 9. In hardware, the smaller 7.9″ iPad mini family got major speed and notable display quality improvements with the iPad mini 4, while brand new 9.7″ iPad Air 2’s are being sold at prices lower than minis, and a completely new class of iPad debuted in the just-launched 12.9″ iPad Pro.

There are essential accessories in all price ranges for every iPad regardless of which size you’re addressing, and we’ve tested a lot of products over the years. Read on and please share our iPad Holiday Gift Guide so you and your loved ones can buy the best iPad accessories for the holidays.

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iPad mini Stories November 26, 2015

AAPL: 118.03

-0.85

Apple Black Friday Gameplan – knock out holiday shopping quickly, save tons of cash

Update: We’ve got hundreds of items in our Apple Black Friday Mac/iPhone/iPad accessories and software guide

As the Thanksgiving turkey and wine buzz starts to wear off and we head into the pinnacle of American consumerism known as Black Friday, we here at 9to5Mac have some tips which should make the shopping experience pleasant, efficient and productive. Over the next 24 hours, everything Apple related will be at the lowest prices of the year. We’re going to guide you to getting in, saving a bunch of cash and getting on your way.

First some don’ts:

  • Don’t for any reason actually go to a physical store. The 2-3 $150 50″ Best Buy TVs per store isn’t worth being in the vicinity of Black Friday shoppers and the “Door Busting”. It’s a nightmare out there. Go to a park. Play with your kids. Spend a few minutes with us and we’ll knock out that gifting.
  • Don’t actually buy anything online until Black Friday. Prices keep dropping in the runup to Black Friday. Wait. Enjoy the time with your family, watch some football. If you must, grab some small ticket items and get those out of the way. If you miss something, it will likely be around again on “Cyber Monday”.
  • Don’t buy anything at an Apple Store or Apple.com. Apple has outsourced Black Friday to their retail partners and have normal prices across the board. The stuff you buy at Target/Best Buy/Walmart/Amazon/etc.com is the exact same product and warranty you get at Apple. Pro-Tip: Apple Stores are for showrooming and repairs.
  • Don’t touch that dial. Stick with us here at 9to5Mac, 9to5Google and most importantly 9to5Toys for all of the best deals. Heck, now’s the time to subscribe to 9to5Toys TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications. We’ve got a team of 20 people scouring the web for the best deals out there and tomorrow it is going to come fast and furious.

As for Apple products, we’ve distilled the absolute best deals out there into just a few options. Important considerations include state tax at time of purchase, gift cards vs. actual savings, shipping and rewards. Also, AppleCare discounts. Here’s the quick rundown:

Apple Watch

Target, B&H and Best Buy in the US have the biggest discounts we’ve seen this year. Best Buy will knock off $50 on Sport and $100 on Stainless. Target gives you a $100 gift card on both models which is of course good for an additional 5% cash back using their RedCard. Both sites charge tax in all 50 states but offer free shipping.

However, the best option might be B&H Photo which offers the Apple Watch in fewer varieties than Best Buy but for the same $50 off Sport/$100 off Stainless. In addition, B&H throws in a $50 gift card, B&H only charges Tax in New York State which may save you big money.

B&H Photo:

Best Buy:

Target:

Apple Watch Sport starts at $349 and comes with a free $100 Target Gift Card. Use your REDcard to save an additional 5% and your effective net cost is just $231.55. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on new Apple Watches. Target will throw in the free gift card on any in-stock Apple Watch.

Apple TV

Target has the New Apple TV for ~$50 off in store but those prices will likely hit retailers like Walmart ($112) tomorrow. HHGregg also is expected to have some availability on Black Friday at reduced cost. Staples has $25 off if you checkout with Visa Checkout. The 3rd Gen Apple TV is $50 in a number of places and $40 Geek squad refurb at Best Buy. Stay tuned.

iPods

For those of us that still love the iPod touch, there are a few nice deals around. Best Buy cuts $50 across the board, Target cuts $40-$60 and Walmart cuts $35.

iPhone

iPhones with plans from the major US carriers are marked down significantly in a number of retail outlets

iPad

iPad Air/2

iPad mini 2/3/4

iPad Pro

Macs

Mac prices and inventory will fluctuate wildly on Black Friday. Best Buy gives an extra $50 off to students on iMacs and MacBooks

Retina 12-inch MacBooks are now widely available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray. The best prices as of this writing are:

MacBook Airs: B&H are running the table as of this writing with $120 off across the board, Tax only in New York and 6 months of Parallels Access but things will likely change – stay tuned.

MacBook Pro

B&H is leading the way with $150-$500 off 13-inch MacBook Pros and $200-$500 off 15.4-inch MacBook Pros. We expect to see some lower prices at eBay and other locations through the day.

iMacs

The entry level iMac is a whopping $200 off at Best Buy ($899) and with the .EDU  credit drops down to $850 shipped. After that B&H is leading the way with at least $100-$300 off on standard models and MacMall leads the way on custom configs. We’ve heard whispers that a retailler is going to do some serious price drops so we’ll post those when they happen.

Mac mini:

B&H takes $50 off the base model which now starts at $449 and $70 and $100 off the higher models. Other places take off less but will likely drop prices tomorrow.

Mac Pros:

Again, B&H has the lowest base model price and most of the configurations along with MacMall.

The above prices and inventory will likely be all over the place on Black Friday so we’ll be updating frequently. Thanks again for joining us for Black Friday 2015.

iPad mini Stories November 25, 2015

AAPL: 118.03

-0.85

9to5Toys Last Call: Apple Watch from $232 effective price, Pixelmator for Mac $15, DODOcase 35% off

Black Friday Target: Apple Watch effective prices start at $232 thanks to free Gift Cards and REDcard savings, more:

  • iPad mini 2 w/ free $80 Target Gift Card from $269
  • iPad Air w/ free $100 target Gift Card from $399
  • iPad Air 2 w/ free $100 target Gift Card from $499

The rest of the most notable early Black Friday sales can be found below:

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Heads up! During Black Friday/Cyber Monday you’re going to have to follow us on Twitter to get the best deals since many sell out too quickly to post.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

DODOcase 35% off sitewide: iPad Air 2 multi-angle case $62 shipped (Reg. $80), Apple Watch & iPhone accessories, more

Pixelmator – our favorite photo editing app for Mac gets a 50% discount today: $15 (Reg. $30)

B&H Photo’s Black Friday Mac Deals live! 5K iMac: $1579, Mac Pro: $500 off, Retina MacBook: $170 off (Tax in NY only)

HyperDrive Macbook Storage Expander adds up to 200GB with no extra bulk: $20 Shipped (Orig. $30, CA Tax only)

Parallels $79.99 Black Friday Bundle: Free 1Password, Evernote, Camtasia, Pocket, PDFPen, Snagit, more

Cyber Monday Ad Roundup: What to expect from Target, Best Buy, Walmart and others

Amazon releases its Cyber Monday strategy with rotating deals every five minutes

Best of Black Friday — Apple: deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6s/Plus, Apple Watch, Macs, more!

Amazon’s Black Friday deals go live later this week w/ mobile shoppers getting extra perks

Top 5 ways to score the year’s best online Black Friday deals

10 can’t-miss deals for the holiday season: HDTVs, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6s, more

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Free downloads via Amazon: dozens of songs, movies, TV episodes, apps and eBooks

BLACK FRIDAY AD LEAKS & NEWS:

Best of Black Friday – Streaming Media Players: Apple TV 64GB $180, Roku SE $20, 2-Pack Chromecast (2nd gen) $50more

Best of Black Friday – Smart Home: Nest Thermostat $250 + $50 GC, Philips Hue kit $130

Best of Black Friday – HDTVs: 40-inch from $149, Samsung 55-inch Smart $580 (Reg. $1,200), more

Best of Black Friday – iPads, Tablets and e-readers: iPad Air 2 from $360, Amazon Fire $35 (Reg. $50)more

Best of Black Friday – Games: Xbox One/PS4 console bundles, deep discounts on games, more

Best of Black Friday – wearables: Fitbit Flex $59/Charge $90/more, $100 off Apple Watch, Android smartwatchesmore

Best Buy’s Black Friday ad brings deals on Apple Watch, Macs, HDTVs, games & more!

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Spigen’s aluminum Apple Watch Stand is down to just $8 shipped (Reg. $16)

Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11ac Wireless Router (refurbished): $100 shipped (Orig. $199)

Apple iPod touch (6th gen) in multiple colors: 16GB $159, 32GB $199, 64GB $239 + free shipping

Save on the 3rd Gen 1080p Apple TV with this refurb deal: $40 shipped (Orig. $69)

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

Unboxing and Review: Star Wars Battlefront limited edition PS4 is out of this galaxy [Video]

Mohu launches a “high-end” speaker with built-in Android display, save 10%

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