We called the iPad mini the “best small tablet” for good reason. It’s very fast compared to most tablets, and virtually unequalled in its size class — this is an easy choice if you want a compact tablet that can still handle media editing, high-end mobile games and multitasking. The 7.9-inch display is vibrant, and first-generation Pencil support makes it a solid pick for note taking or sketching. This is the tablet you want if you’re just as likely to read a book one-handed as you are to edit a video masterpiece or play Fortnite.
With that said, it’s hard to ignore the dated design. This is the same basic iPad mini shell you’ve seen for several years, including the thick top and bottom bezels, an unspectacular 8-megapixel rear camera and Touch ID. There are some perks to this (headphone jack, anyone?), but it’s not as compact or capable as it could be. Still, small high-performance tablets are rare — and $349 makes the shortcomings easier to forgive.
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