Apple has just announced new line of iPads. The new iPad Air 2, which is even thinner than the previous one, and the iPad mini 3. The new Air is a decent improvement in terms of display, wireless antennas, and it finally offers a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
The iPad mini 3 is a totally different case. It is just an iPad mini 2 (or iPad mini with Retina display) and essentially offers no improvements different than the Touch ID scanner built into the home button and new color options.
The chip is exactly the same. A7 with a M7 motion coprocessor. Cameras may be slightly tweaked, but they seem the same to me and the megapixel count is unchanged (unlike the iPad Air 2, which now features an 8 megapixel iSight camera). The Air 2 also now supports latest WiFi standard: WiFi 802.11 ac. This feature has also been left out from smaller iPad.
But the worst thing of all is, that Apple didn’t even bother to change the casing of the mini 3. The new Air has no slider for locking the screen orientation / muting. The speaker grilles on the bottom have been changed to a slightly simpler design with just single row of holes, similar to the one on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The iPad mini still has those two rows of holes, which are not consistent with the rest of the product family. It might seem like a minor detail, but Apple has been and should be about these minor details.
And do not even want to know the price. The iPad mini 2 (16 GB) starts at 299 $. The iPad mini 3 (also 16 GB) starts at 399 $. Basically, you are paying 100 $ for the fingerprint sensor and that’s it. If you want to get the smaller iPad definitely go for the second generation and save some cash, because at this point, it is ridiculous to pay 100 $ for a single feature…