After a two and a half year wait since the last update, a totally redesigned iPad mini has officially arrived alongside the iPhone 13. The exciting overhaul for Apple’s compact tablet comes with a larger all-screen design, USB-C, the A15 Bionic chip, camera upgrades, 5G, Apple Pencil gen 2 support, and much more. Read on for a detailed look at the new iPad mini vs the iPad mini 5 and iPad Air.

Over the last few years, the iPad mini has shown its age more than ever as it kept the same design it’s more or less had since 2012 while the iPad Pro and iPad Air evolved with all-screen and home buttonless designs with flat-edges.

In an exciting move, Apple brought the iPad mini into the future with its 6th gen version taking on most of the great improvements we’ve seen arrive in the modern iPad Pro and Air devices.

Let’s dive into everything you’re getting with the new iPad mini. In case you’re also considering the iPad Air 4, we’ll include that in the comparisons below. And if you’re torn between the iPad Air and iPad Pro, we’ve got a detailed breakdown of those devices too:

New iPad mini vs iPad mini 5 and iPad Air

CPU/GPU, RAM, more

Interestingly, like the iPad Air 4 leapfrogged the iPad Pro for a bit with the A14 chip compared to the A12Z (in some respects), the new iPad mini 6th gen does the same to the iPad Air with the A15 Bionic chip. The A14 and A15 don’t appear to be much different, but the new iPad mini also gains features like Center Stage and 5G that the iPad Air doesn’t have (more on that below).

But the A15 runs circles around the A12 Bionic that was in the iPad mini 5. Here’s how Apple describes the jump in performance:

The 6-core CPU delivers a 40 percent jump in performance, and the 5-core GPU delivers an 80 percent leap in graphics performance compared to the previous generation of iPad mini.

iPad mini 6 iPad mini 5 iPad Air 4
Chip A15 Bionic A12 Bionic A14 Bionic
CPU cores 6 6 6
GPU cores 5 4 4
Storage 64 or 256GB 64 or 256GB 64 or 256GB
RAM 4GB? 3GB 4GB

Display

new iPad mini vs iPad mini 5 - display specs comparison

As Apple has adopted the nearly all-screen design for the iPad mini, you get a larger display that actually comes with a smaller footprint than the iPad mini 5.

No ProMotion as that’s just on the iPad Pro. But otherwise, you’re getting an impressive Liquid Retina display that’s the largest ever on the iPad mini.

Pixels per inch remain the same at 326, which is higher than the 264 on the iPad Air and brightness remains at 500 nits.

iPad mini 6 iPad mini 5 iPad Air 4
Display 8.3″ 7.9″ 10.9″
Resolution 2266 x 1488 2048 x 1536 2360 x 1640
PPI (pixels per inch) 326 326 264
Display brightness 500 500 500
True Tone
P3 wide color
ProMotion (120Hz)
Anti-reflective coating
Liquid Retina Display

I/O

new iPad mini vs iPad mini 5 - I/O comparison

Another big update is the move from Lightning to USB-C. That opens up the ability to use the range of USB-C hubs and accessories out there, external drives, and more.

Other I/O improvements include Wi-Fi 6, Apple Pencil gen 2 support, 5G, and Touch ID now residing in the top button.

iPad mini 6 iPad mini 5 iPad Air 4
USB-C
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (ax) Wi-Fi 5 (ac) Wi-Fi 6 (ax)
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0 5.0
Cellular 5G 4G 4G
Touch ID In top button In home button In top button
Apple Pencil 2nd gen 1st gen 2nd gen

Cameras

The new iPad mini 6 surprised with some great camera improvements! Leapfrogging the iPad Air again, the iPad mini gets the ultra wide front camera with Center Stage auto-tracking.

You’ve also got a 12 MP rear wide lens, now with a flash. Other features include extended dynamic range and 4K video.

iPad mini 6 iPad mini 5 iPad Air 4
12 MP wide lens ❌ (8 MP)
4K video
Aperture f1.8 f2.4 f1.8
Extended dynamic range
Slo-mo video
Rear camera flash
FaceTime/Front camera 12 MP ultra wide 7 MP 7 MP
Front camera 2x zoom out
Center Stage auto-tracking

Colors, dimensions, battery

colors, dimensions, battery

Interesting colors this time around with starlight replacing silver and pink and purple joining space gray.

For weight, the iPad mini 6 is the same as its predecessor at 0.65 pounds, and for dimensions, it has a smaller footprint with 7.69″ height vs 8.0″ for the iPad mini 5. Battery life remains the same at “up to 10 hours.”

iPad mini 6 iPad mini 5 iPad Air 4
Colors Space gray, pink, purple, starlight Space gray, silver, gold Space gray, silver, rose gold, gree, sky blue
Weight 0.65 pounds (293 grams) 0.65 pounds (300.5 grams) 1 pound (458 grams)
Height 7.69″ (195.4 mm) 8.0″ (203.2 mm) 9.74″ (247.6 mm)
Width 5.3″ (134.8 mm) 5.3″ (134.8 mm) 7.02″ (178.5 mm)
Thickness 0.25″ (6.3 mm) 0.24″ (6.1 mm) 0.24″ (6.1 mm)
Battery life Up to 10 hours web/video Up to 10 hours web/video Up to 10 hours web/video

Price and storage

Storage options are the same as we saw with the iPad mini 5 and also match iPad Air 4. As for price, there is a $100 increase ($120 for cellular) but you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your buck.

iPad mini 6 iPad mini 5 iPad Air 4
64GB WiFi $499 $399 $599
64GB + cell $649 $529 $729
256GB WiFi $649 $549 $749
256GB + cell $799 $679 $879

New iPad mini vs iPad mini 5 and Air wrap-up

new iPad mini 6 hero image

For some, the new iPad mini launch at Apple’s September event overshadowed the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro with such a big and anticipated overhaul arriving for Apple’s most portable tablet.

Even though you’ve got a more expensive starting price at $499, you’re really getting a lot for the money here with the all-new display and design, USB-C, A15 chip, 5G option, upgraded cameras including Center Stage auto-tracking, and much more.

Are you planning to upgrade to the new iPad mini? Orders are open now with the first devices arriving to customers from the week of September 20.

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