During its pre-taped September 24 “California Streaming” product reveal, Apple unveiled a sixth-generation iPad mini with a new design and features like the removal of the Home button, improved cameras, a power button with an embedded Touch ID sensor and more.
Introducing the all-new iPad mini
Just like the rumors insistent, the new, sixth-generation iPad mini features an all-screen design that we first saw on the 2018 iPad Pro models. Apple’s engineers have managed to shrink those thick borders surrounding the display, so now the new iPad mini gives you 8.3 inches of screen real estate whilst keeping the same footprint as before.
By comparison, the previous iPad mini had a 7.9-inch Retina display (the new iPad mini uses Liquid Retina display technology). The tablet is also a bit thinner and a tad lighter than its predecessor.
Several display-enhancing techniques that used to be reserved for higher-priced iPads arenow available with this new iPad mini as well. For starters, you get support for a wide color range (the P3 color profile) and the device also supports Apple’s True Tone feature that matches display colors to the ambient temperature of your surroundings. Brightness has stayed intact at 500 nits.
With an almost fullscreen design, Apple has relocated a Touch ID fingerprint sensor (as rumored). Rather than inside the Home button, Touch ID has been embedded into the device’s power button. Apple first tried this new Touch ID solution earlier in 2021 with the release of the fourth-generation iPad Air.
A significantly faster performance
Because it runs the latest Apple A15 Bionic chip that also powers the iPhone 13 family, the new iPad mini delivers faster performance across the board. CPU performance saw a forty percent jump, meaning your apps launch and run faster. If you’re big on gaming or creative apps like Photoshop, this new iPad mini won’t disappoint you with a whopping 80 percent faster graphics performance than the predecessor. You also get two times faster Neural engine which will ensure that AI-powered apps and system features run fluidly. This is the first time the iPad mini has gained Apple’s neural engine.
Better cameras across the board
The front and rear camera systems have seen some substantial upgrades. The back camera is now a twelve-megapixel sensor versus an eight-megapixel shooter in the previous model. You can now take twelve-megapixel images and shoot 4K video with this iPad. The updated sensor also supports Focus Pixels, giving this new iPad mini there ability to take photos in Portrait mode.
And to help you snap clearer images in the dark, the rear camera comes with a larger aperture to let more light in and supports True Tone flash, a feature that lights each LED light independently with varying intensity to adjust the color temperature accordingly.
The front-facing camera has seen a major upgrade, too. It now uses a twelve-megapixel sensor so all your selfies taken with it will look great. This is a wide-angle camera that also supports Center Stage, a feature Apple debuted on the recent iPad Pro models. It uses machine learning to dynamically crop and zoom the scene to follow subjects as they move around. And thanks to Apple’s own image signal processor, the new iPad mini supports the smart HDR feature. Smart HDR blends together several photos taken in rapid succession at different exposures to bring more highlight and shadow detail.
iPad mini adopts USB-C
The new iPad mini has ditched Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector for USB-C, an industry standard. This means you can now connect a much wider variety of accessories to the tablet over USB-C, like digital cameras, external storage and more (the new, updated budget iPad still uses Lightning). USB-C is also ten times faster than Lightning so large files will transfer to the device much faster than before.
Another tidbit worth mentioning: The new iPad mini provides stereo sound when used in landscape thanks to the speakers found at both the top and the bottom of the device. By way of comprising, the previous iPad mini had a single speaker.
5G connectivity and Appel Pencil 2 support
The new iPad mini supports fast 5G networking with both mmWave and sub-6GHz standards supported out of the box. Or, you can opt for a Wi0-Fi-only version if you don’t need cellular connectivity on a tablet. The new iPad mini works with the second-generation Apple Pencil stylus, which can be attached magnetically to the right side thanks to the built-in magnets.
Apple also created some new colors for its Smart Folio case to complement the new colors in which the iPad mini 6 is available. And because the tablet’s dimensions have stayed intact, all your old cases should work like magic.
Pricing and availability
The new iPad mini comes in an array of new colors: Purple, pink, starlight and space gray. Apple was kind enough to double the storage so the baseline model now offers 64 gigabytes of storage whereas its predecessor started at a paltry 32 gigabytes. The new iPad mini starts at $499 like the older model it’s replacing and is available to order starting today.
Apple has said that shipments will start next week.
For further information, read the iPad mini 6 press release published on Apple Newsroom.