Apple lastly unveiled the newest iPad Air 4 at its Time Flies occasion on September 15. Boasting Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip and help for the second technology of Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, may or not it’s the most effective iPad but? With the brand new iPad Air 4 anticipated to hit cabinets in October, we examine the most recent iPad Air with final 12 months’s iPad Mini throughout six core classes that will help you resolve in case you ought to splash out or save your money.


iPad Mini (2019) iPad Air 4
Size 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm (8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches) 247.4 x 177.8 x 6.09mm (9.74 x 7 x 0.24 inches)
Weight 300 grams (0.66 pounds) 453.6 grams (1 pound)
Screen size 7.9-inch Retina LCD with TrueTone 10.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD
Screen resolution 2048 x 1536 pixels (326 ppi) 2360 x 1640 pixels (264 ppi)
Operating system iPadOS 14 iPadOS 14
Storage 64GB, 256GB 64GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Processor Apple A12 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic
Camera 8-megapixel rear, 7MP front 12MP rear, 7MP front
Video 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 fps 4K at 24, 30, 60 fps, 1080p at 30, 60, 120, 240 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports Lightning cable USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water resistance No No
Battery life 10 hours on Wi-Fi, 9 hours on cellular 10 hours on Wi-Fi, 9 hours on cellular
App marketplace Apple App Store Apple App Store
Network support At&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon (cellular models only)
Colors Silver, Space Gray, Gold Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, Sky Blue
Price Starting at $399 (Wi-Fi), $529 (cellular) Starting at $599 (Wi-Fi), $729 (cellular)
Buy from Apple Apple


Design, display, and sturdiness

No bones about it, the iPad Air 4 is a glossy beast that owes lots to the iPad Pro, with its slim bezels and flat-edge design. It boasts a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with 2360 x 1640-pixel decision and TrueTone know-how that robotically adjusts the white steadiness for optimum viewing in numerous lighting situations. In distinction, the iPad Mini sports activities a barely outdated chunkier bezel design — the bezels stick out and there’s no edge-to-edge display. Its 7.9-inch Retina display has a 2048 x 1536 decision and colours look vibrant — and it additionally boasts TrueTone know-how.

They are saying good issues are available small packages, and that’s actually true of the iPad Mini, which is petite, making it simple to function one-handed, for these of us with bigger arms, at any price. The iPad Air 4 is far bigger, so it’s strictly two-handed operation solely, however then you will have the benefit of a much bigger display screen for media streaming or working.

With the iPad Air 4, Apple has carried out away with the house button fully and moved the Contact ID fingerprint sensor to a biometric safety sensor housed within the high button, which makes unlocking the device a breeze. For individuals who aren’t followers of change, the iPad Mini retains its Contact ID fingerprint sensor within the anticipated place, within the Residence button on the underside bezel.

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You possibly can select from a greater variety of coloration choices too with the iPad Air 4, which is available in Silver, Area Grey, Rose Gold, Inexperienced, and Sky Blue. The iPad Mini is accessible in Silver, Area Grey, and Gold. Finally, the sleeker, slimmer design of the iPad Air 4 and its bigger display screen and edge-t0-edge display seal the deal for us, making it the winner of this spherical.

Winner: iPad Air 4

Efficiency, battery life, and charging

The iPad Mini comes with an A12 Bionic chip, making certain navigating the OS feels fluid, multi-tasking is seamless, and apps are fast to open. That is nonetheless one of many quickest cellular processors in the marketplace, with a multi-core benchmark results of 11,096 on Geekbench 4. It’s value noting the smaller display screen and lack of Magic Keyboard compatibility make the iPad Mini extra suited as a consumption device than one for productiveness — and the smaller display screen isn’t splendid in case you’re planning on doing a variety of enhancing on Adobe Photoshop.

The iPad Air 4 is the primary of Apple’s gadgets to get the A14 Bionic chip — the iPhone 12 must be the second Apple device to get this. Apple guarantees a 40% enchancment in CPU efficiency from the six-core design, and a 30% enhance in graphics efficiency, with the brand new chip permitting for higher real-time on-line gaming.

Battery life is comparable for the 2 gadgets, with each the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Mini batteries lasting for round 10 hours on Wi-Fi and as much as 9 hours on mobile. Nonetheless, in case you plan to make use of the iPad Mini as a laptop computer substitute you would possibly wish to note we solely bought round 4 hours and 45 minutes out of the battery in our video playback check, taking part in a 1080p YouTube video over Wi-Fi with the display screen brightness maxed. With reasonable use, you need to get a few days of use out of the battery usually.

Standby battery life on any iPad is best than most telephones, however the distinction between the 2 gadgets is most blatant with regards to charging time. The iPad Mini could be very gradual to recharge, taking three hours to achieve 100 p.c from zero utilizing the included 12W USB energy adapter and Lightning cable. It does help quick charging, however you’ll want to choose up the cable and charger individually.

Compared the iPad Air 4 has a USB-C port, so you should utilize your MacBook cable for charging. It comes bundled with a 20W USB-C charging brick and Apple guarantees as much as 10x quicker information switch than with the Lightning cable.

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Battery life is comparable on each gadgets, however with the brand new A14 Bionic chip, in addition to quicker information switch and charging speeds, the iPad Air 4 comes out on high.

Winner: iPad Air 4 


Though pill cameras are typically nothing to write down dwelling about — someway, they by no means appear to matter an excessive amount of — in an age of working from dwelling and Zoom calls, the front-facing camera is immediately extra vital than ever. The iPad Air 4 has a 12-megapixel rear camera with a wide-angle lens (equivalent to the iPad Pro) and Apple’s Focus Pixels for autofocus on these difficult pictures. The iPad Mini comes with an 8MP rear camera that offers strong high quality photographs, particularly in good lighting.

Each tablets have a 7MP entrance FaceTime HD camera, which provides common outcomes however does have auto picture stabilization — so no extra glitchy Zoom calls or blurry selfies.

Neither iPad boasts a improbable camera, but when we needed to choose one, we’d go for the iPad Mini merely due to its extra moveable measurement — the rear-facing camera can be nice for augmented actuality (AR) apps as you possibly can maintain the pill one-handed whereas AR objects within the setting.

Winner: iPad Mini

Software program and updates

The iPad Mini ships with iPadOS 13.4, however it may be up to date to the model of iPadOS on supply within the iPad Air 4, iPadOS 14. Apple is usually superb at providing software program updates to gadgets for a number of years, but it surely’s actually attainable that the iPad Air 4 will get updates additional into the long run than the iPad Mini, because it’s a more recent device.

Winner: Tie

Particular options

Each the iPad Mini and the iPad Air 4 supply a spread of particular options. The iPad Air 4 helps the 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil, which magnetically docks to the aspect of the device to cost, whereas iPad Mini customers must stick with the 1st-Gen Pencil. Neither iPad ships with the Pencil — the primary 1st Gen Pencil will set you again $99 whilst you can choose up a 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil for $129 from Apple.

The 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil is less complicated to carry, cost, and maintain observe of, with its matte texture and smaller measurement — and you may make the most of the Scribble handwriting to textual content characteristic of iPadOS 14. In distinction, you’ll have to take off the cap of the 1st-Gen Apple Pencil to entry the Lightning port for charging, and there isn’t wherever to retailer the pencil alongside your iPad Mini. That stated, it’s good to see Pencil help on a pill as compact because the iPad Mini, and the flexibility to carry the pill one-handed whereas taking notes or sketching is fairly helpful whenever you’re on the go. However in the end, eradicating the cap — which it’s all too simple to lose — and plugging the 1st-Gen Pencil into the Mini appears like a clunky methodology of recharging, to not point out you possibly can’t simply inform how a lot juice your Pencil has with out turning in your iPad Mini.

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The brand new iPad Air 4 additionally helps Apple’s Magic Keyboard, serving to the device really feel extra like a laptop computer and turning it right into a workhorse, though it’s going to price you a further $299. For typing on the iPad Mini, you’ll have to put money into a third-party Bluetooth keyboard — and the iPad Mini’s smaller display screen makes it extra suited to shorter durations of productiveness.

The iPad Mini sports activities a headphone jack — a pleasant shock for these of us nonetheless connected to our previous wired headphones. Choose up the iPad Air 4 and also you’ll want to make use of Apple AirPods or put money into a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter to make use of your trusty previous headphones.

Relying on how you employ your iPad, the Mini and the Air 4 each have options to suggest them. In case you’re a standard wired headphone sort who takes your iPad in your travels and is all the time sketching or taking notes on the go, the Mini could also be your greatest guess, whereas if you’d like a Magic Keyboard case and the newest technology of Apple Pencil — and don’t thoughts utilizing AirPods or investing in a headphone adapter — then the Air 4 might be a greater choice. The variations aren’t sufficient to safe a win for both iPad, because it depends upon your preferences — so this spherical is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Value and availability

The iPad Mini is accessible from Apple. You could find the 64GB mannequin (Wi-Fi) proper now for $399 — count on to pay $529 for the mobile model. The 256GB mannequin will set you again $549 for the Wi-Fi model or $679 for mobile.

The iPad Air 4 begins at $599 and will likely be out there in October instantly from Apple.

Total winner: iPad Air 4

The iPad Air 4 and the iPad Mini have many similarities, however in the end it’s simple to suggest the brand new iPad Air 4 due to its bigger display screen, extra highly effective chip, slimmer design, and compatibility with the 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard. With that stated, in case you do resolve to go for the Mini chances are you’ll discover some good offers this Amazon Prime Day or vacation season — or in case you’re set on a extra petite pill you might anticipate the discharge of the brand new iPad Mini, anticipated in 2021. For these on a price range in search of a brand new iPad, we’ve additionally bought a few of the greatest low cost iPad offers.