The "1-Minute" Review
- More expensive than the last generation
- Only 60Hz refresh rate
- So-so battery life
The iPad Mini (2021) gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect from its name. It’s more portable but still brings most of the same functions as its larger siblings. This means there are benefits and trade-offs to consider to determine if this smaller iPad is right for you! Let’s look at the considerations.
One of the better decisions that Apple made, according to reviewers, is the choice to make the screen stretch further with thinner bezels.
You unlock the device by placing your finger over the power button, which contains a hidden fingerprint sensor. This means there’s no need to waste space making room for a home button or fingerprint sensor on the device’s front.
The tablet is smaller than its predecessor but still a bit large for one-handed operation. Still, it’s plenty light enough to hold one-handed while viewing videos, reading articles, or swiping through social media feeds.
If you like a little personality with your devices (without having to pick up a case), the iPad comes in four different colors: purple, pink, space grey and starlight.
The iPad Mini features an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina screen.
While the resolution isn’t quite as high as larger iPads, the reduced screen size makes up for most of the loss, providing sharp text, detailed images, and plenty of color and contrast.
However, it also lacks the 120Hz refresh rate of the larger models, so scrolling and gameplay won’t be as smooth if those are important to you.
Finally, some reviewers noted that the screen doesn’t get bright enough to use outside. So you might want to see one in person to gauge for yourself if you plan to frequently use your iPad Mini (2021) on the go.
Apple has equipped the iPad Mini with the new A15 Bionic chipset. This means that despite its tiny size, it is one of the most powerful tablets available today. Multitasking, playing games, streaming 4K/UHD video, or doing creative work will all feel fluid and snappy.
Software & Storage
The Apple iPad Mini comes with two storage options: 64GB or 256GB. While more storage means a higher price tag, there’s no way to expand storage with a microSD card, so be sure to consider your needs. The added cost might be worth it.
The tablet ships with iPadOS 15 and should receive updates for years to come.
Both the front and back lenses of the iPad Mini (2021) sport 12MP sensors. The iPad Mini also has access to Center Stage, Apple's camera mode that helps keep your face in the center of the frame when on a video call or Zoom meeting.
Reviewers stated that the battery life of the iPad Mini was mediocre at best. Light usage saw the battery stretch for a couple of days between charges. But constant use meant hunting down an outlet to reach the end of the day.
Although the best way to use any Apple device is probably their AirPods or another wireless headset, reviewers stated that the speakers were crisp and loud. There isn’t a headphone jack on this model, though, so be prepared to pick up an adapter to use your favorite wired cans.
With the new addition of a USB-C port, the range of accessory options expands quite significantly to include a ton of choices not made by Apple. The tablet is also compatible with the 2nd-generation Apple pencil, which clips magnetically to the side of the slate to charge.
Specs at a Glance
- Aluminum design
- 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display
- A15 Bionic processor
- Unknown RAM
- iPadOS 15
- 64/256GB of storage
- 12MP front and back cameras
- 10 hours of battery life
- Compatible with 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil
The Bottom Line
The Apple iPad Mini will not be the top choice for everybody due to its smaller size and somewhat dim display. However, it could be a good choice for those who want a smaller device that isn’t a phone to use at home or on the go.
Tech Radar says, “The new iPad Mini 2021, also called the iPad Mini 6, is a powerful device with a crisp smaller screen, 5G connectivity support, and a stylish and compact design that makes it easy to insert into bags and even larger pockets. It won’t be the best iPad for everyone, but it’s undeniably the best small tablet money can buy.”
PC Magazine states, “Apple's sixth-generation iPad mini tablet delivers Pro-level power in a smaller size that's better for reading, taking notes, and slipping in a jacket pocket.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
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