Apple iPad mini test This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on all sales we generate from it. Learn more
It’s been a quiet few years for iPad mini fans. The smallest tablet in the iPad range has not seen a design update since the first model was launched in 2013. But that changed in 2021 when Apple unveiled an almighty update with faster heads, improved cameras, and support for the doodle screen with the latest, second-generation Apple Pencil. And that’s not even the best.
The new iPad mini has been completely redesigned with a new look
Just like the iPad Air last year, the brand new iPad mini features a new all-screen design that pushes the display to the edge of the aluminum case. To make room for all of that extra screen, Apple removed the iconic home button from the front of the tablet.
Combined with a range of fun new colors to choose from, the iPad mini seems to be back with a bang. But the big question is, should you let off steam and buy one?
Express.co.uk has tested the iPad mini for the past week and the answer is a resounding YES!
Right out of the box, the new design of the iPad mini looks really fabulous and it’s hard not to fall in love right away. The new pastel colors, similar to the hues we saw on the brand new iMac and iPad Air designs, bring the new aluminum case up to date, and that edge-to-edge design means you now have a bigger 8.3 -Inch liquid maintain retina screen without increasing the overall size of the tablet.
To show the difference those chunky old bezels made, the previous iPad mini only managed to squeeze a 7.9-inch screen into the same floor space. So you don’t have to worry about the iPad mini losing its “mini” status despite the big new screen. If you are not sure whether you want a smaller tablet, you should compare and check the 8.3-inch iPad mini with the 10.9-inch iPad Air and the 10.2-inch iPad in an Apple store whether he has more space for himself Multitasking with apps and bingeing box sets on the go.
The new Liquid Retina Panel continues to benefit from Apple’s True Tone System, which adjusts the color temperature on the screen according to the lighting around you. There’s also now an important anti-reflective coating that makes it easier to view content outdoors in bright sunlight.
These are all brilliant upgrades, though it’s worth noting that the Liquid Retina display on the iPad mini doesn’t quite compare to the stunning Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED backlighting on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro or the gorgeous OLED Panels on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 are up to date.
Under the hood of the iPad mini is the latest A15 Bionic processor, which makes this tablet over 40 percent faster than its predecessor. There’s also a new 5-core graphics engine that offers an 80 percent increase in performance when editing photos and playing games on this palm-sized device.
The Touch ID scanner sits on top of the new iPad mini
It’s impressive that this tablet now contains a more powerful chip than the more expensive iPad Air!
You honestly won’t find anything this device can’t handle and the efficiency of the A15 Bionic also ensures that the battery life stays competitive. We found that you have around 10 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough for the long haul flight ahead when we all travel again.
Other features worth mentioning include a fast Touch ID fingerprint scanner that sits in the power button on the top of the tablet and unlocks the screen in a flash. The iPad mini switches from Apple’s own lighting connection to USB-C, which means that file transfers from accessories such as cameras are faster than before. It also means you can charge the iPad mini with the same charging cable you use on your MacBook Air, Nintendo Switch, and Android flagship. Annoyingly, your iPhone and AirPods still have the older lighting cable … so you’ll need to pack both of them when planning a trip.
You can also buy the Mini with 5G connectivity. This new network technology allows you to stream movies and shows at speeds in excess of 300Mbps – about five times the average UK broadband connection.
Apple iPad mini test
Finally, if you enjoy taking photos and movies on your tablet, you will find that the Mini has an upgraded camera that can record in 4K and produce sharper photos. The front-facing selfie snapper also features Apple’s clever “Center Stage” technology that uses AI to follow your face as you move around the room. Basically, this means you’ll always stay in shape while making FaceTime calls.
These are the best features of the new iPad mini, but is there anything wrong with them?
In our time with the new tablet, we encountered a few minor things, including the fact that there is no wireless charging. The size of the iPad mini would have made it perfect to take advantage of Apple’s amazing new MagSafe technology. But unfortunately, this system that uses magnets to ensure your wireless charger never slips is not present on this new iPad mini or any other Apple tablet.
The volume buttons have also been placed on the top of the tablet to leave enough room for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil to snap into place on the side for charging iPad mini in portrait mode.
The iPad mini gets the latest A15 Bionic processor
Another minor annoyance is that Apple is only releasing 64GB and 256GB storage options with the new iPad mini. The latest iPhone models all come with a minimum of 128GB, which is suitable for any device that can record 4K video. So it’s a real shame the iPad mini hasn’t followed up with a similar upgrade on its storage. If you are thinking of buying an iPad mini, you will likely have to put up the extra to switch to 256GB.
Finally, there’s the price, because the new Mini isn’t exactly cheap. The entry-level model costs £ 479 and that increases to a whopping £ 749 if you opt for the 5G model with 256GB of storage. That’s before you added a £ 59 or £ 119 Apple Pencil case. Ouch.
The iPad mini is now available in several colors
Apple iPad mini test: conclusion
ADVANTAGES – Great design • Stunning 8.2-inch screen • Support for the new Apple Pencil • A15 Bionic is a powerhouse
DISADVANTAGE – Can get expensive • No MagSafe compatibility • Starts with a measly 64 GB of storage
The iPad mini is back with an almighty – and long overdue – upgrade. If you love your current iPad mini, let yourself be inspired by the brand new design.
There is no denying that this new tablet looks absolutely sensational and that is exactly what many mini fans have been waiting for. The bigger screen, new colors, and faster processor make this a huge upgrade over its predecessor and we can see it fly off the shelves at launch.
There are a few minor flaws including no MagSafe wireless charging compatibility and this high price tag. It’s also worth noting that Apple didn’t release a Magic Keyboard accessory for the new iPad mini, so you won’t be able to turn it into a mini laptop unlike the Pro models.
However, the new iPad mini has got us pretty excited, and if you want a tiny tablet in your life, you won’t find anything better.