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The iPad Mini Just Got a Very iPad Air Redesign

The smallest of Apple's iPads now has a brighter display, faster performance, USB-C and optional 5G connectivity.

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Image: Apple

Apple’s smallest iPad might not get quite as much attention as its bigger siblings, but today, Apple took the wraps off a completely redesigned iPad Mini. It’s got a bigger screen, a more powerful processor, and comes in a range of colors. The Mini is no longer the forgotten runt of the iPad family.

Following Apple’s revamps for the iPad Pro, and the iPad Air, the iPad Mini 6 is also getting an overhaul with flat-edged sides and a new power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner for Touch ID, just like the one on the iPad Air. Because there isn’t a dedicated home button taking up space at the bottom of the screen, Apple was able to slim down the iPad Mini’s bezels and increase the size of its display to 8.3 inches (up from 7.9 inches on the previous model) without making big changes to the Mini’s overall dimensions.

iPad Mini 8.3-inch screen
Screenshot: Apple

The iPad Mini’s liquid retina display can also now pump out 500 nits of brightness, with Apple tossing in support for a wider DCI-P3 color gamut, a new anti-reflective screen coating, and support for Apple’s True Tone white balance feature that automatically adjusts the screen’s color temp to match your environment.

Inside, Apple upgraded the Mini’s internals with a new six-core A15 Bionic processor (just like you get in the iPhone 13), which Apple says delivers 40% faster CPU performance and 80% faster GPU performance compared to the outgoing model.

New Apple iPad mini rear camera
Screenshot: Apple

Meanwhile, around back, the iPad Mini 6 is getting a new 12-MP rear camera with dedicated Focus Pixels to better capture tack-sharp pics, while the image processor in the A15 Bionic helps produce more lifelike HDR pics, even in low light, according to Apple. And in front, the Mini is also getting a new 12-MP ultra-wide cam that works with Apple’s Center Stage software to provide better image quality for selfies and video calls.


But perhaps the most important upgrade in terms of overall usability is the addition of a new USB-C port on the bottom, which allows the new iPad Mini to recharge faster and more easily connect to peripherals like cameras and more. Wifi has also gotten an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, but in case that’s not enough, Apple is also making a version of the new iPad Mini that supports 5G connectivity. And just like the iPad Pro and iPad Air, the iPad Mini is also getting support for the Apple Pencil so you can draw or take notes to your heart’s content. There’s even a magnetic strip to charge your second-gen Apple Pencil when it’s not in use.

Apple iPad Mini now with USB-C
Huzzah for the iPad Mini now getting USB-C
Screenshot: Apple

Unfortunately, all these upgrades do come at a price: While the previous iPad Mini started at $400 for 64GB of storage, the new model will start at $500 for the wifi-only model with 64GB of storage, or $650 if you opt for the model with built-in 5G/LTE.

The good news is that even though we’re in the midst of a global chip crunch, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to buy a new Mini. Pre-orders go live today (available in space gray, pink, purple, and starlight) with official shipments slated to being on September 24.