Apple revamps the iPad mini, gives the iPad 10.2 new chipset and front camera

Ro, 14 September 2021

Apple kicked off its hardware announcements today with iPads. Both the entry-level iPad 10.2 and iPad mini got new versions.

iPad 10.2 (2021)

The new 10.2-inch iPad is powered by the A13 Bionic promising 20% performance boost over the A12 Bionic in last year's model. The display size and bezels remain the same, but on the upside that means retained compatibility with accessories for the previous iPad 10.2, including the first gen Apple Pencil. And Apple did add the TrueTone feature to its entry-level tablet.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

Arguably the most important upgrade is the bump in the base storage, now the iPad starts at 64GB

The rear camera is the same, but Apple promises the new ISP in the upgraded chipset will somewhat enhance image quality. The front camera gets a proper upgrade and it's now got a 120-degree ultrawide lens and a 12MP sensor.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

The Gold option is no longer available but the Space Gray and Silver colors are still around starting at $329 for the Wi-Fi only model while the cellular variant starts at $459. You can order it right away with actual availability starting on September 24.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

iPad mini 6 (2021)

The iPad mini 6 got a lot more upgrades, starting with a totally overhauled design with flat edges and curved corners of the screen to bring it in line with the rest of the recently released iPads and iPhones.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

Retaining the same footprint as before, the new mini now offers a 8.3-inch display as opposed to 7.9 inches on the outgoing model. The home button with embedded Touch ID is gone with the fingerprint sensor moving over the power button.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

The TrueTone feature made it to the iPad mini 6, and its panel can reach a brightness of up to 500 nits.

For a more complete multimedia experience, Apple has included stereo speakers in landscape orientation as well.

The newer blocky design allows snapping the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) on the side using magnets.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

The new iPad mini employs the latest generation Apple A15 Bionic chipset with a whopping 40% jump in computational performance compared to the older iPad mini as well as 80% leap in GPU performance.

The diminutive table also received an upgraded 12MP main camera on the back with True Tone flash and wider f/1.8 aperture. The front front-facing got another 12MP sensor, this time behind ultrawide lens.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

The cullular version of the iPad mini was upgraded to 5G, while the Lightning port has finally been swapped for the far more universal USB-C port.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

The Wi-Fi only configuration starts at $499 while the cellular one is $649 for the base 64GB version. You can upgrade the storage up to 256GB

Pre-orders for the iPad mini 6 start today with actual shipments beginning September 24. The available colors are Space Gray, Pink, Purple and Starlight.

Apple upgrades the standard iPad, the iPad mini gets a bigger revamp

Naturally both new iPads will ship with the updated iPadOS 15 that now offers widgets on the home screen, the system-wide with Quick Notes, real-time translation with the Translate app, improved multi-tasking capabilities and notification filter called Focus.


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Reader comments

It's not "just above". Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro (128GB 5G) = $389, iPad mini (64GB 5G) = $699 and that's the US price, it'll be more expensive for the rest of the world

  • Hy

Oh, I don't expect a doubling of performance each year at all - my point was not that, it was that we shouldn't pretend that there are revolutionary gains where there are not. I'm not saying there should be revolutionary gains (in fac...

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