It takes almost two years for Apple to launch their new mini iPad but we’re glad that Apple takes the time to completely remodify the design of the iPad mini and from the outside, it looks as good as their new iPhones.
Now for the first time iPad mini 6 has the same unibody design with flat sides and more squared-off edges, looks similar to the iPad Air and iPad Pro so from the design perspective you have their latest design in a small form factor.
The new iPad mini 6 has become more powerful from the inside because this time apple uses the same A15 bionic processor which powers their new iPhone lineup.
The new iPad mini sports a larger screen with second-generation Apple pencil support which makes it more convenient than other Tablets of this size and you can attach and charge magnetically to the side of the Mini.
Along with these we also have 5G support, new cameras with better optics, a new USB-C port for charging and data transfer, a new Touch ID, and one of the most important new features the all-new iPad OS 15.
These updates make it look and feel quite different from the previous tablet in the series, the 2019 iPad mini, and from the new iPad (9th generation) which was launched alongside.
Variants and Pricing:
The iPad mini (2021) has 4GB of RAM and can be purchased in 64GB and 256GB options. You can also choose between Wi-Fi-only and 5G Cellular versions, with the latter accompanied by a Qualcomm’s X60 5G modem.
The officially launched price for the 64 GB WiFi model is $499 whereas the WiFi+Celuler model is $649. On the other hand, the WiFi-based 256 GB variant comes at $649, and the WiFi+Celluler model is priced at $799.
One thing to remember is you don’t get any cover or Apple pencil with the tablet you have to buy them separately. The smart folio cover for the iPad mini 6 costs you $59 and the Apple pencil 2 costs you $129.
You can directly buy an iPad mini 6 from Apple or go to any e-commerce website like Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance digital, etc but the storage variant and availability may vary from time to time.
|Dimensions||195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3 mm (7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25 in)|
|Weight||293 g (Wi-Fi) / 297 g (Wi-Fi + Cellular) (10.34 oz)|
|RAM and Storage||4GB RAM and 64 or 256 GB internal Storage|
|Software||iPadOS 15 with the latest new features and strong security|
|Battery||Li-Ion, non-removable (19.3 Wh), up to 10-hour multimedia|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometer
Siri’s natural language commands and dictation
All models have a Digital compass, Wi-Fi, iBeacon micro-location
Wi-Fi + Cellular models have Built‑in GPS/GNSS, Cellular 5G
|Colors||Space Gray, Pink, Purple, Starlight|
|Sound||Dual Stereo Speakers (landscape)|
|What’s in the Box||
|Protection||Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating|
|Price (International)||Starting from $499 and going up to $799|
Design and Display:
The Unibody Aluminium design looks great and we think better than the previous model. the iPad mini’s design is much more modern looking than before and it now shares the same design language as its pro siblings.
On the front, the bezels are even all around and are much thinner than before so you get more screen even though its footprints are the same as that of previous generations.
The home button is gone now, and instead, the display fills up nearly the whole front face which is protected by scratch-resistant glass and has an oleophobic coating in it.
The multiple color aluminum is looking classy but it’s very prone to fingerprints though in the hand the tablet feels great it’s lightweight has a very good grip and its weight distribution is balanced.
iPad mini 6 measures 195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3 mm (7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25 in) and the weight is 293 grams (0.65 pounds) for the Wi-Fi model and 297 grams (0.66 pounds) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
On the ports and button section, we have a slight change distribution here, the side-mounted fingerprint reader also acts as a power button and volume controllers are placed on top because on the side we have a magnetic connector for the second-generation Apple pencil.
The placement of the volume button is a little wired although Apple did a great job in orientation, the iPad mini 6 knows which is up and down so it adjusts the volume button orientation according to your holding position. Little things do matter right.
Stereo speakers are intelligently placed on the top and bottom sides of the tablet because most of the time apple thinks we hold the tablet vertically so the placements are perfect.
At the bottom side, we have a USB-type C for the first time and not the lightning connector it means now you have the freedom to charge your favorite iPad mini with a USB adaptor universally.
The cellular model has a Nano-SIM tray located on the right side of the iPad mini 6 and is hidden when you place the Pencil on the magnetic connector.
The backside is pretty clean on the top left we have a single camera with a Led flash and the famous Apple logo in the middle and bottom the branding that’s all.
On a tablet, one of the most important features is the screen the 8.3 inches IPS LCD has a 327 PPI pixel density and Apple called it Liquid Retina Display. Although it’s an LCD screen, not AMOLED the quality of the screen is good, don’t expect anything more than that.
The mini screen has a 3×2 aspect ratio and trendy round corners it got a good 518 nits of max brightness and blacks were decent as a whole the contrast ratio is excellent as far as color accuracy is concerned the mini is fantastic. It has a wide color gamut and like most other Apple devices recently it has true tone technology so overall it’s a great display.
However, another important feature is refresh rate and here you find a 60Hz refresh rate which is actually fine for me but if you’re using a higher 120 Hz screen then definitely you find the response is slow when scrolling around.
Despite the larger display, the body of the new iPad mini is slightly smaller overall. It’s 10mm shorter along the longer side and is also 7g lighter than the 2019 model. The bezels are also smaller giving more space for the screen and the quality is good it’s also bigger than the Galaxy Z Fold3 unfolded, but it’s a much better aspect ratio, it’s closer to the widescreen.
Performance and Battery Life:
Undoubtedly the iPad mini 6th gen is one of the most powerful tablets out there on the market. Apple included their advanced A15 Bionic processor inside the mini same as the iPhone 13.
The new A15 has the custom 5 nm Hexa core processor made by Apple with 2 big Avalanche cores clocked at 2.93GHz and 4 small Blizzard cores working at 1.82GHz. The high-speed cores work at a slightly lower clock speed on the iPad instead of the 3.23GHz on the iPhone 13 series.
Apple says that 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 iPad mini.
Multitasking and opening a bunch of apps is smooth and playing all kinds of games is a real treat for us at least from a tablet point of view. It should be up to pretty much any task for at least the next three years sustained performance is great too when it never gets hot only a little warm.
Playing Genshin Impact, Battleground, ARK, and Asphalt 9 is pretty smooth everything ran perfectly without any noticeable lag or slowness and the lower 60 Hz screen took great advantage of this powerful processor.
On that note, the iPad mini has a 5124 milliampere battery which is the same size as the 5th generation and Apple claims you get up to 10 hours of battery backup on the WiFi model and 9 hours on the Celuler+WiFi model when surfing the web or watching videos.
And the claims are right despite playing a lot of games, surfing, watching HD videos, taking some photos, video calling, drawing and taking notes also charging the Apple Pencil (2nd generation), we got a little more than 10 hours of use between each charge.
The iPad mini also does a great job of holding its charge when not in use. When the screen is off, you’ll barely notice any change in the battery percentage, and gives you more tie to play with mini.
And another good news is iPad mini 6 supports fast charging you get a 20-watt fast charger inside the box and its charges the device from 0 to 75 percent in 1hour 15 minutes approx, you need at least close to two hours to top up completely.
New 12MP Rear and Front Camera:
The new iPad mini sports a single camera on each side of the tablet, both the sensors are 12 megapixels but the Front camera can capture wide-angle shots.
At the back, we have a 12 MP autofocus lens with f/1.8 aperture along with Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, and panorama support. The front camera is also a 12MP but wide-angle f/2.4 aperture and a 122-degree field of view.
During the daytime, a 12-megapixel shooter on the back captures pictures with plenty of resolved detail but the noise was higher than we expected other than that shots were sharp had good dynamic range, and had outstanding color accuracy.
Low light images are good although there is no night mode to take advantage of. Still, photos are acceptable and they were better than expected detail is enough, contrast is good although shots tend to be a little desaturated, and had a narrow dynamic range. We got no blurry photos and all of them were sharp and perfectly usable.
Here are some camera samples for you…
The back camera can shoot videos up to 4k at 60fps and videos are stabilized they look outstanding everything is balanced, colors are true to life, the dynamic range is good, and contrast is excellent.
The Front-facing camera is great too it can capture wider selfies than any other tablet out there, if you take normal shots with it you’ll get some of the best ultrawide selfies that we’ve seen so far from an iPad mini.
Apple has introduced a feature called the Center stage so whenever you are a facetime video call the tablet automatically zooms in and pans to keep you in the center of the frame and if someone else enters the frame it zooms out so both of you are visible. It works perfectly and basically, brings you to the center of the screen.
New iPad OS 15:
The iPad mini 6th generation running on iPad OS 15 is by far the biggest change we see from the 5th generation and the good news is here we have the full fledge iPadOS 15 so no modification here for the small screen.
The iPads now offer more sophisticated multi-tasking, USB-C accessories compatibility, desktop-oriented Safari, Sidecar option, and expanded mouse, keyboard, trackpad, and Apple Pencil support.
The iPadOS 15 takes great advantage of the powerful A15 bionic and offers you some hardware-specific features like Share Play allows you to share your screen over FaceTime calls, and a grid view for multiple callers on FaceTime. You can also add Windows and Android users to calls using a Web link.
It added features like Focus Mode for better productivity, Live text to pick up anything and get informed instantly, A much-improved Notification center redesigned Stock apps (Weather, Clock, Safari, Apple Maps), and many more.
Speaking of improved notifications the biggest change this year is focus profiles they filter notifications based on what you’re doing and they can initiate actions like dimming the lock screen and letting people know if they can reach you.
There are quite a few predefined focus modes including driving work gaming and do not disturb but you can create custom ones as well.
Apart from that, you’ll find an app library on the rightmost home screen pane and apps will be added there automatically after installation. The dock is always visible across home screens and can accommodate up to 12 app shortcuts very convenient for multitasking.
Safari has also been upgraded and now opens desktop views of websites by default you can organize different tabs into groups or use a new voice search within the browser. To know more about iPadOS 15 check this out.
Second Generation Apple Pencil Support:
Apple pencil is a wireless stylus pen designed and manufactured by Apple inc and used on iPads. The second-generation Apple Pencil delivers pixel-perfect precision and industry-leading low latency, making it great for drawing, sketching, taking notes, coloring, marking up PDFs, and more.
Apple pencil 2 comes in white color and is compatible with iPad Pro, iPad Air 4th Gen, and iPad mini 6th gen. The length of the pencil is 16.6 cm and it’s very lightweight only 20.7 grams.
iPad Mini 6 has second-generation Apple pencil support, it has attached magnetically to the side of the mini and also recharges automatically.
With the Apple pencil 2, you can take advantage of a new feature called quick note which brings up a pop-up window for you to jot things down. You can choose to launch it via keyboard shortcut or by swiping from the corner using the pencil.
Other useful features:
- There are two variants available WiFi and WiFi + cellular model, where the Celular model supports 5G but no millimeter wave 5G.
- The cellular model helps you to connect to the network where WiFi isn’t available. But one thing to remember is there is no dialer in the iPad mini 6. the iPad mini will only use the data channel. SMS and voice use the other channel, which iPad mini will ignore.
- The stereo speakers are intelligently placed on the shorter side and they produced rich and good quality output although the bass is less but well-presented vocals and pleasant high tones.
- The new iPad mini has all the sensors like Touch ID, Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Barometer, and Ambient light sensor.
- On the connectivity, it supports e-sim and Apple sim support, Dual-band WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, file transfer through USB 3.1 first Gen up to 5Gbps speed.
Should you buy the iPad mini 6th Gen?
iPad mini 6 is the kind of tablet where you have almost everything and we believe this tablet has some specific audience, who are looking for a secondary device that is compact and easy to carry at the same time has decent functionality.
There have some pluses like the design is sleek and modern the chipset is powerful the stereo speakers sound great and the battery life is dependable for day toady work.
Holding the iPad mini up for long periods while reading books and comics was also just so much easier. The design is smart and convenient and we ended up finding it much more comfortable.
But there are a couple of things we strongly feel should have better like the screen is LCD and refresh rate is only 60 Hz, there is no face ID, the widget icons are much smaller compared to new iPhones, there are no official announcements on dust and water-resistant, no 3.5 mm headphone jack.
And most importantly the 64 GB base variant is very low for today’s standard then if you go for the 256 GB model which costs you 150 bucks more so in the middle somehow we are looking for the 128 GB, sadly which is absent.
So finally it’s maybe a good device for students, working professionals who are looking for a device for taking notes all day, attending video conferencing, watching lots of videos, searching the web and all they need is a mini device.
But at this price, there are other tablets available, Like a Galaxy Tab that’s out there, You could be looking at a Surface Go, or maybe you’re looking at the new Kindle that just came out with wireless charging.