While the iPad Air 2 is stealing all the headlines, the iPad Mini 3 (or new iPad mini with Retina) can easily be forgotten - and it seems Apple is intent on keeping it in the shadows. Announced as a footnote at the end of the main iPad launch, it lacks the power of its bigger brother.
The iPad mini was an OK device, ticking a box rather than wowing with top-end specs. A rebadged iPad 2 with a smaller screen? Not really great.
But then the iPad mini 2 came along, with much greater power and a sharper screen than even the iPad Air - if it wasn't for the higher price compared to the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, I would have said it was the best tablet on the market.
However, this time Apple seems to have gone backwards again. With a less colourful screen (albeit offering good sharpness) and a much thicker chassis, this certainly isn't the iPad Air 2 mini.
So how does Apple make that device better? Well, in terms of form factor, the iPad mini 3 is 7.5mm thin and 331g, compared to 7.5mm and 331g from last year. Wait... it's exactly the same as last year.
The iPad mini 3 is still more than distinct enough from the iPhone 6 Plus though - even if you owned both devices there would be a reason to put both in your bag.
The volume switch is there, it's got the same A7 chip from last year... in fact, is this the same tablet that I played with last year?
The curved back, with the same ceramic feel as before, is very much welcome, making the iPad mini 3 one of the most premium-feeling tablets on the planet.
The chamfered edges add a high quality detail, but there's a distinct feeling that apart from Touch ID and increased storage, there's not a lot different in here.
The screen, a 7.9-inch affair as before, hasn't increased in resolution, but that's hardly a bad thing given Apple was probably already overreaching with the previous model. The colour reproduction seems to be improved, as it was on the jump from the iPhone 5S to the 6, and as such is slightly nicer to look at.
Again, it's hard to see why this new tablet is really warranted beyond the addition of Touch ID. The reason I say that is the fact the iPad mini 2 is still on sale, which means that most of the things you can get on this new model are available at a lower cost on another device.
However, Apple reckons Touch ID will be a winning feature, with customers willing to pay a premium to secure their tablet with the fingerprint scanner.
We all know about the security side of things here, as Touch ID is hardly a new technology. You can also use it to confirm downloads on the App Store, and with iOS 8 opening up the Touch ID scanner to other apps, it begins to look like this is a decent feature to add in on all Apple devices.
Apple Pay is obviously the other big win here, as you can go from browsing to buying with just a tap of your finger, with all your payment and shipping information right there.
It's not a new idea, as Samsung has done the same thing with PayPal on its Tab S range, but I prefer a tap to a digit slide as it seems more accurate.
The only problem is that Apple Pay isn't available in most places. Even if you live in the US, where the service is about to roll out, it's currently limited and if you're elsewhere then it could be months before it even appears, let alone becomes widely used.
The A7 processor at the heart of the iPad Mini 3 isn't a very powerful chipset at all, and it's strange that Apple has stuck with the same thing as before. There are more health benefits and tracking (presumably, although this hasn't been confirmed) but it seems the internals are very similar.
Video editing might be a little over the top on a tablet with this screen size, but it's still an option.
The 64-bit architecture of the processor is a little redundant given Apple has packed a maximum of 2GB in here (we're still yet to find out the correct number but I doubt it's upgraded) but there are optimisations that allow for more powerful apps.
Battery and camera
The battery life of the iPad mini 3 is likely to be comparable to that of the previous model - although Apple is quoting 10 hours for web surfing, watching video or listening to music. Really, music takes as much power?
As I noted in my hands on iPad Air 2 review, the battery life of tablets is less of an issue than it is for phones, as you won't use a tablet so intensively on the move. The likelihood is the tablet will last for a long time if it's kept quietly in a protective case, and you'll be near a charger before you're out of power.
The same with the camera. As in: it's not a worry, because here's hoping people don't use the camera on an iPad to take pictures.
But sadly they do, blocking our view of sporting moments and gigs the world over with large and overly-zoomed-in viewfinders… and Apple's only gone and given them better tools to play with.
The new iPad mini 3 features a similar 5MP iSight camera as before, with a few optimisations like the bigger brother.
The good news is other tools like slo-mo video aren't available, although I'd probably have accepted those more, while a larger viewfinder would be great for time lapse video.
The iPad mini 3 is a perfectly good tablet - except it does very little more than the iPad mini 2. The only question is whether, with Touch ID and larger storage, it's enough of an upgrade from its predecessor - and I'm pretty sure it's not.
The more refined chassis makes this tablet feel even more premium than before, helping to very slightly justify the inevitable price hike you'll need to pay to own the new iPad mini.
However, I found very little I wanted to buy this for over the iPad mini 2, which is on sale a lot cheaper.
Well, it's no so much dislike, but shrug at. Why has Apple bothered with this refresh bar adding in Touch ID? At the price it's landing for (16GB - $399, £319, AU$499 for instance), which is the same as previous years, I can't see where the premium is coming from, unlike the huge jumps with the iPad Air 2.
It's not a bad tablet, but it is old stuff rebadged.
The new iPad mini 3 is a standard tablet that only those desperate for more secure online shopping would like.
Is it enough of a hike for the price? I can't see how - to the point where I feel more investigation is needed to see what's going on here. Surely there must be more than a 128GB storage size and the TouchID?
This is an iPad 3 to 4 hike, which shows that Apple has decided on a format and is running with it - next year will probably be the time we get something rather good.