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
15 months ago
You jelly?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ebika Avatar
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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 hands snowflakes 1

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2022 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Black Friday deals have been in full swing for the better part of a month, and now that the shopping holiday is officially here we're seeing even more solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner ...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of...
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Black Friday this week, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Black Friday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Black Friday coverage continues today with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
new airpods lineup black friday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:01 am PST by
Although we've been tracking Black Friday deals for a few weeks now, the shopping holiday is officially kicking off this week and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
Manchester United flag

No, Apple Isn't Planning to Buy Manchester United

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:19 pm PST by
Apple is not currently planning to purchase Premier League club Manchester United, according to a source familiar with the matter. A report earlier today from British tabloid The Daily Star claimed that Apple had expressed an interest in buying Manchester United for around $7 billion, but our source with direct knowledge of the situation said the report is false. Manchester United has...