The iPad Mini 4 was released on September 9th 2015. I have been using it quite extensively for a little over a month. Here are my thoughts:
The iPad mini jumps up in performance to match the iPad Air 2. More importantly the RAM increases to 1GB and allows new iOS 9 features like split view. Coming from a Microsoft Surface, it was hugely important to be able to multitask effectively. Multitasking works great with no slow downs on the iPad and works very similarly to Windows 8.
I originally reacted negatively to the Apple SIM. However I decided to purchase the iPad in part due to the innovations created by the Apple SIM. The idea that I can easily switch carriers, especially when traveling internationally is a huge win for being connected at an affordable price.
The Retina screen is great and actually has the same resolution as its larger brother, the iPad Air 2. Portability is definitely a concern with tablets, so the smaller size is natural choice. Its not like I really would need more screen real estate especially lacking the ability to run desktop apps.
While the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter works well with importing photos, I could not figure out how to import video into my photo library.
iCloud sync continues to be baffling. For example I setup up the News app on my iPad, as it made sense to have an aggregate collection of news on a device that excels for reading. However, I had never setup the app on my iPhone. Launching the app on my iPhone asks me to recreate my favourite topics. It is inexcusable for an Apple created application to not synchronise. Microsoft has a huge strength with OneDrive sync for Windows.
The idea of millions of apps is certainly not a victory for the iPad. As I have downloaded less than 20 on my iPad. On a tablet, websites work usually as well as an app. What does work is ecosystem. Sure sync works better on Windows. Legacy x86 applications are also a consideration. But the iPhone is king and being able to extend that to my tablet works. With true multitasking and remote desktop, there is less and less you can’t accomplish on the go.