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iPad Mini 4 vs iPad 2017 (2021): Which Budget iPad Offers More Value?

With recent price cuts from Apple, the iPad is now cheaper than ever. What’s even better is that you’re given better storage options and processors with their newer releases. Two of Apple’s cheapest iPads are the iPad Mini 4 and the 9.7-inch iPad 2017. In this article, we’ll be comparing these two budget iPads to help you determine which of them might be the better fit for you. 

iPad Mini 4 vs iPad 2017 Comparison Chart

ModeliPad Mini 4iPad 2017
Apple iPad Mini 4 (Wi-Fi, 128GB) - Silver Apple iPad 9.7in with WiFi, 32GB 2017 Newest Model- Gold (Gold)(Renewed) 
PriceCheck Price Check Price 

1,379 Reviews 
Screen Size7.9 inches9.7 inches
Screen Resolution2048 x 1536 pixels2048 x 1536 pixels
Pixel Density326 ppi264 ppi
Available ColorsSilver, Gold, Space GreySilver, Gold, Space Grey
Processor A8 64-bit processor and M8 co-processor A9 64-bit processor and M9 co-processor
Battery Capacity5,124 mAh8,827 mAh
Battery Life < 10 hours> 10 hours

Design and Color Options

The iPad Mini 4 and the iPad 2017 look quite similar, but the former is significantly lighter and smaller.

iPad Mini 4 vs iPad 2017 Design and Color Options
The iPad Mini 4 and iPad 2017 are both available in Silver, Gold, and Space Grey.

The most noticeable difference between these two iPads is definitely their size. Obviously, the iPad Mini 4 is smaller, weighing in at 0.65 lbs for the WiFi-only variant and 0.67 pounds for the WiFi and Cellular variant. The iPad 2017, on the other hand, weighs in at 1.03 lbs for the WiFi-only variant and 1.05 lbs for the WiFi and Cellular variant. 

Design-wise, both iPads have stuck to the clean, minimalist aesthetic that Apple has adapted roughly six years ago. They both have slim bodies and elegant chamfered edges, as well as the Home button with Touch ID and lightning docks at the bottom. They also both have a headphone port. 

Both models are also available in 3 colors: silver, gold, and Space Grey. Unfortunately, they aren’t available in Rose Gold which is arguably one of Apple’s most popular colors. 


The iPad 2017 has more screen space with a 9.7-inch Retina display, while iPad Mini 4 has a 7.9-inch Retina display.

iPad Mini 4 vs iPad 2017 Display
The iPad 2017 has a larger 9.7-inch display, while the iPad Mini 4 has a 7.9-inch display.

If you’re looking for a larger screen, then the iPad 2017 is definitely the better choice as it has a larger screen measured at 9.7 inches. Both have the same screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, but the Mini has a higher pixel density of 326 ppi as opposed to 264 ppi for the iPad 2017.

Another difference between the two is that the Mini 4’s screen is laminated, while the iPad 2017’s isn’t. This basically means that when you press on iPad 2017’s screen, it’ll slightly give way. While not a big problem, it does give the iPad 2017 a slightly cheaper feel.

Processor and Graphics

The iPad 2017 has a newer and more powerful processor compared to the iPad Mini 4.

The iPad 2017 has an A9 64-bit processor and an M9 co-processor with 2 GB of RAM to boot. The Mini 4 pales in comparison with only an A8 64-bit processor and M8 co-processor with 2 GB of RAM. 

Apple describes the A9 processor as being 70% faster than the A8, with 90% faster graphics speeds. The Mini 4 admittedly has the slowest processor in Apple’s latest line of iPads. 

Battery Life

According to Apple, both the iPad Mini 4 and the iPad 2017 should be able to last up to 10 hours on each full charge despite the iPad 2017 having a larger battery.

iPad Mini 4 vs iPad 2017 Battery Life
The iPad Mini 4 and the iPad 2017 are both estimated to last up to 10 hours.

The iPad Mini 4 has a 5,124 mAh battery which significantly smaller than the iPad 2017’s 8,827 mAh battery. Despite this difference, Apple claims that both iPads last up to 10 hours surfing the web on WiFi and up to 9 hours on mobile data. However, our testing revealed that the iPad Mini 4 only lasted a little over 6 hours on WiFi, while the iPad 2017 lasted over 10 hours.


Both models are similar in many ways, but the iPad 2017 gives you more value for your money overall.

Despite the many similarities between these two iPads (i.e. screen resolution, storage, and design), the iPad Mini 4 falls short in the categories that really matter. Its slower processors, smaller screen size, and shorter battery life hinder it from winning over the larger and more powerful iPad 2017.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Andy Mathews

Lead Editor at Compare Before Buying. Product researcher and tech enthusiast passionate about consumer products, comparison charts and surfing.