The new iPad mini (2021) has been announced by Apple at its September 14 iPhone 13 launch event.
What’s new with the new mini? Quite a lot actually. There’s a Liquid Retina 8.3-inch display offering up to 500 nits of brightness, Touch ID in the lock button, an A13 Bionic chipset, a 40% CPU and 80% GPU upgrade, and a USB-C port. And, of course, there’s 5G connectivity, making the iPad mini feel more like a tiny iPad Air.
The rear camera has been upgraded to 12MP and f/1.8, and it can record video in 4K, while the front-facing camera has been upgraded to a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with a 122-degree field of view, and gets the Center Stage feature found on the iPad Pro and the new iPad (2021).
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s next tiny iPad
- When is it out? Pre-order September 14, released on the 24th
- How much will it cost? Starts at $499
New iPad Mini 2021 release date and price
The iPad Mini 6 was revealed during the iPhone 13 reveal event on September 14, and it’ll be on sale around the world on September 24, though you can already order it from the Apple website.
You can see all the prices for the new iPad Mini models below, in both the 64GB and 256GB storage sizes, and the Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi and cellular options. Note that last time, the Mini came in 32GB or 128GB options, so storage is doubled.
|Connectivity & storage||US Price||UK Price||AU Price|
|Wi-Fi & 64GB||$499||£479||$749|
|LTE & 64GB||$649||£619||$979|
|Wi-Fi & 256GB||$649||£619||$979|
|LTE & 256GB||$799||£759||$1,209|
Design and display
The iPad Mini is the smallest iPad in the company’s range, but it does have a larger screen than previous iterations in this series. The screen is 8.3 inches, and it’s a Liquid Retina display that offers 500 nits of brightness.
The resolution is 2266 x 1488 which results in a pixel-per-inch count of 326. It’s a True Tone display like iPad Pros, which means it changes color slightly in different settings to make the screen look the same, and supports a P3 wide color gamut – that basically means it shows a wide range of colors.
The iPad Mini comes in Purple, Pink, and Space Gray finishes, along with a cream-like color that Apple is calling Starlight.
There’s a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the top button of the device, a feature we first saw Apple use on the iPad Air 4. This replaces the outdated home button on the front, which the last iPad Mini had.
The tablet uses a USB-C port, not Lightning like older iPad Minis, which shows that Apple is finally emerging from the Stone Age (as USB-C is the industry standard). This should ensure faster powering and data transfers.
Specs and performance
The iPad Mini 2021 uses the A15 Bionic chipset, which is also in the iPhone 13 series. According to Apple, this will include a 40% faster CPU and an 80% faster GPU than previous iterations of the device.
The tablet will connect to 5G networks as well as 4G if you buy the cellular model, while if you opt for the Wi-Fi only model you’ll only be able to connect to the internet over Wi-Fi.
There are stereo speakers on the tablet, which should be useful for people who play music or watch videos without headphones.
We’ve yet to find out how big the battery is, but Apple says the new iPad Mini (2021) will offer “10 hours of surﬁng the web on Wi‑Fi or watching video” which is pretty vague. It’s unlikely that we’ll know much about what the battery can do until we try out the new tablet, but we do know charging is 20W using the USB-C port.
The new iPad mini will come running iPadOS 15 software, which is Apple’s iPad-centric spin on iOS 15.
Apple has confirmed that the Apple Pencil 2 will work with this tablet – the iPad Air and Pro are also compatible with this stylus, which clips to the top of the tablet for wireless charging.
The new iPad mini has a 12MP rear camera with an f/1.9 aperture, True Tone flash and smart HDR features. According to Apple this shoots 4K video if, for whatever reason, you want to shoot this high-res video using a tablet.
The big camera upgrades come on the front, where there’s a 12MP ultra-wide camera with 122-degree field of view. The new mini also gets the Center Stage feature from iPad Pro 2021, with the camera tracking you to keep you in the frame when you’re on a video call.