• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Question Oldest iPad mini that would work for media consumption?

Mar 15, 2003
I've been trying to read more but my kindle e-reader drives me absolutely crazy with how slow it feels these days just navigating around. Figure I'll get a small tablet for reading and bed-browsing. How far back can I go if I want to save going with a refurb?


Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
Sep 15, 2004
The mini went years and years without any updates, so I'd recommend no older than the mini 4 (which is basically a shrunk down iPad Air 2). It has the A8, which is still reasonably quick, runs iOS 13, and you can get it for not too much money.


Senior member
Dec 28, 2007
How far back can I go if I want to save going with a refurb?
I dunno about answering your question as such, but general advice here... If you're able to buy a refurbished as-new unit it'll probably be OK, but I'd caution against buying a device which is a number of years old already because the battery ages and I believe Apple has implemented its clockspeed cap thing in ipads as well because my Air 2 (which I bought new around when the device first launched) is now seriously slow.

Apps which launched almost instantaneously now take several seconds to load up. Even unlocking it is much slower than it used to be. And of course, the battery only holds charge for a few days now even if it sits in sleep/standby mode most of the time.

My dad's ipad air 2 - which was newer than mine but which he also used a lot more than I've used mine - died a few days ago after also having suffered severely shortened battery life. It's now stone cold black screen, and won't turn on even if connected to a power source. *shrug*

So don't buy something that is actually old. :) Could be you won't get as much use out of it as you might have hoped...


Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
^ Pretty good general advice. iPad battery is non-replaceable (it can be done, but not cheaply). Apple also doesn't display "battery health" for iPads, so you have to use a third party app.

Reportedly, Apple does not throttle the CPU on iPads due to battery wear.
Mar 15, 2003
Thanks guys! I've decided to just pick up a fire tablet and wait out until the next version comes out (and then grabbing the current gen).