Overview & Price
In this Apple iPad Mini 5 review we go over everything you need to know about this 2019 tablet, from specs to camera and everything in-between.
We even showcase the best iPad Mini 5 deals here in the UK, ensuring you get the best price.
The iPad Mini 5 is easily one of the best tablets of 2019; it packs some serious performance specs as well as having impressive battery life too.
Here are some of the iPad Mini 5 specs;
- A12 bionic chip
- 7.9-inch display
- 64/256GB internal storage
- 8-megapixel f/2.4 camera
There iPad Mini 5 is incredibly powerful for such a small tablet, it’s a dark horse that works great with the Apple Pencil.
The tablet is currently priced at £479 here in the UK, making it a rather expensive device that won’t be for everyone.
Perfect for using at university or college due it its compact size, it makes a great addition to a graphic designers bag or those with a passion for art.
The iPad Mini 5 does just what you want a compact iPad to do, but it does it exceptionally well and extremely fast.
Lets take a closer look at what this 2019 tablet has to offer..
Design & Display
When it comes to the design of the iPad Mini 5 we see that not much has changed from its predecessor.
This isn’t a surprise as the iPad design has been the same for some years now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as the design works well.
The tablet comes in Space Grey, Silver or Gold, with the Space Grey having a black exterior and the Silver and Gold being White.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Space Grey colour for just over a week to conduct this Apple iPad Mini 5 review.
The first thing you will notice about the iPad Mini 5 when pulling it out of the box is that it is bezel heavy, this gives you room to pick the device up with one hand without getting grubby finger marks all over the display.
The tablet is 7.9-inches in size which makes it the perfect to hold in one hand, this is great for those that love to draw on their tablet as you can hold it in one hand and use the Apple Pencil in the other.
Weighing in at 300.5g the Apple iPad Mini 5 is far below the average tablet weight that is around 600 – 800g.
Carrying the tablet around in a backpack or handbag is convenient, and hardly noticeable.
It doesn’t take up much space and can be drawn from the bag quickly if needed for notes.
This is more than can be said for the Apple iPad 10.5” and 12.9, as there larger size makes less portable.
The iPad Mini 5 does have a 3.5mm headphone jack for plugging in external headphones as well has having a reliable Touch ID home button.
The home button allows for you to scan your fingerprint that is then used to unlock the device, meaning no intruders are able to gain access without your print.
Down at the base of the tablet is the speaker set up either side of the charging port, they aren’t ground breaking but do produce some impressive sound.
When flipping the device over you will see the Apple logo in the centre with the camera lens in the top corner, nothing more to see in terms of design.
As a whole we were not overjoyed by the iPad Mini 5 design, again it hasn’t really changed much over recent years.
This downplays the level of sophistication and technology that the iPad Mini 5 holds and it’s easy to think that because it looks the same, it performs the same as last years model.
When in actual fact that is far from the case as you will find out throughout this iPad Mini 5 review.
The iPad Mini 5 display is a 7.9-inch fully laminated retina display; this means that the display is incredibly thin which allows for better use of the Apple Pencil.
Those of you that owned the iPad 9.7 will know how important this is as the 9.7 has rather thick glass that was noticeable as soon as you picked the device up.
One of the first things we noticed is that is has extremely low reflectivity.
Only 1.8%, which is great for a tablet, this means that sunlight doesn’t bounce of the display causing you to have to place your hand over the device block it.
The iPad Mini 5 display now has a wide P3 colour gamut, which allows the tablet to display more shades of colours, and you can really notice this when watching Netflix and YouTube.
The ‘True Tone’ feature works well to match the outside environment in terms of adjusting the display, for example using the device outside you may notice that the screen has a blue tint to it.
This is used to protect your eyes, as the brightness levels need to be increased for you to view the screen.
The resolution of the screen is 2048 x 1536 with 326ppi; this makes for an incredibly crisp and clear experience when gaming and viewing content.
The iPad Mini 5 display is after all an LCD, meaning you wont find the deep blacks and incredibly vivid colours like you would on an OLED panel.
As far as LCD displays go though the iPad Mini 5’s does well, as to the untrained eye it is easy to think that this is an OLED panel due to how great the panel looks.
The display is also compatible with the Apple Pencil, however it is the older model pencil and not the new wireless charging one.
The Apple Pencil really does enhance the experience of using an iPad, especially if you are artistic or simply love to play around and draw.
With the display being so thin, it makes for incredible accuracy when using the pencil thanks to the pressure sensitivity and tilt detection features.
The display has a 60Hz refresh rate too, which refreshes the screens content quickly, although not quite as quickly as the pro which has a 120Hz refresh rate.
The display has a 4:3 aspect ratio, which works superb when scrolling through social media, web pages or using email.
However it is not so good for viewing video footage, as you will find that there are black bars that come up on the side of the display, really shrinking the viewing space you have.
The iPad Mini 5 comes with much more performance power than you would think; it has the Apple A12 bionic chip backed with 3GB of RAM.
Almost double the score of the iPad 9.7 tablet, making this device capable of breezing through heavy tasks from gaming and more.
Multi-tasking is easy too, allowing you to open multiple apps at the same time so you can be watching a video as well as texting your friends.
In real world use because of the size of the display, we found that multi-tasking on this device isn’t great.
Each application gets incredibly small which means it can be harder to navigate and use at times.
We do feel like all this performance power is slightly wasted but it will certainly come in handy for chunk apps like Photoshop.
The iPad Mini 5 comes in either a 64GB or 256GB storage option, which is better than the 32GB of 128GB from the iPad 9.7.
We do however feel that Apple has missed the sweet spot in terms of storage though, by not offering a 128GB model.
We feel 64GB is a little short and 256GB is too much for a tablet, with Apple not offering a middle ground it forces users to spend a lot more money to opt for the bigger memory size.
We tested the iPad Mini 5 out on a couple of our favourite games, and we have to say we were blown away by how smooth the experience was.
Thanks to the impressive chipset that the iPad Mini 5 has we found that games ran completely lag free with no fps drops or latency whatsoever.
However this tablet is more designed towards digital creativity, so we tried some video editing too, which again amazed us with how smooth the device is.
The iPad Mini series has typically been aimed at kids, but the iPad Mini 5 due to its price is a more premium device that is ideal for designers, creatives and students.
Software wise the iPad Mini 5 uses iOS 12.1.3 that is up to date and has everything you would ever need.
The device even has Apple Pay, not that we would be taking this thing into Tesco’s with us and paying for our shopping, but its so lightweight and portable that if you had it in your bag and had no choice this would be a great solution.
All of the normal features you will find with any other iPad are here too, with FaceTime allowing you to contact family and friends that could be at the other side of the world.
iPadOS has a cool ‘Slide Over’ feature which allows you to keep all of your favourite applications in a neat folder which is accessed by swiping in from the right.
Pinning your favourite today view widgets on the home screen is handy too, as it allows for easy access.
IPadOS allows you to capture screenshots and then mark up important features, we used this feature a lot to send over family important news highlights and weather updates.
The on-screen keyboard is always there too helping you respond to emails quickly or taking notes if you are in an important meeting.
You always have the option to attach the Apple Smart Keyboard too if you struggle to type quickly enough on the on-screen keyboard.
Overall iPadOS is rather impressive, it has lots of cool features that allow you to pin your favourite apps and widgets to your home screen.
But the main feature with it is the multi-tasking options, as mentioned previously it allows you to pull up multiple apps at once, which has endless possibilities and can enhance your productivity.
When it comes to the camera of a tablet this is almost always the most unappealing part, as most of us don’t think to whip the tablet out when we are in need of a photo, as we have a high powered smartphone in our pocket.
That being said it is nice to have the option to take a photo on the tablet, for example if you are at home and want to take a couple of snaps of your pet to upload to social media, then its nice to be able to do so.
The iPad Mini 5 camera certainly wont blow you away, but it is more than capable of capturing some decent images.
The first thing to note about the camera is that it doesn’t have a bump, and sits flush into the iPad Mini 5 design.
This means that it doesn’t get in the way, so when you place the tablet down on a flat surface, it wont wobble and be likely to fall off the desk.
The 8-megapixel f/2.4 lens is far from top of the range, it works perfectly fine when the lighting is good.
It doesn’t have the most detail we have seen compared to smartphones and it does struggle when taking shots in low light.
The good news is that the iPad Mini 5 camera does support 1080p video at up to 120fps for slow motion footage; it also has HDR and panorama too.
Around the front of the tablet is the 7-megapixel front facing camera, again this works perfectly well for Face Time and taking the odd selfie in good lighting, but in low light it struggles to produce anything Instagram worthy.
The iPad Mini 5 front facing camera is much better than what we have seen on some laptops though, as it supports up to 1080p in HDR it is great for Skype and Face Time as the quality of video is superb.
As a whole the iPad Mini 5 camera is not spectacular, but the chances of you using the camera to capture incredibly detail shots that you upload to social media is slim anyway.
That being said it is more than adequate for video calls and slow motion video footage is impressive.
The Apple iPad Mini 5 uses a lightning cable rather than a USB-C charger, this makes life a lot easier for those that own an iPhone, as they can simply use the same charger to keep the tablet topped up.
The tablet comes with the usual 12W USB charger and the cable in the box, nothing out of the ordinary in this department but we couldn’t complain about battery life at all.
The iPad Mini 5 has a 5124mAh battery that is more than enough to get you through a full day of use.
This allows you to take the tablet to university or out and about with you, and ensures you have enough juice to get you through whether you are using video editing tools or gaming.
The average screen on time we are getting is around 11 hours, with the tablet barely using any power whatsoever when in standby mode.
One of the highlights about the iPad Mini battery is how quickly it charges, iPads are notorious for how long they take to charge but we found after 45 minutes we would have over 50% charge from flat.
This is a big improvement on the previous generation of iPad Mini and its nice to simply plug in your lightning cable rather than carry around a separate charger for your iPad.
So should you buy the iPad Mini 5?
Well if you are looking for a lightweight, portable and super powerful tablet that is fully equipped with the tools you need for designing, then yes.
There is no denying that this is an expensive iPad, and rather niche due to its size, so it certainly wont be for everyone.
The Mini range has always been for those that are using it for a digital notebook.
We do feel that Apple has missed a trick now in 2019 as it has still kept the bezels around the display, where in todays world we are geared towards an edge-to-edge display, especially for devices with bigger ones.
It is hard to pick fault with the iPad Mini 2019 due to how well it performs, it blows its rivals away with incredible performance power, keeping the device running smoothly even when multi-tasking.
The iPad Mini 5 specs are impressive, and keep the phone breezing through anything you throw at it.
Overall we think there is still room for improvement, especially on the display side of the tablet, but we are sure in the years to come Apple will fix these minor issues and keep on creating some of the best devices the world has ever seen.
We hope you have enjoyed our Apple iPad Mini 5 review, feel free to leave a comment and check out the best deals in the UK at the top of this post.