Hands-on review of the new iPad Mini (2021)


The iPad mini has been neglected for many years now, with Apple favoring a spec bump here and there for a complete upgrade. But for 2021, in contrast to the most notable changes to the entry-level iPad, Apple has redesigned the iPad Mini to make it compatible with the rest of its tablet offerings.

We spent six days testing the new iPad mini and here’s the answer to this question: Who is this tiny tablet that has just surpassed the iPhone 13 Pro Max in terms of size?

Portability with power

The iPad Mini is the ideal device for anyone who wants a super-portable tablet that doesn’t leave performance for size.

Who is it for: The iPad Mini is the ideal device for anyone who wants a super-portable tablet that doesn’t leave performance for size.

What you want to know: Although the iPad mini has an 8.3-inch smaller screen, it is in some ways as powerful as the iPad, iPad Air and even the iPad Pro. The size of the screen puts some limitations on multitasking, though, and the device doesn’t feature a smart connector for easy accessory attachment.

How it compares: In terms of head-to-head usage, the iPad mini surpasses other smaller tablets like the Fire 7 and Fire HD8 in terms of runtime and faster experience across the board-apps open faster and content looks better. Compared to other iPads, the iPad Mini has faster hair than the Ninth Zen and is equal to the iPad Air for most tasks. You may feel a bit more limited on the 8.3-inch screen as opposed to the 10.3-inch or 11-inch, though, especially when trying to use two apps at once.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

The iPad mini is almost ridiculously portable. .3..3 inch tablets can be easily held in one hand. It is quite impressive and will not put pressure on your hand (or arm) while using. And let’s address the elephant in the room: it costs a lot more than a Fire HD8 or Fire7, but it does the business of building a beautiful plastic for a much higher finish.

Like the iPhone 13 or iPad Air, the markings for the antenna bands are flat and smooth aluminum if you have a cellular unit. The top of the device features Touch ID when held vertically (or when held horizontally to the left), with speakers, volume up and volume down and power buttons. And while there is a minimal bezel that can fit the TruePath sensor for Face ID, Apple has decided to choose Touch ID just like the iPad Air. The fingerprint sensor is basically stuck to the power button and ends with a piece of frosted glass. Adding one or two fingerprints was really quite quick and it has been great to use. We don’t miss the home button on the iPad mini at all – it’s thus a more functional design. Regardless of how you hold the tablet, it is in a pretty good place.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

Below the tablet is another key change: the USB-C port. The Apple-owned Lightning port is gone from this device, and it opens the door to interaction for the iPad mini. You can plug in an external drive or a universally acceptable dongle to transfer data. The real win, though, is that it lets you clear how many chargers you need to bring with you. The box with a 20-watt wall plug contains a USB-C to USB-C cable. And with the iPad mini getting USB-C, it leaves the Ninth-General iPad as the only tablet that sticks to the Lightning port.

With a 12 megapixel camera, the back of the tablet is quite clean and it eliminates the possibility of a mini rest flat by itself.

The iPad Mini is available in four colors: Purple, Pink, Starlight (Silver) and Space Gray.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

The original star is an 8.3-inch liquid retina display. In our experiments, the colors were a little more vibrant than the previous iPad mini and were accurate with deep contrast points. In fact, the display performance is compatible with the iPad Air. The images look realistic, and when a video is taken, the content flows naturally across the display.

Another area of ​​improvement for the display is the use of Apple Pencil in it – compared to the previous iPad mini, there is less delay and handwriting flows more realistically on the digital screen.

It’s a second-generation Apple pencil, though, and it can be magnetically attached to the right side of the device. Not only does this make it easier to hold both devices together, but the iPad mini will also wirelessly charge the Apple Pencil.

The bezels here don’t bother us at all, and, if anything, we’ve found to give them some more space to hold their iPad mini. With a small device just 7.69 inches long and 5.3 inches wide, you need enough room to hold it and use it effectively.

And the top (when held vertically) packs all the important 12-megapixel front-facing cameras, which also power the Face ID and True Depth sensors. It comes with its center stage functionality, which makes the iPad mini a perfect tool for video calls and content capture. While in FaceTime or video call, your face will be framed and slightly zoomed in. If you get up for a walk or a drink, it will remove the pan and keep you in the frame.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

The iPad mini rejects the common notion that a smaller device is associated with fewer features or less power.

The iPad mini is powered by Apple-made A15 bionic processor একই the same iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. It can handle work applications like Slack, Outlook, Word (really, the whole office suite), Photoshop, management system and even spreadsheets. Tested side by side with the iPad Air and even the 11-inch iPad Pro, it is almost identical with all these original functions. It is capable in such a way that not many other small tablets. A Fire HD 7 or Fire HD 8 probably cannot handle the entire production of a movie or edit images in the same vein.

We’ll call out that Apple isn’t releasing a Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard for the iPad Mini – and that’s a bit disappointing, because we think it’s an unnecessary possibility. The iPad mini has a lot of power and can be a nice, super-portable way to finish paperwork, email or general chores. You can use Bluetooth to connect a keyboard and even a trackpad, but in one case it would feel like putting this device together more. Apple did not include smart connectors in the design here.

You can also feel free to multitask, although knowing that choosing to go to the split screen gives you a small amount of space with each task. In our view, we like to see the iPad mini like the original iPad that it allows you to focus on getting a job done.

The 8.3-inch display and the overall size of the iPad mini makes it great for use. Catching up on “Ted Lasso”, returning to “The Morning Show” or even back to “Lizzie McGuire” (we have a wide range of tastes) was a pleasure of this size for this device. It is easy enough for a car ride to travel by train or to be seen lying on the bed or sofa. Yes, we will admit that it was our hardcore testing and even a mild tablet hurts when it falls on your face while sleeping.

Its screen size and overall build is similar to the Nintendo Switch, and gaming on the iPad mini is a fun time. We tried an initial demo of Catalyst Black (a Fortnight-like title coming in the coming weeks), which ran like a champ on the device. The same is true of real flight simulators, which can sometimes leave graphics in a glossy state. We had a clear virtual vision line while flying, and the Mini Metro was a pretty comfortable way to end the day creating an underground railway setup. The processor inside is enough for almost any gaming title that you can play locally on an iPad.

The point is: the size is great for reading a book digitally as well as viewing or attracting content. It’s really a caching device that aims to be a jack-of-all-trades iPad of an ultra-portable size.

Throw size out of the equation and the iPad mini is just as powerful as almost every other iPad. In fact, it surpassed the iPad Air and the Ninth-General iPad in our quality tests. And similar to our experience on the iPhone 13, the A15 makes an efficient chip. Apple promised 10 hours of playback and we surpassed that in our battery test. In this test, we set the brightness to 50% and run a video in a loop until the device dies. We turned off all connectivity and monitored it with two cameras for redundancy. The iPad mini lasted 10 hours 45 minutes.

Like the iPad Pro last spring, Apple is adding 5G support to the cellular models of the iPad mini. It is somewhat captured here as one of the core values ​​of 5G in the United States, although supported here.

The iPad Mini supports the Sub-65 5G, which is more widespread across the country across AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. It’s not the 5G’s super-fast standard, though এটি it’s mmWave, and it’s exclusive to the iPad Pro in Apple’s tablet lineup.

Somewhat though, it’s realistic for Apple, as you may not be in the market for 5G MMW, but the Sub-6 is more likely to be nationwide. When using cellular on the iPad mini and connected to 5G, you can expect speeds like 4G LTE at 100 to 300 Mbps. The real bonus of using a sub-6 5G network is that there is more space in the network.

Cellular is not standard on any iPad, and it charges an extra $ 150 if you want it.

There’s a lot to like about the iPad mini – it has a vibrant display and a processor that works extremely well and it really lets you do what the iPad can do … with some size limitations. Multitasking can be a little tricky, and there isn’t a dedicated keyboard case.

You really have to be down for size and looking for an ultra-portable solution. And if you own a previous iPad mini, this is probably the model you’ve been waiting for.

If you’re new to the iPad, it’s a good idea to consider the options. For another 100 100 you can score the iPad Air, which has the same features and a smart connector for easy accessory attachment. For less, the $ 329 iPad is a more basic device but capable of doing much of the same without a serious loss of performance.

Apple’s iPad mini is now available for order – priced at 4 499 – and will start arriving on September 24.

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