After years of rather disappointing routine upgrades, the iPad mini has finally received the love of Apple’s engineers. Let’s move on with Apple’s most compact but surprisingly powerful little tablet.
The front and center of the new iPad mini is that beautiful screen.
The new Liquid Retina screen has dimensions of 8.3 inches, compared to 7.9 inches compared to the previous generation. Liquid retina is Apple’s term for screens with rounded corners that fit more into the frame of the device, and do not have sharp angles of 90 degrees.
Although it is an updated screen, the other specifications remain the same. It is still at 500 nits of typical brightness, with support for a wide range of P3 colors and a pixel density of 326 PPI.
Finally, a new design
The iPad mini no longer has that rounded edge it had since its first premiere. It now has flat sides, just like the iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPhone.
The flat sides make it easier for us to hold the tablet because it just sits a little easier in our hands and feels almost like a massive iPhone. if this could be folded in half …
This new design comes complete with USB-C for connecting various peripherals and support for the Apple Pencil 2 which can be magnetically connected to the right edge.
Apple left the Home button (finally) and instead moved the Touch ID to the sleep / wake button, much like the latest iPad Air.
We will say that using Face ID on iPad Pro and iPhone is very annoying due to using Touch ID. It was so boring as we sat here and played with the tablet that we always had to reach for authentication using that button above.
In landscape mode, it’s not as boring as your left index finger is there, but when we’re vertical, we totally missed Face ID. Given how many top features Apple has added to the mini, we’re a little surprised that Face ID failed.
This is especially true because you can wake up the screen with one touch of your finger. We would tap, drag upwards, only to be barred from entering until we touched the side button.
Lots of power
This little man may be small, but he carries crazy power within him. Apple has equipped this tablet with the latest A15 Bionic processor.
Not only is the A15 Bionic, but it’s almost identical to the one in the iPhone 13 Pro which features a bonus GPU core.
We ran a few quick benchmarks before the full review, but we were very happy to be impressed. In the Geekbench ML test, the iPad mini 6 outperformed our iPhone 13 Pro Max, scoring 908 compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max 805.
They were not surprising in the standard Geekbench 5 GPU Compute test and CPU test.
Finally, good cameras
We’re not sure what convinced Apple to finally put some real cameras on these new iPad minis, but we assume the pandemic had something to do with it. Since many people work or study from home, a good front camera has suddenly become very important.
In this new iPad mini 6, that front camera has switched from 7MP to a huge 12MP. It can also now record 4K video and has a wide field of view of 122 degrees.
This change enables Center Stage, Apple’s feature that can automatically track and frame you during a video call. It works in FaceTime, as well as in third-party applications such as Zoom.
The rear camera has also been updated, from 8MP to 12MP, and can now support 4K video recording.
We’d love for Apple’s photographic styles to arrive on the iPad mini, but for some reason that was pushed into the iPhone 13 line. At least the iPad mini isn’t as awkward to take photos as the iPad Pro.
Follow our full review of the brand new iPad mini 6 for 2021 soon.
Where to buy
Apple’s latest iPad mini is already on sale, and the latest prices are at your fingertips AppleInsider IPad mini 6 Pricing Guide.
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