340 'iPad mini' stories
December 2011 - September 2021
The iPad mini is the tablet you’re looking for if you want a portable screen but bigger than your iPhone and as powerful as it. When compared to all other iPads, it looks closer to the iPad Pro, as it features a powerful chip, USB-C, 5G, Center Stage, and second-generation Apple Pencil support.
Table of contents
The iPad mini was first introduced in October of 2012. Back in the keynote, this iPad contrasted with the standard model: 9.7 inches for the base model, 7.9 inches for the mini one. “Easy to remember,” Apple said at the time.
One year later, in 2013, the company gave this iPad a minor upgrade with the A7 processor and a Retina display. Only in 2014, with the iPad mini 3, Apple introduced the Touch ID on this tablet while adding support for Apple Pay.
Alongside the first iPad Pro, the iPad mini 4 was announced in September of 2015, but with the iPhone 6s and a new Apple TV also presented at this keynote, the iPad mini 4 was overshadowed. It received an A8 processor and its first redesign with a slightly taller and wider body than the previous models.
When everyone thought Apple wouldn’t launch another iPad mini, the company released the fifth-generation in March of 2019. This was the most significant update for the mini line at the time, with a major processor upgrade and the first-generation Apple Pencil support.
Two years later, Apple unveiled the sixth-generation iPad mini. It changed everything about its most portable tablet. Now with Touch ID on the upper button, a larger display with thinner bezels, A15 Bionic, better cameras, and new colors
iPad mini Specs
The sixth-generation iPad mini has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with thinner bezels. With the powerful A15 Bionic processor, Apple claims it’s 80% faster than the previous model, making it the most capable iPad mini ever.
Users also get 64GB and 256GB storage options and a new USB-C port, allowing faster connectivity and cellular models with 5G bringing more flexible mobile workflows.
With a new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and Neural Engine, users can enjoy even more engaging video calls. As users move around, Center Stage automatically pans the camera to keep them in view. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to include them in the conversation. Center Stage makes video calls more natural in FaceTime as well as third-party video-calling apps.
It also has a 12MP main camera that can record in 4K for the first time. This iPad also brings for the first time support for the second-generation Apple Pencil, also attaching to this tablet’s side.
Apple offers third-part wireless keyboard options for customers who want to type with a proper keyboard.
It’s available in five new colors: black, white, dark cherry, English lavender, and electric orange. You can choose between the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular (5G) models. This iPad offers an “all-day battery life” with 10-hour support and has a Lightning port for charging.
iPad mini 6 ‘jelly scrolling’ display refresh bug and other screen problems
Although many people praised the new iPad mini, some customers started noticing a “jelly scrolling” bug.
When looking at the iPad mini in portrait with the camera at the top, the right side of the display updates faster than the left side. Upside down, the left side will now update quicker than the right side. Curiously, the lag is much harder to discern when using the iPad mini in landscape mode.
Some people are also complaining about LCD discoloration and distortion issues
iPadOS 15 features
The new iPad mini comes with iPadOS 15. This operating system brings a redesigned Home Screen with widgets and App Library support.
On iPadOS 15, FaceTime group calls can finally appear in a grid, so it’s easier to see everyone. It’s also possible to share your screen, listen to Apple Music songs together, or watch Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, and others while in a call.
In the productivity section, Apple, unfortunately, didn’t bring all the features pro users wanted to take full advantage of their new M1 iPad Pro, even though Apple made it easier to rely on multitasking features.
With the Quick Note feature, users can use the Apple Pencil to add a quick note. They just need to slide the pencil through the bottom right corner to the center of the screen and start writing.
iPadOS 15 launched for all iPads on September 20. Learn more about it here.
The sixth-generation iPad mini pricing starts at $499 for the 64GB storage option with Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $799 with the 256GB storage option and Wi-Fi + 5G. Here are the full prices of the sixth-generation mini Apple sells:
- 64GB with Wi-Fi: $499
- 64GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $649
- 256GB with Wi-Fi: $649
- 256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $799
Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.
iPad mini Review
We’ll soon publish our review of the sixth-generation iPad mini. As for now, you can watch our review of the fifth-generation model, as we described it as a “portable powerhouse.”
Until Apple decides to make a folding tablet, the best you can do from a portability standpoint is the iPad mini. If portability is the most important factor in your eyes, then there’s nothing more that needs to be said, the mini 5 is the tablet for you. However, if portability isn’t at the top of your list, then you’ll need to decide between the 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad Air 3. In that case, the deciding factor should boil down to performance versus price.
Although the design of this iPad looks a bit outdated in 2019, it’s still by far the best small-form-factor tablet on the market. And now with the added performance of the A12 Bionic chip, it’s not just portable — it’s a portable powerhouse.