Not iPhone 13, the new iPad mini was the star of the show during Apple’s fall 2021 event held on Tuesday. The new redesigned tablet got a lot of attention last night, and it truly deserved all of it. In fact, the iPad mini got what Apple CEO Tim Cook called “its biggest upgrade ever”. It had come to a point where it appeared as if Apple would either remove the iPad mini from its current lineup or keep it alive with a bump in performance once in a while.
But Tuesday’s event proves that somewhere Apple feels that there is a distinct place for the iPad mini in the marketplace. Maybe the change has something due to remote work and learning trends. Even if we separate the iPad mini from the pandemic, it still got the right form factor that will appeal to a broad consumer base.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that you may have about the all-new iPad mini, along with the best and most current answers we can provide. The initial list of questions covers the tablet’s new and exciting features, its hardware specifications, and who should likely buy the new iPad mini.
What is the iPad mini?
The iPad mini, as the name suggests, is a tablet device designed by Apple. For years, the iPad mini has served a specific purpose and it worked wonderfully for Apple. The rationale behind the iPad mini is to have a compact-sized iPad that is a perfect fit for reading, web browsing, or note-taking. It is positioned uniquely but as the smartphone screen sizes increased, there has been a constant debate over whether we need a device like the iPad mini or not. Remember: the iPad mini was first released in 2012, when Apple used to sell an iPhone with 4-inch screen size.
Can you tell me more about the new iPad mini?
Sure! The iPad mini has seemed somewhat neglected by Apple when every iPad in the company’s lineup has been frequently updated. In fact, the mini’s 9.7-inch display has remained the same size since the first model made its debut way back in 2012. But Apple has finally made changes to its mini tablet with a major redesign while still maintaining the compact form factor. This includes a complete upgrade with a thinner design that can be gripped in your hand and has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display. The new model is a fresh take on the concept of the iPad mini, which is perfect for smaller hands and for travel. Basically, a miniature version of iPad Air 4.
Does the new iPad mini have a miniLED display?
Contrary to rumours, the new iPad mini does not feature a mini-LED display, the one found on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The new small tablet sports a regular Liquid Retina display, which offers 500 nits of brightness, P3 Wide Color, and True Tone. It also has an anti-reflective screen coating for less glare and is a fully laminated display.
What processor does the new iPad mini come with?
The new iPad mini is powered by the all-new A15 Bionic chip with a 6-core CPU, a 5-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. From the technical point of view, the A15 Bionic allows for 40 per cent faster performance in terms of raw CPU, while GPU performance will jump 80 per cent over the previous generation. The surprise element here is the use of the A15 Bionic over previous generation processors in the new iPad mini. The A15 Bionic also powers the latest iPhone 13 lineup.
Does the new iPad mini use Apple’s proprietary Lightning port?
No. Similar to the iPad Pro and iPad Air, the new iPad mini comes with USB-C support. The new connector enables up to 5Gbps data transfer and also allows you to hook up all sorts of accessories, ranging from 4K displays to external storage.
The new iPad mini does not come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Is it true?
Yes. The new Mini does not come with a 3.5mm audio jack. Therefore, if you want to use wired headphones with your tablet, you are going to need a pair of USB-C headphones.
Does the new iPad mini support FaceID?
No. Like the iPad Air 4, the new iPad mini has no home button but features the TouchID which has been moved to the power button. Yes, it still has no FaceID.
Does the new iPad mini support Apple Pencil 2?
Yes. The second-generation Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to the iPad and charges wirelessly. Mind you, the Apple Pencil 2 does not come inside the retail box. Users have to purchase the Apple Pencil separately for Rs 10,900.
What colours is the new iPad mini available in?
The new iPad mini comes in space gray, pink, purple, and starlight colors.
What storage capacities is the new iPad mini available in?
64GB and 256GB.
The new iPad mini supports 5G. Can I take advantage of this in India?
No. Although the iPad mini supports 5G, the Indian variant will only offer 4G/LTE speeds. This is because no network operator, including Jio and Airtel, currently offers 5G services in India.
Does the new iPad mini come with stereo speakers?
What version of iOS does the new iPad mini come with?
I heard the new iPad mini supports Apple’s smart camera feature. Is it true?
Yes. Apple’s smart camera, Center Stage, is coming to the iPad mini. The feature essentially utilises the ultra-wide camera on the front of the iPad by tracking your face as you move around the frame. Because the 12MP front camera on the iPad mini has a larger field of view, even if you stand up or move around, the new smart camera feature will keep you in the center of the frame. The best part is you can use Center Stage in third-party video-calling apps, like Zoom.
When is the new iPad mini India launch date?
The new iPad mini was announced on September 14 with pre-orders already open in select countries. The tablet will hit retail shelves in India from October 1.
How much do I have to shell out for the new iPad mini?
The iPad mini starts at Rs 46,900 for Wi-Fi-only models and Rs 60,900 for Wi-Fi + Cellular configurations.
How do I get the new iPad mini?
The iPad mini is available directly from Apple’s India store as well as from authorized Apple resellers online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Why does the iPad mini still matter and who should buy it?
Good question. The iPad mini still makes a lot of sense. Think about students who want an easy-breezy compact tablet for attending online classes or web browsing. Sure, the iPad Pro is pitched as the replacement for your laptop but the new iPad mini is better suitable for taking notes while on the move. Apple is not going after the laptop market with the iPad mini. Rather, the iPad mini is pitched as a secondary computing device yet offers the full iPad experience. Journalists might find the new iPad mini useful for many reasons. You just cannot ignore the iPad mini’s upgraded hardware, all-day battery life, and its lightweight design is second to none. And yes, the compatibility with the Apple Pencil 2 is a big win.
What are the competitors to the new iPad mini?
None. Apple is the only company that offers a powerful compact premium tablet with stylus support. You can get the Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra and Surface Duo — both featuring stylus compatibility– they don’t come close to what the iPad mini has to offer. Samsung also offers the Galaxy Z Fold 3 with the S Pen support but it cost double the price of the iPad mini.