Apple iPad mini 2021 review: the most Pro of its line

Again Apple has revealed a renewed Apple iPad mini 2021. The sixth generation of Apple iPad mini represents a real revolution in terms of its design and format, which must be said, it had not evolved since the iPad mini 4 that Apple launched no less than in September 2015, but also due to its characteristics. Now more than a “mini” version of the classic iPad, Apple could have called it the iPad Pro mini and it would not have fooled anyone.

Apple iPad mini 2021 Specifications

OSiPadOS 15
Screen8.3-inch LED-backlit Liquid Retina MultiTouch with IPS technology. Compatible Apple Pencil 2nd generation
Resolution2,266 x 1,488 pixels at 326 p / p
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture
Memory4GB
Storage64 or 256 GB
Frontal camera12MP ultra-wide angle, f / 2.4 aperture and 122º field of view
Rear camera12 Mpx wide angle and f / 1.8 aperture. Digital zoom up to x5
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11ax (6th generation) / Bluetooth 5.0 / 5G on WiFi + Cellular models (Nano SIM and eSIM card)
PortsUSB-C port compatible with: charging, DisplayPort and USB 3 Gen 1.
Battery19.3 watt hour / 5,124mAh Lithium Polymers
Dimensions19.54 x 13.48 x 0.63 cm
WeightWiFi model: 293 grams / WiFi + Cellular model: 297 grams
ColorsSpace gray, pink, purple and star white
Box contentsiPad mini, USB-C charging cable (1 meter) and 20W USB-C power adapter
PriceFrom 549 dollars (WiFi model) and 719 dollars (WiFi + Cellular model)

Straight line design

The sixth-generation iPad mini has the same design as the iPad Pro 2021 or the iPhone 13, but not only does it show an evolution with its straight lines and rounded corners, it is smaller and less heavy than the previous generation, although it achieves that the diagonal your screen is larger: it goes from 7.9 inches to 8.3 inches.

If the 5th generation iPad mini had dimensions of 20.32 x 13.48 x 0.61 cm and a weight of 300.5 grams in the WiFi model (308.2 grams in the WiFi + Cellular), the new iPad mini 2021 reduces its height to 19.54 cm and only increases the thickness by 2 mm, but it also “loses weight” to 293 grams in the WiFi model and 297 grams in the WiFi + Cellular model.

The consequence of this is that the iPad mini is very easy to hold even with one hand, so that we can work with great comfort with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil while holding it in a vertical format (as can be seen in the image above ).

The Apple iPad mini 2021 next to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Although the iPad mini is obviously taller (19.54 cm vs. 16.08 cm) and wider (13.48 cm vs. 7.81 cm), its thickness is less (0.63 cm vs. 0.76 cm) and the difference in weight is not striking: 293 grams of the WiFi model of the iPad mini 2021 compared to 238 grams of the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Here we do see a large difference in size between the 12.9-inch screen of the iPad Pro 2021 versus the screen of the 8.3-inch iPad mini 2021, but in terms of design and format they are very similar.

Apple iPad mini 2021
Apple iPad Mini 2021

When comparing the renewed iPad 2021 with a 10.2-inch screen and fingerprint recognition (Touch ID) on its front, it is when we really appreciate the change in design that this iPad mini 2021 has brought about.

As can be seen in the images, the frame size of the iPad mini has been substantially reduced, thus allowing it to grow from the 7.9 inches of the previous generation to the 8.3 inches of its current screen, but also the fingerprint recognition button, the well-known Touch ID, which is now no longer on the screen.

And where has Touch ID gone? At the top right, where we find the power button, which is also provided with this Touch ID sensor so that, once we have added our fingerprint (we can do it with up to five fingers), we enter the iPad without having to enter any Unlock code, as well as perform other actions such as installing apps or paying with Apple Pay, for example.

A question that many people ask is why Apple has not included Face ID (facial recognition) in the iPad mini 2021, as it does in the iPhone 13 and the iPad Pro. We do not have an answer for this absence, although it seems that it is the type of feature that Apple sometimes saves for future versions.

The Smart Folio can be folded so that the iPad mini 2021 lays flat for work. In addition, in the image you can see how the 2nd generation Apple Pencil is “glued” to the right side not only to always have it at hand, especially so that when it is magnetically coupled we can charge or link it.

The iPad mini 2021 is sold in four different colors (space gray, pink, purple or star white) and has as a perfect complement the Smart Folio protective case, which is sold for 65 euros in English lavender, electric orange (the one you see in the image above), dark cherry, black and white, as well as the aforementioned 2nd generation Apple Pencil, which is priced at 135 dollars.

The last design detail worth noting is its new horizontally optimized sound stereo speakers. They are located at the top between the volume buttons and the Power / Touch ID button, as well as at the bottom, on both sides of the USB-C connector.

As for the screen, an 8.3-inch (21.08 cm) diagonal LED-backlit Liquid Retina with IPS technology is not that of the iPad Pro 2021, but it is another of its strengths thanks to its 2,266 x 1,488 326 dpi pixels, 500 nits brightness, oil-repellent anti-fingerprint coating, True Tone technology and wide color gamut (P3) that reduces reflectance to a minimum to deliver vivid colors and sharp text.

Chip A15 Bionic

As in the four iPhone 13 models, Apple has decided to include in the iPad mini 2021 the A15 Bionic chip, a microprocessor with 5 nanometer technology, 6-core CPU (2 high-performance and another 4 focused on efficiency) and the 16-core Neural Engine capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second.

In addition, its GPU is 5 cores and is accompanied by a 4 GB RAM. The consequence is that the iPad mini 2021 has such a powerful chip that it increases the performance achieved by the previous model by 40%, while its graphics engine achieves up to 80% more performance for tasks such as editing photos and videos., the execution of games or the experiences that we can live thanks to Augmented Reality.

Regarding its battery, Apple speaks of 10 hours of autonomy, but for example tom’s guide tests improve this figure to 10 hours and 56 minutes in its constant web browsing test (via WiFi) at 150 nits.

Camera system

Apple iPad Mini 2021 camera
Daytime photo taken with the iPad mini 2021.

Although it can be argued that the rear camera is not one of the differentiating characteristics in an iPad, the size, format and weight of the iPad mini 2021 does lend itself to taking advantage of it, and it must be said that Apple has done a good job in this regard..

Apple iPad Mini 2021
Daytime photo taken with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The rear camera has a 12 Mpx wide angle and f / 1.8 aperture with digital zoom of up to x5, a five-element lens, True Tone flash with four LEDs, autofocus with Focus Pixels and automatic image stabilization. In addition, for the first time on the iPad mini we can record 4K video at 24, 25, 30 or 60 f / s.

iPad mini 6 camera
Daytime photo taken with the iPad mini 2021.

The result of Apple’s good work is evident in the following photographs taken with the iPad mini 2021, comparing them to a “giant” in this regard such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Where we do find substantial differences is in the photographs taken at night (logical on the other hand).

iPad mini 2021
Night photo taken with the iPad mini 2021.

Regarding its front camera or FaceTime HD, it has an ultra-wide angle of 12 Mpx and a field of view of 122º with aperture f / 2.4, as well as video recording in 1080p HD at 25, 30 or 60 f / s and video in time- lapse with stabilization.

iPad Mini 6 camera
Night photo taken with the iPad mini 2021.

The most important thing about the FaceTime HD camera is the new “Centered Framing” feature that takes advantage of the ultra wide angle and Machine Learning to place us in the center of the image when we are making video calls. If we move, it will automatically adjust the frame so that we are not out of sight and zoom out or in as needed when other people join or leave the call. In addition, this functionality is available in FaceTime, but also in other video conferencing systems such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, Webex, etc.

Conclusions

Although since July was known that Apple had very advanced sixth generation of its iPad mini, let it not surprised to come out on stage during the launch event of the new family iPhone 13.

I have always been a big advocate of the mini format, but with this latest renovation it seems to me that Apple has an almost perfect product. It is true that it will never be a best seller like the classic iPad or even the iPad Air, but it complements the range of Apple tablets, without a doubt the most complete on the market.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the analysis, the new iPad mini 2021 could well be called iPad Pro mini and for that reason we would not be detracting from the Pro family, just the opposite. Its format, A15 Bionic processor, screen, autonomy, compatibility with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil and the arrival of 5G connectivity make this new iPad mini the most Pro of its entire lineage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *