Apple launched the new iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 on the 16th of October, retired the iPad 4 but kept the iPad mini 2 and 1.
The questions we are most interested in is for the affordable and education friendly segment of the market, the entry level iPad mini range.
Now that iPad 4 has gone off the shelf leaving only the iPad Air and iPad mini 1st generation being the entry level for both big and small Apple tablets respectively, we take a look at the smaller iPads for education.
Why not iPad mini 1
In some way, the iPad mini 2 being just a little more than the iPad mini 1 in terms of price, it would make the decision to go with an iPad mini 2 with Retina Display, A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor a no brainer. Why pay for something that you know is closer to being obsolete with each iOS versions and updates.
For starters, the price tag. The entry level 16GB WiFi only versions are 33% difference. This means if schools is getting a bank or 20 or 30 tablets for a classroom, it would set them back thousands more between the two models.
The new iPad mini 3 has Touch ID with Fingerprint identity sensor built-in to the home button first introduced on the iPhone 5s. It lets you log in to your tablet, buy apps and media in the AppStore and iTunes quickly and safely but not really necessary in an education setting.
iPad mini 3 has three instead of 2 colour options with the introduction of gold to silver and space gray.
Apart from the additional storage options 16GB, 64GB or 128GB for the iPad mini 3 vs 16GB or 32GB iPad mini 2, that’s about it.
If you were expecting more for the price difference, you would now be disappointed to know that everything else on the new iPad mini 3 is identical to the iPad mini 2 with the exception of the three items listed above. Well specification wise, only two to be exact, the first one, price is a given.
On both iPad mini (2 and 3) you get the same 7.9-inch Retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution at 326 ppi, WiFi and Cellular options, A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor, 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera, 5MP iSight camera down to the same dimensions (200mm x 123.7mm x 7.5mm) and weight (WiFi 331 grams or WiFi + Cellular 341 grams).
Final Thoughts – iPad mini for Education
If you are a school administrator or governor, going with the iPad mini 2 instead of 3 could potentially save your school a lot of money.
Believe us, you students won’t miss the TouchID or the option to have a gold tablet.