Fans of small devices in general will enjoy the new iPad mini 2021.
We got a new iPad mini every year starting in 2012 until 2015, when a four-year gap led us to believe Apple had abandoned its small-format tablet. In 2019, a new model was released, but it was unclear whether we would get another. Thankfully, we have, and with all of its upgrades, it’s a miniature iPad Air 4.
Since the iPad Air 4, which was released in 2020, was a powerhouse that gave the iPad Pro 2021 a run for its money in terms of speed and features at a price ($599 / £579 / AU$899) that made it a high-value alternative if you didn’t need the absolute best tablet and wanted to save money.
Likewise, with a starting price of $499 / £479 / $749, the new iPad mini 2021 improves so much on its predecessor that it’s a miniature workhorse in the making (for 64GB and WiFi only). Even better, the new iPad mini has a new design that incorporates the flat edges of the new iPad Air and iPad Pro models, as well as the iPhone 13.
Given how long the mini’s previous curved-bottom design lasted and the work to reformat production lines for a completely new flat-edged design, it appears Apple is more committed to small-format tablets in the future. Given how unsure the company has been about keeping its other intentionally small devices on the market, this is encouraging news. Of course, we saw a new iPhone 13 mini, but sales of the iPhone 12 mini were so low that rumors circulated that Apple would stop making the small phone.
In a nutshell, one of Apple’s most powerful tablets is small, which we believe will excite a large number of people.
The iPad mini, like the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro, has ditched the Lightning port in favor of a USB-C port, which allows for faster charging and data transmission (as well as compatibility with all the USB-C plugs in the wild). The iPad mini, like the iPad Air, has ditched the Home button in favor of a lock button that houses the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
It’s also available in purple and pink.
More advance cameras
Although the iPad mini 2021 lacks any additional cameras, both the rear and front-facing cameras have been improved. The main back camera has been upgraded from an 8MP f/2.4 camera capable of 1080p video at 30 frames per second in its predecessor to a 12MP f/1.8 camera capable of 4K video at up to 60 frames per second.
The front-facing camera has been upgraded from the old mini’s 7MP f/2.2 camera to a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera with a 122-degree field of view. The camera also has Center Stage, an auto-focusing feature that tracks subjects during video calls, which is more entertaining than you might think.
Display has been upgraded
The iPad mini 2021 has an 8.3-inch display with a 77.4 percent screen-to-body ratio, slightly larger than its predecessor’s 7.9-inch display with a 70.6 percent screen-to-body ratio, thanks to the squared-off edges and smaller bezels.
The new tablet’s display is a Liquid Retina IPS LCD with a wide color gamut, which is better than its predecessor and the best screen Apple produces aside from the Mini LED display on the iPad Pro 12.9-inch model.
The A15 Bionic chipset in the iPad mini 2021 is the same as in the brand-new iPhone 13 phones. Apple’s tablets don’t always have the most up-to-date chips, which is partly due to their erratic release dates, which can be months before or after the year’s iPhones (where the new A-series silicon always debut).
While the non-expandable storage of 64GB / 256GB isn’t ideal, the iPad mini 2021 is still a capable yet compact tablet.
The iPad mini 2021 can connect to 5G, allowing it to take advantage of carriers’ still-developing advanced networks. Users who purchase the more expensive tablets will benefit from faster downloads and uploads.
Sure, the iPad mini 2021 can’t connect to ultra-fast mmWave 5G – it’s only sub-6 5G – but it can connect to sub-6 5G. However, carriers are expanding sub-6 networks to provide more coverage than the few-year-old few-year-old few-year-old few-year-old few.