These two may target a similar audience, but their sizes are far apart. The iPad mini 3 is 63 percent taller and 129 percent wider than the 6th-generation iPod touch.
The iPod touch ties the iPad Air 2 for the title of thinnest iOS device ever made. The Touch is 19 percent thinner than the iPad mini 3.
The iPad mini doesn't feel heavy for its size, but the tiny iPod touch still comes out at 73 percent lighter.
The two iDevices' builds are very similar. Both have aluminum unibody designs, as do most of Apple's modern products.
Apple offers six different color options for iPod touch buyers.
If you took four iPod touch screens and put them together, you'd still have a screen that was smaller than the iPad mini's!
Both displays have the same 326 PPI pixel density.
As with all iOS devices, both screens use IPS panels.
Though the iPad mini 3 is a late 2014 product, it uses a late 2013 system-on-a-chip. The iPod touch is the faster device, and should be future-proofed a bit longer for gaming.
Each of these Apple devices has 1 GB of RAM.
The iPod touch has an extra 32 GB tier; otherwise internal storage options are the same.
In our battery benchmark (streaming video over Wi-Fi with brightness at 75 percent), the iPad mini 3 had the better score. It only dropped 9 percent per hour; the new iPod touch lost 12 percent per hour.
If you want to use your device for photography, the iPod touch is the better choice. It has higher resolution, and takes better shots all around.
The iPad mini 3 also doesn't have a flash. The iPod touch has a single LED flash, not the dual LED ("True Tone") found on the latest iPhones.
As cool as a cellular-enabled iPod touch would be (you could use VOIP services like Skype to turn it into a cheap – and super-light – iPhone), Apple has never made such a thing. You can, however, add an extra US$130 to your upfront price to buy an LTE-enabled iPad mini.
You won't find a Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the new iPod touch.
You can't use the iPad mini 3 with the in-store portion of Apple Pay, but you can use it for online Apple Pay purchases.
No Touch ID means no Apple Pay for iPod touch owners.
Both devices run iOS 8, and will jump up to iOS 9 in a couple of months. They should also both stay up-to-date for some time after that, though the iPod touch may stay current longer, as it has the newer SoC inside.
The iPad mini 3 launched late last year, but it's really an iPad mini 2 (Apple's 2013 model) with two changes: a Touch ID sensor and the option of buying a gold model.
The iPad mini 3 isn't a great buy, due to that 2013 hardware, but the $100 cheaper iPad mini 2, which Apple still sells, makes a lot more sense (as long as you can live without Touch ID). If you throw the iPad mini 2 into the mix, then your decision comes down to better performance and camera for $200 vs. much bigger screen for $300.