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I think we all pretty much expected the iPad mini 4 to be a little slower than Apple’s still top of the line iPad Air 2, and some new benchmarks from Ars Technica back up that expectation. The iPad mini 4, which received little fanfare during last Wednesday’s iPhone 6s event, ships with a new A8 processor and 2GB of RAM.

With its new specs in tow, the iPad mini 4 can benefit from one of the major changes in tomorrow’s iOS 9 release—side-by-side multitasking. True, the iPad mini 4 may still come in second place when compared to its larger sibling, but this refresh is a marked improvement over its predecessors.

iPad Mini 4 Benchmarks

As you can see from the above Geekbench 3 results, the iPad mini 4 is model iPad 5,2, and features an A8 chip clocked at 1.49 Ghz. Most notably, the iPad mini 4 also gets a significant upgrade in RAM, matching the amount of RAM in the iPad Air 2 and the upcoming iPhone 6s.

That RAM increase and, to a lesser extent, the new A8 chip, is what makes it possible for the iPad mini 4 to use all of the new multitasking features found in iOS 9. Still, if you’re looking for the iPad mini 2 to best the iPad Air 2, you’re going to come away a bit disappointed.

iPad Air 4 Multi core benchmark

Remember, the A8X found in the iPad Air 2 boasts 3 CPU cores, while the A8 remains a dual-core CPU. Ars says that the iPad Air 2 remains about 50% faster than the iPad mini 4, but that the iPad mini 4 is still noticeably faster than the iPad mini 3, or even the iPhone 6.

Of all things worthy of consideration, however, the 2GB of RAM is by far the most important new feature in the iPad mini 4. If you use the Safari browser a lot, you’re going to notice less forced refreshes due to low system memory. That’s a great improvement that might not be instantly noticeable, but makes  big difference over the long term.

Be sure to check out Ars Technica’s full breakdown, including additional benchmarks and insight regarding Apple’s new iPad mini refresh. As a reminder, the iPad mini 4 completely replaces the iPad mini 3 in Apple’s small form-factor tablet lineup, and is now available for purchase starting at $399.

Source: Ars Technica