Should You Buy an iPad Mini 4?

Is Apple's iPad Mini 4 tablet worth it?

The iPad comes in four models and five sizes, so it's no wonder why it is getting more challenging to decide which iPad model is the best to buy. In tablets, size doesn't always matter, and sometimes, smaller is better, especially when it accompanied by a smaller price tag.

So, instead of shopping for the new 12.9-inch or 11-inch iPad Pro, the 10.5-inch iPad Air, the 10.2-inch entry-level iPad, or even the iPad Mini 5, maybe you should check out out an affordable refurbished 7.9-inch iPad Mini 4. Apple discontinued the Mini 4 in March, 2019, and replaced it with the iPad Mini 5.

The iPad Mini 4 was released in 2015 at the same time as the iPad Air 2. It represented a considerable upgrade over the iPad Mini 3. The iPad Mini 4 is manufactured in two models: Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi with 4G LTE data connectivity.

What to Like About the iPad Mini 4

Surprisingly, the iPad Mini 4 wasn't the cheapest iPad of its generation available from Apple. The iPad Mini line has its perks, and many people prefer it over the larger iPad or the much more expensive iPad Pro models.

iOS 8 on the iPad mini
The iPad Mini 4 supports the latest version of the iOS operating system, so its features keep getting better. Apple, Inc.
  • The smaller form factor is easier to transport, making it perfect for fitting into an already-full suitcase and or a large handbag.
  • The iPad Mini 4 supports Touch ID for security and some of the ease-of-use features provided by Touch ID.
  • The iPad Mini 4 is basically an iPad Air 2 with a smaller form factor. The iPad Air 2 was one of the best-selling iPad models in its day.
  • The iPad Mini's 7.9-inch screen is larger than the standard 7-inch display on Android tablets in this size, which ends up providing about 35% more usable space on the display.
  • It supports the multitasking features of the iPad.

What to Dislike About the iPad Mini 4

Unfortunately, there is more to dislike about the Mini 4 than there is to like, which makes this iPad model a hard sell.

A woman with an external monitor connected to her iPad
One great feature of the 2018 iPad Pro models is the ability to hook up an external monitor using USB-C. Apple 
  • The iPad Mini 4 wasn't refreshed after 2015. It runs comparatively slower than many older iPad models.
  • The slower processor might be a non-issue if you received some savings, but Apple configured it with a 128 GB storage solution. This is fine if you need the extra storage, but if you don't, you are paying for something you don't need.
  • It doesn't support the Apple Pencil. This won't be a big deal for people who are not planning to use a stylus, but if you love to draw, the Apple Pencil is one of the best styluses available.
  • It doesn't support USB-C. One of the coolest features of the newest iPad Pro models is support for USB-C rather than Apple's proprietary Lightning connector. To be fair, other older iPad models don't support USB-C either.
  • Selfies from the iPad Mini 4 front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera can't hold a candle to most other iPads. For comparison, the iPad Mini 5 has a 7-megapixel front-facing camera.

Should You Buy an iPad Mini 4?

If you are thinking about upgrading your iPad or buying your first tablet, an iPad (new or previous generation) is a better buy than the iPad Mini 4. At some point soon, if Apple follows precedent, the company will designate the Mini 4 as being obsolete and will no longer support it.

However, if you need the extra boost in storage from 32 GB to 128 GB, the iPad Mini 4 becomes a more attractive option. Many people prefer the smaller form factor of the Mini 4 compared to the larger tablets that are taking over the market. If you aren't opposed to buying used or refurbished, you can probably buy an inexpensive iPad Mini 4 rather than pay full price for a new iPad.