Apple iPad Mini 4 performance: Better than iPhone 6, 6 Plus

Yes, the iPad Mini 4 will get the full split-screen treatment found in iOS 9, thanks to more memory and a faster A8 processor.

Apple's new iPhones aren't the only iOS devices to get 2 GB of memory. The iPad Mini 4 has it too, which will help the tablet support the full split-screen mode found on both the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro.

Ars Technica already got its hands on Apple's newest small slate and immediately started to delve into the hardware. Running the Geekbench test suite, Ars found that the iPad Mini 4 performance eclipses that of last year's iPhones.


Last year's iPad Air 2 still beats the iPad Mini 4 on paper, even though both tablets have the same 2 GB of memory. That's because the Mini 4 uses a dual-core A8 chip running at 1.5 GHz while the Air 2 has a tri-core A8x processor. Both are still quicker than the 1.4 GHz A8 chip in Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

That makes the Mini a nice refresh for 2015, considering last year, the Mini 3 was nothing more than Mini 2 with the addition of a Touch ID sensor.

I think it's safe to say my prediction of Apple doing major tablet refreshes every two years now is a good bet. Last year, Apple essentially skipped the iPad Mini refresh and this year, it left the iPad Air 2 unchanged. After several yearly iPad upgrades, it just doesn't make sense for Apple to continue a 12-month cycle for tablets; the devices can work quite well for two or more years.

Apple's iOS 9 now officially supports a Split View experience on all tablets with 2 GB of memory; those without it only get the Slide In and Picture in Picture features.

Although it would be less useful on a smaller screen, it's worth noting that the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus also have enough memory for Split View; something Apple could later add in a limited form with a software update.