Hands-On With the New iPad Mini 6

Apple last week launched an updated version of the iPad mini, which has been entirely overhauled with an iPad Air-like design. The new mini is basically a smaller version of the iPad Air, and we thought we'd check it out and share first impressions after 48 hours with the little tablet.


With an 8.3-inch display, the ‌iPad mini‌ has a bigger screen size than ever before, but it's actually a touch less tall than the prior-generation version thanks to much slimmer bezels and the removal of the Home button.

ipad mini 3
Since there's no Home button, the ‌iPad mini‌ uses a Touch ID power button, which works well. It's just like the ‌Touch ID‌ power button on the ‌iPad Air‌, and it's identical to the ‌Touch ID‌ Home buttons we used for years before Apple started the transition to Face ID. It's quick and hassle-free, though it does take some getting accustomed to if you're used to ‌Face ID‌.

ipad mini 4
Design wise the ‌iPad mini‌ also looks like a little version of the ‌iPad Air‌ with the same squared-off edges, plus it adopts USB-C, which is useful if you want to connect peripherals or charge using the same cable you use for your MacBook. Apple also made the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 in new colors like pink, purple, starlight (a silver/gold) and space gray.

ipad mini 5
The size and weight of the ‌iPad mini‌ feel great in the hand, and it's the perfect size for reading or playing games on the go. It's equipped with the same A15 chip that's in the iPhone 13 Pro, with 5-core GPU included, so it's second in speed only to the M1 iPad Pro.

If you're used to devices like the ‌iPad Pro‌ or even the new ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌, the ‌iPad mini‌'s display might disappoint. It's not mini-LED like the ‌iPad Pro‌ and it doesn't support ProMotion so there are no 120Hz refresh rates.

ipad mini 6
The rear camera technology is mediocre and hasn't really seen an update, but it's using a new 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front-facing camera that supports Center Stage, Apple's FaceTime feature. Center Stage is meant to keep you in the frame even when you walk around, and it works for ‌FaceTime‌, Zoom, and other video apps.

ipad mini 7
You can use the Apple Pencil 2 with the ‌iPad mini‌, and to make a space to charge it on the side, Apple moved the volume buttons to the top of the tablet. This can take some getting used to, but it's an acceptable change to get ‌Apple Pencil‌ 2 support. The prior-generation ‌iPad‌ supported the original ‌Apple Pencil‌, but the second-generation version is more feature rich and has a much better charging and connection method.

ipad mini 8
Though there's ‌Apple Pencil‌ support, Apple has not, unfortunately, designed a little Magic Keyboard for the ‌iPad mini‌ so there's no Apple-created keyboard option. You can probably find a third-party keyboard, but it's definitely disappointing not to have a mini Apple keyboard to work with.

The ‌iPad mini‌ is available with a cellular connection and it supports 5G, just like the iPhones. It's worth noting that it only supports sub-6Hz 5G connections and not the super fast mmWave connectivity, but that's still so rare that it's unlikely anyone is going to miss mmWave capabilities on the ‌iPad mini‌ at this point in time.

ipad mini 9
All in all, there's not a lot to complain about with the ‌iPad mini‌. If you're looking for a smaller sized tablet to complement an iPhone, it's a solid choice because it's lightweight, easy to carry around in a bag, and still offers a lot more screen space than an ‌iPhone‌. It's arguably the most innovative and exciting product to come out in September.

At $499, the ‌iPad mini‌ is pricier than the ‌iPad‌ 9, but Apple has packed a lot of technology into a small enclosure with this tablet. It's similar in design to the ‌iPad Air‌, which is priced at $599, but with the A15 chip it's even more powerful.

Related Roundup: iPad mini
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
13 months ago
You jelly?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ebika Avatar
13 months ago
Jelly scrolling is annoying, but far more annoying is iPadOS 15. Did Apple fire all their UX people? iOS 15 is nice. iPadOS has baffling usability and layout choices. Why are all the icons on the springboard squished into the center, especially when we're making a choice with the mini to have already constrained screen size.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mygoldens Avatar
13 months ago
I have one and I think it is fantastic. It’s a small tablet with a LOT of POWER. I am not returning mine, jelly or no jelly.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
decypher44 Avatar
13 months ago
Seems to be one glaring omission. Come to think of it, all the “YouTube Influencers/Reviewers” omitted it, too.

Makes one wonder what’s most important by a reviewer: the actual testing and review, or the presentation? From the looks of things, more attention seems to be spent on production.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
13 months ago

11-page thread re: people returning their Mini 6:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/returning-my-ipad-mini-6.2313495/

Doh.
There seem to be two main themes in that thread. 1) A lot of people who didn't consider the iPad mini and have the iPad Pro or Air before decided to try it and decided they don't like the smaller screen (especially those used to the iPad Pro's superior screen). 2) iPad mini 5 owners didn't see as big an improvement as they were expecting.

I had the iPad mini 4 and 5, and IMO the 6 is a big improvement overall (USB-C, Apple Pencil 2 support. I haven't noticed the scrolling "issue."
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moonlight Avatar
13 months ago
I read the comments here and other places on MR and wonder why most of you are here. You obviously either hate Apple currently or have always hated them. Back in 2002 this was a site filled with people that loved Apple and when Apple made a mistake or had a problem product, the discourse was civil and constructive. Now it is a cesspool. It is such a shame.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

ipad mini 6 screen increase feature

Sixth-Generation iPad Mini With Smaller Bezels, Larger Display, and Improved Performance Expected to Launch This Fall

Sunday July 11, 2021 11:46 pm PDT by
Apple plans to release its sixth-generation iPad mini this fall with a new design that features slimmer bezels, a larger display, and improved performance, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman reports. In the latest edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman says the new iPad mini, which is rumored to include an 8.4-inch display, an increase from the current 7.9-inch screen size, is a...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
iPad Air Feature 2 teal

iPad Air 5 to Offer Long-Overdue Features

Monday January 31, 2022 2:25 am PST by
Apple is poised to launch the fifth-generation iPad Air in the spring, offering an array of features that have largely already come to other iPad models, according to recent reports. According to Japanese blog Mac Otakara, Apple is planning to give the fifth-generation iPad Air features from the sixth-generation iPad mini, including the A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera ...
ipad air m1 1

Hands-On With the New M1 iPad Air

Friday March 18, 2022 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple last week introduced an updated iPad Air with an M1 chip, and now the new tablet is available for purchase. We picked one up to see how it compares to the iPad Pro, which also has an M1 chip, to give you an idea of which of Apple's iPads is right for you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the fifth-generation iPad Air looks just like the...
ipad air arrive feature

Everything the iPad Mini Tells Us About the iPad Air 5

Monday November 29, 2021 2:28 am PST by
The recently launched sixth-generation iPad mini brought a huge upgrade to Apple's smallest tablet, and with 2020's iPad Air starting to show its age, the new iPad mini could give a number of indications about what we can expect from the next-generation iPad Air. The iPad mini is now very similar to the iPad Air, with both devices featuring squared-off edges, an all-screen design with no...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

Buyer's Guide: Don't Buy an iPad Air Right Now – New Model Imminent

Monday February 21, 2022 2:16 am PST by
The fifth-generation iPad Air is expected to arrive in less than a week with a number of notable features and improvements, so prospective customers should now hold off on buying an iPad Air until the new model arrives. According to Japanese blog Mac Otakara, Apple is planning to give the fifth-generation iPad Air features from the sixth-generation iPad mini. This seems plausible since the...
ipad mini 6 case volume buttons 1

Alleged iPad Mini 6 Case Images Show Redesign With Relocated Volume Buttons For Full-Size Apple Pencil

Monday September 13, 2021 5:51 am PDT by
The upcoming sixth-generation iPad mini will feature volume buttons on the top side of the device to accommodate a full-size Apple Pencil, according to images seemingly from an accessory maker shared by the Twitter user known as "Majin Bu." The images purportedly depict the sixth-generation iPad mini with an iPad Air-style all-screen design, featuring squared-off edges, a Touch ID...
iPad Pro Feature Magenta

Mac Otakara: iPad Air 5 to Feature iPad Pro-Like Design, No Design Changes Coming to iPad Mini 6 or iPad 9

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
The next-generation iPad Air will feature a design that's similar to the third-generation iPad Pro, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a Chinese supplier, the site says that the fifth-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a 10.9-inch display and a Touch ID button on the side, but it will gain a dual-lens camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. A LiDAR Scanner is ...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
mx mechanical keyboard logitech

Logitech Launches New 'Designed for Mac' Mice and Keyboards

Wednesday September 28, 2022 12:01 am PDT by
Logitech today announced the launch of several new mice and keyboards that have been developed for use with Apple's Macs, including Logitech's first mechanical keyboard that has been optimized for the Mac. The MX Mechanical Mini for Mac Keyboard has a keyboard layout designed for Macs, with tools to customize shortcuts with Logi Options+. The keyboard uses Tactile Quiet low-profile switches...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...