I wrote about my newest acquisition a few days ago: the “Retina iPad Mini” aka. “iPad Mini 2”. I have yet to see the 4G connection I am looking for – Brussels is a known weak spot in the 4G networks in Belgium, and the railroads are not exactly a priority for telecom providers (highways, on the other hand, are well served). I will try again later this month in the center of Antwerp; according to the interactive map at http://opensignal.com/networks/belgi%C3%AB/base-dekking that should prove that 4G does work on the iPad Mini.
Anyway, why did I not go with the latest iPad Mini version? Well, I read what Ars Technica has to say about Apple’s latest hardware:
The iPad Mini 3 is last year’s Retina iPad Mini (now retroactively dubbed the iPad Mini 2) with TouchID and Apple Pay support. It’s still powered by an Apple A7 chip, and its camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and cellular capabilities remain untouched. Its dimensions are the same, and its front glass remains separate from the rest of the display.
If you’ve held an iPad Mini 2, then, you know exactly what you’re getting with the iPad Mini 3. Aside from TouchID, the stuff you get this year that you couldn’t get last year are the new gold model, and the price reductions for the 64GB and 128GB models ($499 and $599, respectively). Whether you want to pay $100 for TouchID is up to you, but the best news about the iPad Mini 3 is that the iPad Mini 2 is now available for a much more reasonable $299. We would steer clear of the $249 iPad Mini, though. Its aging A5 chip and non-Retina display are big sacrifices to make in the name of saving $50.
That confirmed my suspicion: the older, cheap original Mini isn’t worth buying anymore. I don’t think there will be many shops supporting Apple Pay here in Belgium any time soon; TouchID may be practical, but I can live without it. So I bought the second edition and saved 100€, that may well come in handy next year, when I’ll be needing a new smartphone ;-)