iPad mini 6
The iPad mini 6 takes on Apple's new design language with flat sides, Touch ID in the Top Button, and a USB-C port. It is now compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, which can be magnetically attached to the side for charging and storage. This is Apple's smallest yet most powerful consumer-grade tablet in its lineup.
● A15 Bionic processor
● 8.3-inch all-screen display
● 5G option
● Apple Pencil 2 support
● Starts at $499
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Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display which doesn't seem too far a stretch from the iPad mini's 8.3-inch display. However, the aspect ratio is wider on the iPad mini, offering a larger canvas than what the iPhone can at the same size.
Despite being small, this is a premium device in Apple's lineup and is priced much higher than the entry 10.2-inch iPad. The combination of the A15 processor, laminated display, P3 color gamut, and USB-C make this tablet more pro than standard.
The 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display is now longer and skinnier than the old models, offering a better gaming and media consumption experience. The iPad mini 5 had a more traditional 4:3 display, which caused some content to letterbox.
It has a 2266p by 1488p display at 326 pixels per inch. The laminated screen makes content appear closer to the surface, so using the Apple Pencil will feel more natural.
The flat-sided design brings about a few modern features for the iPad mini that previously weren't possible. For example, the Apple Pencil 2 can attach to the side for pairing and charging.
Another benefit of the flat-sided design is magnetic cases. While there isn't a smart connector for keyboard accessories, the iPad mini 6 still has a magnet system for attaching folio cases and other accessories.
Since the Apple Pencil is nearly the length of the iPad mini's long side, the volume buttons had to be relocated to the top. The side opposite the Apple Pencil docking point wouldn't work either because the buttons would interfere with magnetic cases like the Smart Folio.
Apple positions the iPad mini as a notepad-style device, not a laptop replacement like other iPad models. That means there's no official keyboard case, but that hasn't stopped third-party manufacturers from experimenting with the tiny device. Popular keyboard case maker, Brydge, has produced keyboards for the iPad mini before, and it likely will again.
The Wide camera on the iPad mini is a 12MP sensor with True Tone flash, Smart HDR 3, and 4K recording capabilities. It can take photos of similar quality to the iPad Air 4, but the A15 processor has a better image signal processor.
The real story with the iPad mini is its 12MP ultra-wide selfie camera. Thanks to the Center Stage function, the camera can now follow the user's face wherever it is in the frame.
Center Stage was introduced as a feature for the iPad Air 4, and it intelligently uses the wide angle of the camera to pan and fit your face or others as they enter the field of view. This keeps FaceTime calls centered on the user's face.
A15 Bionic Processor
The iPad mini 6 uses the same A15 processor as the iPhone 13. Early benchmarks show that the chip is slightly downclocked in the iPad mini, 2.9GHz versus 3.2GHz, but the effect on performance is negligible.
Apple says the A15 makes the new iPad mini 40% faster than its previous generation, and the Neural Engine is twice as fast. That translates to faster loading times in projects and better results for machine learning-based applications.
The GPU is 80% faster as well, making games and graphics applications run much better than before. Since its the 5-core GPU, it is using the same version found in the iPhone 13 Pro.
Apple doesn't update the iPad mini every year, so it opted for the top-of-the-line A-series processor to prevent premature aging out. The A15 Bionic is more than powerful enough to run any modern iPad app or game without any issue and will continue to do so for some time.
USB-C means more accessories are cross-compatible between your iPad mini and Mac. External SSDs, keyboards, docks, and more can be connected with this universal cable.
The USB 3.1 Gen 1 port supports up to 5GB/s data transfer and DisplayPort 1.2 video out to monitors.
There are 5G capabilities in the iPad mini that enable fast downloads over cellular. Apple didn't include the mmWave 5G bands, so users should expect only the sub-6GHz speeds.
Apple says the iPad mini has a 19.3 watt-hour battery that offers up to 10 hours of web surfing or watching videos. Battery drain results will depend on what applications are used throughout the day.
There are four color options: space gray, pink, purple, and starlight. Customers can purchase the 64GB option for $499 and the 256GB option for $649.
Adding 5G capabilities to the iPad mini 6 increases the cost by another $150 no matter the model chosen. Official Apple accessories include a color-matched Smart Folio for $59 or the Apple Pencil for $129.