The smallest Apple tablet finally got the biggest update in almost a decade. The new iPad Mini, which was unveiled at the company’s virtual event on Tuesday, looks almost unrecognizable to its 2019 predecessor. We’re talking about thinner bezels, Touch ID, a 5G connection and even a USB-C port.
Starting at $ 499 for the base model, the sixth-generation iPad Mini will be presented in an array of fun colors, including purple, pink and what Apple calls a “starlight,” the color of champagne. If you like more muted tones, you can also choose the traditional Space Gray. It is currently available for pre-order and shipping next week.
But the most amazing change is that it is very similar to a very large iPhone. There is no home button, the TouchID moves to the power button at the top, and the screen takes up almost the entire face of the device.
If you’ve lined up every previous iPad Mini, you’d have noticed that apart from some changes to the camera, the hardware has remained largely intact for years.
Enter the 2021 iPad Mini, which looks completely redesigned. On the front, the Liquid Retina display (with a brightness of 500 nits) is increased from 7.9 inches (as seen in the 2019 version) to 8.3 inches. Instead of tight bezels around, there is now a screen that comes almost from edge to edge – even from below, as there is no home button.
Apple has also updated the cameras with a 12-megapixel sensor at the back, complete with a larger aperture (for sharper photos) and an improved flash to enhance photos in low light. The front panel features a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and Apple has added the Center Stage feature, which was previously exclusive to the iPad Pro. The feature automatically keeps you in the frame while driving a video call.
And yes, this Lightning connector has gone in favor of the USB-C port. The new Mini also comes with second-generation Apple Pencil support. Instead of connecting it to the Lightning port (as in the previous first-generation Mini and Apple Pencil), it automatically connects to the Mini and is magnetically mounted on the side, where it charges via a wireless network.
Just like the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air models, the iPad Mini also has 5G connectivity support. In essence, 5G is built to provide less latency and higher download speeds than 4G LTE.
But the iPad Mini is not everything only Apple’s iPad announced. The company also unveiled its new ninth-generation iPad. Starting at $ 329, it has a built-in A13 Bionic chip, on-screen support for Apple’s True Tone environmental color adjustment technology, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide front camera with Center Stage for video.
Like the new Mini, the iPad is now available for pre-order and shipping next week.
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