Why the iPad mini 3 is a waste of $100

The iPad mini 3's only difference from the mini 2 is a new color option and Touch ID. But the iPad mini 2 is also $100 cheaper.

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    Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, discuss the pricing of the Apple iPad line-up during an event at Apple headquarters on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
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Blink, and you could have missed it.

During Apple's event today, Tim Cook and crew barely mentioned the iPad mini 3; in fact, they uttered a few short words about the new device, despite previously spending at least 10 minutes fawning over the updates on the iPad Air 2. Why, exactly, did Apple downplay its own product announcement? Probably because the iPad mini was barely updated at all.

The update mainly seems underwhelming since Apple also declared that it would keep selling the iPad mini 2 (previously known as the iPad mini with Retina) at a lower price point; the mini 2 will now sell for $299, while the brand-new iPad mini 3 will check in at $399. But what does that extra $100 get you? Not a whole lot, it turns out.

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Although the iPad Air 2 got some serious spec upgrades, including a significantly faster processor, the only difference between the mini 2 and mini 3 is the inclusion of a Touch ID sensor on the start button, and the fact that you can choose the color gold as an option. That's it.

The fingerprint sensor on the mini is admittedly cool, and if you're a fan of gold, then this new option is surely great. But for the vast majority of tablet seekers, these two upgrades don't warrant the extra $100. When it comes down to it, unless you really want those two perks, you'd be far wiser to save the money and opt for the cheaper iPad mini 2.

Readers, what do you think? Is the iPad mini 3 worth it?

Lindsay Sakraida is the features director for, where this article first appeared: 

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