The retail box of the Apple iPad mini 3 covers just the basics - a wall charger and a Lightning cable. We would have really appreciated a pair of EarPods, but Apple has never supplied headphones with its slates (neither do most other tablet manufacturers).
The new Apple iPad mini 3 is absolutely identical to its predecessor down to the very last metal bone. Its unibody shell is made out of aluminum, finished with tapered edges while its display is covered by a protective glass with oleophobic coating.
Just like the iPad mini 2, the new iPad mini 3 bets on the luxurious looks and it does look gorgeous. The slate is among the best looking devices on the market and this will probably stay this way at least for another year. It is designed and build with great attention to detail and no matter if you are an iFan or not, you have to acknowledge Apple's excellent choice of design and materials.
But the iPad mini 3 isn't only a great looking device. It feels amazing in hand, pleasant to touch and hold, with good enough grip. The unibody has more than solid build as you can expect. Overall, handling the slate is a pleasure. It feels best when operated with two hands, but thanks to its lightweight unibody it is possible to work with the iPad mini 3 single-handedly.
Above the screen we find the same 1.2MP resolution front-facing camera as last year's. It's capable of 720p video capture. Next to it, there's an ambient light sensor, which helps in adjusting the screen brightness automatically.
Under the screen is the Home key, now upgraded with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It works just like on the iPhone and enhances the security of your Apple Device.
There are no controls on the left side of the Apple iPad mini 3, while on the right we find the two volume keys and the Mute switch (that one can also lock screen orientation if you choose so in the system settings).
The Apple iPad mini 3, just like its predecessors, features a stereo speaker setup at the bottom, flanking the Lightning port. The speakers aren't loud, but their sound quality is good.
The issue with the speaker setup remains the same as before - they are really easy to muffle with your hand when holding the iPad mini in landscape orientation. Also they are so close together that we couldn't spot a perceivable stereo effect in whatever game or video.
The top of the iPad mini has the 3.5mm audio jack, the power/lock key and the microphone, which is used in FaceTime/Skype calls and the likes.
The second microphone is on the back of the slate, close to the primary one and it allows noise cancellation when using FaceTime or Siri. The 5 MP camera is around the back, too. It's the same camera as the one on the iPad mini 2, packing an F/2.4 aperture and autofocus. There is no LED flash, just like before.