Interface and Functionality

The new features of iOS 8 give the platform more depth, but the iPad mini 3 isn’t particularly big on productivity versus laptops.

Apple shook things up when it brought iOS 7 to its mobile devices, which gave the iPad mini 2 a totally refreshing new experience that greatly differentiated it from its predecessor. This year, however, the iPad mini 3 greets us with iOS 8, which retains the same visual arrangement of iOS 7, but it benefits from having slightly wider enhancements to its software features.

In particular, they include things like support for widgets in the Notification Center, having a convenient way to interact with notifications, support for third party keyboards, improved Spotlight search function, and much more. They’ve even included several other goodies, such as sharing content via Family Sharing and answering phone calls from your iPhone thanks to continuity. All of the features help to give the platform a rounded appeal, which helps when several native and third party apps are organized to make use of display – both portrait and landscape.

Honestly, it has all the same set of software features as the iPad Air 2, but we’re just basically left to deal with the smaller sized display. The experience is ideal for multimedia consumption, but it’s not really meant for productivity work – mainly due to its smaller sized screen.

Processor and Memory

Shockingly, there’s no upgrade to the processor in this one, but it still performs responsively.

Unfortunately, the iPad mini 3 doesn’t see any improvement with its processor, seeing that it employs the same dual-core Apple A7 processor based on 64-bit architecture with 1GB of RAM as its predecessor. Indeed, it’s an effective piece of silicon that’s equipped to handle a wide range of basic and complex operations, but knowing that Apple has followed a strict path of upgrading the processor with its devices, this revelation here with the iPad mini 3 is rather disturbing.

Just like the recent announcement of new iPhones, the iPad mini 3 is available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities. Obviously, the 32GB model has been phased out in favor for the 64GB one.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 35513
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 32388
Sunspider Lower is better
Apple iPad mini 3 443.4
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 1059.1
Apple iPad mini 2 430.3
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 22.7
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 14
Apple iPad mini 2 21
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 8.9
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 2.9
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 999
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 856
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 1373
Apple iPad mini 2 1355
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 2478
Apple iPad mini 2 2486

Internet and Connectivity

Always the one to please, the iPad mini 3 is an effective device for surfing the web with its Safari browser. Not only do pages load and render quickly, but the experience is strengthened with the tablet’s tight navigational controls. And best of all, the iPad mini 3’s size lends itself in being the perfect companion if you want to read something while sipping on a cup of Joe.

If wider connectivity is something you crave, the iPad mini 3 is offered with 4G LTE connectivity (support for 14 LTE bands) as well to keep you connected just in case there’s no Wi-Fi hotspot around. Of course, it’s also outfitted with the usual arsenal of connectivity features – like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with MIMO.

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