Ars has the iPad Mini 4 review I've been waiting for and the sad thing is that, just like last year, the machine is totally underwhelming. While the screen has been upgraded, it still lags way behind the one year old iPad Air 2 in performance. It's almost like Apple has been putting the B team on this device for a while now— as evidenced by the fact that it got less than 30 seconds of stage time at the announcement.
The obvious reason for this is that the larger iPhone have eaten its attack surface in the market. However I think that is the facile out given that the Mini still has 2X the screen area that the biggest iPhone can offer. I'm pretty sure that though it may not be for everyone, there is definitely a set of users for whom the small tablet form factor makes sense. It's the size of paperbacks and after all, these devices are still primarily for consuming content which means that there is a primary use case around reading books if nothing else.
Having said that, it feels like Apple's heart has never been in this small tablet. It started with [an executive looking at competitive pressure which is never the place to start building a new product. More to the point though, the new iPad Pro feels like the next turn of that particular screw: taking aim at the competitive offerings that are trying to combine the laptop and the tablet into something that can be used for work and fun at the same time.
I worry about that.