The iPad mini line was first launched at the end of 2012 with the intention of offering a smaller, lighter iPad without compromising on the iPad experience. By and large, the iPad mini was well received but since its initial foray, its lack of big changes left many users asking for more. On the 24th of September 2021, those users were answered. The new iPad mini 6 has an updated design and a bevy of new features to refresh the previously ageing line-up. This brings the biggest changes to the iPad mini line-up since its release and below are just some of the new features:
All-new design & 8.3 inch screen
The iPad mini 6 ditches the home button and increases the screen size to 8.3 inches. TouchID is now integrated into the power button and while many might miss FaceID, the on-the-go use case of the smaller iPad makes TouchID much more appropriate in a masked-up world. The design is now consistent with the higher end iPads and while the bezels might be a bit thick, this reduces accidental touches on the screen and gives your fingers somewhere to grip onto the iPad, especially when holding it with one hand.
A15 Bionic chip
The A15 Bionic chip is the latest and greatest from Apple, ensuring that the iPad mini 6 is going to be future proofed for at least the next few years. Whether you’re using it to game, to create, or to work, the new A15 Bionic chip delivers the power you need.
Apple Pencil 2 support
The iPad mini 6 now has Apple Pencil 2 support and that means it adds another way to interact with your iPad. From making your next masterpiece to taking notes, the Apple Pencil 2 brings scribble, tilt and pressure sensitivity, and more features to enhance your iPad experience. However, it is worth noting that the iPad mini 6 has a 60Hz refresh rate so you do not get the buttery smooth experience you get with the 120Hz ProMotion screens.
Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector has been replaced by USB Type-C. This makes charging easier as many devices from other brands are now adopting USB Type-C. Having USB Type-C also enables the iPad mini 6 to take advantage of the variety of accessories on the market, from directly connecting cameras to plugging in instruments.
12MP front camera & Centre Stage
Apple’s new 12MP sensor brings the best iPad front-facing camera to the smallest iPad. Apart from the impressive clarity, the camera’s ultra-wide view enables the Centre Stage feature. By tracking people in the camera’s view and panning with their movements, Centre Stage makes your online presentations more engaging.
My first iPad was the iPad mini 2 and it was a great companion to my laptop. The small size made it easy to bring to lectures and easy to hold when watching videos on the sofa, but I found myself usually gravitating towards my laptop when I had to get work done. After many years, it was time to get a new iPad and I considered going up to the bigger ones. I had concerns as to whether the increase in size would be cumbersome and whether or not I would actually make use of it. However, in the several months I have had with the iPad Air 4, I have no regrets. The bigger screen makes it easier to multi-task with and I also find that it is much more capable of replacing my laptop for work. In recent years, the iPads have advanced so much that they can almost replace laptops in my opinion. Almost. However, the smaller size of the new iPad mini 6 will make it difficult from many people to be truly productive on it. As a consequence, I think many users will simply end up using it as a device for consuming content. That being said, it is great for consuming content.
However, the new iPad mini 6 starts at RM 2,299. And when you compare it to the RM 2,599 iPad Air 4 or the RM 1,499 iPad, it becomes a little less great. For people looking for productivity on the move, I don’t know if the ease of a smaller size makes up for the reduction in usability. For kids, the size is great but its power far surpasses their needs and its price might make most parents hesitant given the destructive tendencies of children. And for merely viewing content on the sofa, this iPad seems quite expensive if that is your only use. But if you are in that small niche that would not miss the added productivity of a larger screen and requires portability above all else, this new iPad mini 6 is a brilliant option that will last for many years to come. The iPad mini 6 is currently unavailable to purchase from Apple Malaysia but Apple’s specialists advise to keep an eye on their website for updates soon.
Rene Himpe is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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