At its California Streaming event, Apple took the wraps off the latest iPad mini. It is, just as Apple claims, the biggest upgrade the small tablet has ever had. And, the rumours and leaks mostly got it right.
It has a new design to bring it in line with the rest of the iPad range, making it look a lot like a shrunk-down iPad Air.
The screen has grown slightly from 7.9in to 8.3in, while keeping the overall dimensions roughly the same as before. There’s no room for a home button so Touch ID is built into the power button, just as it is on the iPad Air.
Cameras have been upgraded to a 12Mp ultrawide front camera that supports Centre Stage and a 12Mp rear camera that can shoot 4K videos and HDR photos.
There’s support for the 2nd gen Apple Pencil and the Lightning port has been swapped for USB-C.
If you go for a Wi-Fi + Cellular model, that means you’ll have 5G connectivity, although it doesn’t feature the same top-speed mmWave 5G connectivity as the iPhone 13 range.
Colour options are Pink, Starlight, Purple, and Space Grey.
The bad news is that prices have gone up. Where the previous model started at £399/$399, the mini 6 will cost you £479 or US$499 ($100 more!).
You can, naturally,
buy it from Apple as well as other retailers. That entry-level model has 64GB of storage but you can have 256GB if you need it, and are prepared to pay for it. Those are, as before, the only two options.
If you want 5G, models start at £619 and go up from there.
New Smart Folio covers are available for £59 in Black, White, Dark Cherry, English Lavender, and Electric Orange.
As well as being larger, the iPad mini 6’s screen supports True Tone, which means it automatically adjusts white balance according to ambient light. This means colours should always look the same, as well as being accurate.
It has a peak brightness of 500 nits (which means outdoor use is possible) and supports the P3 colour gamut, which means HDR.
It also has an anti-reflective coating which helps to cut down on glare.
With an A15 chip, it’s said to be 40% faster than its predecessor for CPU tasks and 80% quicker for GPU-based apps, such as games. Its Neural Engine is 100% faster, which allows the new Translate app in
iOS 15 to translate a conversation in realtime.
We’ve mentioned 5G already, but the Wi-Fi is now Wi-Fi 6, which means the potential for faster internet connections if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi 6 router.