When you look at the iPad Air (2019) and iPad mini (2019), they both have very similar features on paper, with a few exceptions and the fact that one is more small and compact.
Let's break it down
Apple's latest offerings for the iPad Air (2019) and iPad mini (2019) are both pretty great, making it a little tough to decide which one is better. However, unless you absolutely prefer the smaller form factor, we think the iPad Air (2019) is the better pick.
|iPad Air (2019)||iPad mini (2019)|
|Cost||From $499||From $399|
|Wi-Fi + Cellular||Yes||Yes|
|Storage capacity||64GB or 256GB||64GB or 256GB|
|Dimensions||9.8-by-6.8-by-0.24 inches||8-by-5.31-by-0.24 inches|
|Weight||1 pound||0.66 pound|
|Wide color display (P3)||Yes||Yes|
|Chip||A12 Bionic||A12 Bionic|
|Apple Pencil||First-generation only||First-generation only|
|Video recording||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Audio||Two speakers||Two speakers|
When you view them side-by-side, the iPad Air (2019) and iPad mini (2019) are very similar.
They both feature the A12 Bionic chip (a surprise to mini fans), so they're both capable of fast processing power and can handle resource-intensive apps nicely. They also both have support for the Apple Pencil, which is a first for the mini line. However, keep in mind that they both only work with the first-generation Apple Pencil. Both of them also have True Tone, so you get great color accuracy no matter what environment you're in thanks to the ambient light sensor. There's also plenty of room for media, games, and files since they both come in 64GB and 256GB varieties.
The only real differences come down to the screen size and support for the Smart Connector.
If you prefer larger screens to display more information at once, then the iPad Air is the way to go with the 10.5-inch screen. But if you prefer the small and compact form factor of the mini, but want a capable machine that's packed with some nice features, then the iPad mini is what you need.
Don't forget that the iPad Air (2019) also has a Smart Connector, which provides power and a data connection to certain smart accessories. For example, you can use Apple's own Smart Keyboard with the iPad Air, which doesn't require batteries and can be updated through the iPad itself via the Smart Connector.
Who should buy iPad Air 3?
If you want an iPad that's packed with a lot of powerful features similar to the iPad Pro, but for a lot less, then the iPad Air (2019) is a good pick. The screen got a nifty upgrade in size, the A12 Bionic chip means faster performance, and you can now have a Smart Connector for those cool accessories like the Smart Keyboard. It even supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, giving you a comprehensive iPad experience at a mid-level price.
Who should buy iPad mini 5?
If you prefer the small and compact form factor of the mini series, then you should definitely pick up the new iPad mini (2019). It packs in a lot of the same features as the new iPad Air (2019) (sans Smart Connector) and is also $100 cheaper.
High performance, mid-level price
The iPad Air (2019) is a great upgrade from the previous generation. The screen is now slightly larger, the A12 Bionic chip means faster processing, the display features True Tone to help reduce strain on the eyes and provide color accuracy depending on your environment, and there's Smart Connector support. Plus, you can use first-generation Apple Pencil with it as well. Maybe we will see Face ID included next year.
Less is more
When you prefer the mini size but want powerful features
The new iPad mini (2019) is very similar to the new iPad Air (2019), but in a smaller package. It has the same A12 chip for better performance, True Tone display, first-generation Apple Pencil support, and also comes in 64GB and 256GB storage capacities. The only thing it's missing is the Smart Connector.
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