Apple iPad mini 2021 evaluate: the most effective small pill will get beautiful revamp | iPad mini

Apple’s iPad mini will get its first complete overhaul with an all-new trendy design, larger display screen, sensible video name digital camera and many energy for 2021.

However being Apple’s smallest doesn’t make it the most affordable. The iPad mini begins at £479 ($499/$A749), sitting above the usual £319 iPad and beneath the £579 iPad Air.

That is the primary time for the reason that mini’s launch in 2012 that it has seen a giant bodily change, inheriting the flat sides, thinner bezels and “all-screen” design first launched with the iPad Professional in 2018 and which have been trickling down the order ever since.

The recycled aluminium physique feels extremely well-made and is just 6.3mm thick, which means the mini pill will slot in most luggage or perhaps a few again pockets. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The brand new mini is basically the 2020 iPad Air hit with a shrink ray. It has the identical dwelling button-less look, Contact ID fingerprint reader within the energy button, USB-C for energy and a fantastic set of stereo audio system, simply with a display screen that’s solely 8.9in on the diagonal in contrast with 10.9in on the Air.

The show is super-crisp and vivid, with wonderful viewing angles and low reflectivity, which makes utilizing it in direct mild simpler. It’s a pleasant measurement, about the identical as a Moleskine pocket book, and solely weighs 293g, which means you’ll be able to simply maintain it with one hand for studying, note-taking or watching video.

apple ipad mini 2021 review
The mini helps Apple’s second-generation Pencil stylus (£119), which clips to the aspect of the pill and makes it the best measurement for a paper notepad substitute. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


  • Display screen: 8.9in 2266×1488 Liquid Retina show (326ppi)

  • Processor: Apple A15 Bionic

  • RAM: 4GB

  • Storage: 64 or 256GB

  • Working system: iPadOS 15

  • Digital camera: 12MP rear and selfie cameras

  • Connectivity: wifi 6 (5G non-obligatory, eSim), Bluetooth 5, USB-C, Contact ID

  • Dimensions: 195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3mm

  • Weight: 293g (4G model: 297g)

High efficiency, 10-hour battery life

apple ipad mini 2021 review
Charging the pill with the included 20W USB-C energy adaptor takes one hour 42 minutes, hitting 50% in 43 minutes. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The iPad mini is without doubt one of the first units to ship with Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, alongside the iPhone 13. Benchmarking exhibits comparable processor efficiency to final yr’s A14 within the iPad Air, however with sooner graphics. As such, the iPad mini is without doubt one of the strongest tablets you should buy and performs excellently all spherical.

The battery lasts simply over 10 hours when watching streaming video over wifi or a mixture of looking, emailing and light-weight app use. Enjoying graphically intensive video games or streaming over 5G will cut back the battery life, nonetheless. That’s nonetheless greater than sufficient to get by way of a commute or most flights.


apple ipad mini 2021 review
The rear 12-megapixel digital camera is fairly good for a pill, however nonetheless can’t match an excellent smartphone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Apple doesn’t present an estimated lifespan for the iPad mini’s battery, however it may be changed for £99. Batteries in comparable units keep a minimum of 80% of their authentic capability for a minimum of 500 full cost cycles. The pill is mostly repairable, with the out-of-warranty service price being £326.44, which incorporates the display screen.

The pill has a 100% recycled aluminium physique, 100% recycled tin within the solder of its most important board, 96% recycled uncommon earth components, and a minimum of 35% recycled plastic utilized in a number of elements. Apple breaks down the pill’s environmental influence in its report.

Apple additionally provides trade-in and free recycling schemes, together with for non-Apple merchandise.

iPadOS 15

apple ipad mini 2021 review
Two apps side-by-side are nonetheless useable at this measurement of display screen, and quite a bit simpler to entry because of the additions made in iPadOS 15 this yr. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The iPad mini ships with iPadOS 15, which was launched on Monday. The brand new multitasking instruments are considerably simpler to make use of and, regardless of the small measurement of the display screen, make utilizing two apps side-by-side helpful for issues comparable to maintaining a tally of fantasy soccer whereas watching the sport.

The short notes characteristic can also be significantly helpful at this measurement, permitting you to jot down concepts or clip hyperlinks, as you would possibly with a paper pocket book.

However it’s the plentiful app library that units iPadOS above the competitors, with every thing from superior studying and note-taking apps to desktop-class photograph editors all obtainable even on the mini.

Apple offers very lengthy software program help for its tablets, with some fashions receiving greater than seven years of updates from launch, which means you’ll be able to safely use them for longer.

Centre stage digital camera

apple ipad mini 2021 review
The smart-framing selfie digital camera takes among the friction out of calls with most third-party video calling apps, not simply FaceTime. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The iPad mini has Apple’s gamechanging 12-megapixel computerized panning and zooming video name digital camera from this yr’s iPad Professional. It really works simply as properly, conserving you in body whether or not by yourself, in a gaggle or shifting round – a characteristic often discovered on high-end video convention options and some sensible shows.


apple ipad mini 2021 review
The quantity buttons change instructions whenever you rotate the pill in order that the highest or proper one at all times will increase the quantity. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • The display screen reveals just a little of the so-called “jelly scroll” impact when utilized in portrait orientation, an issue frequent to bigger touchscreen units the place one aspect of the display screen reacts sooner than the opposite whenever you drag your finger on it to scroll the web page.

  • The iPad mini doesn’t have a wise connector for attaching a keyboard or different equipment, however can nonetheless be used with Bluetooth or USB-C keyboards.

  • The bottom mannequin solely has 64GB of storage, which can be high quality in the event you principally stream content material and don’t set up a number of giant apps, however could also be tight if you wish to obtain a number of video or images.


The iPad mini begins at £479 ($499/$A749) with 64GB of storage, or £619 ($649/A$979) with 256GB. 5G fashions price a further £140 ($150/A$230).

For comparability, the ten.2in iPad prices £319, the iPad Air prices £579 and the iPad Professional prices from £749, Amazon’s Fireplace HD 8 prices £90, the Fireplace HD 10 prices £150, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 prices £519 and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 prices £1,599.


The iPad mini is no doubt the most effective small pill you should buy, however in contrast to most rivals at this measurement it’s not an inexpensive machine.

The display screen is superb and large enough to be usable for many issues regardless of the pill’s almost-pocketable measurement. It has a very highly effective chip, strong 10-hour battery life, USB-C and iPadOS with an enormous library of high quality apps. The Centre Stage digital camera is tremendous for video calls. It might probably even be used with the Apple Pencil, which turns it into a fantastic digital Moleskine pocket book substitute.

I’m certain the unique iPad mini’s many followers will love this reinvigorated model. It’s higher all spherical and constructed to final. However the cheaper, bigger 10.2in iPad provides way more on your cash, and the larger iPad Air is extra helpful as a pc substitute. That leaves the mini most fascinating for individuals who need a secondary note-taking pill or want the smallest iPad in space-constrained purposes the place a £90 Android pill received’t do.

Professionals: compact design, nice efficiency, 10-hour battery life, nice display screen, USB-C, iPadOS, loads of apps, nice audio system, nice mics, sensible video-call digital camera, very lengthy software program help, recycled aluminium.

Cons: costly, small measurement is cramped for some purposes, no sensible keyboard help, comparatively small storage on the beginning mannequin with no method so as to add extra.

apple ipad mini review
Video appears nice on the display screen and preferrred for the commute, however is finest watched hand-held given the scale moderately than propped up on the desk. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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