The sixth-generation iPad mini will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday, September 24, and ahead of time, reviews of the device have now been shared by several tech websites and YouTube channels.
We've already rounded up video reviews of the new iPad mini, and we've shared some highlights from additional reviews below.
The consensus among reviews is that the new iPad mini is more like an iPad Air mini, as the two devices now share several features, including slimmer bezels, a USB-C port, a Touch ID power button, a 12-megapixel rear Wide camera, and compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil. The new iPad mini actually goes a step beyond the iPad Air with Apple's latest A15 Bionic chip, 5G on cellular models, and Center Stage support.
Design and Portability
MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci summed it up best:
I'll cut right to the chase: I've been waiting for this kind of iPad mini refresh for years, and the device absolutely delivers on all fronts. The new iPad mini fulfills my longstanding dream of an iPad Pro/Air-like device in a diminutive form factor, providing a highly portable experience unlike anything else in Apple's lineup.
Even with its larger 8.3-inch display, the new iPad mini maintains portable convenience, according to Engadget's Valentina Palladino:
I've been keeping the iPad mini by my side at all times for the past week or so, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy that was thanks to its size. Every iPad is portable, but some are certainly more portable than others. I have a 2020 11-inch iPad Pro and, while it could come with me almost anywhere, I mostly use it in my home as a secondary device or as my main driver when I'm traveling. The iPad mini, on the other hand, could fit into almost any bag I own without hassle, providing a much-needed larger screen for activities like reading, watching videos and FaceTime calls. I didn't find it super difficult to use my thumbs to type on the mini, treating it almost like a super-wide iPhone, but I also wouldn't call it a comfortable experience.
WIRED's Brenda Stolyar did express some concerns about battery life:
Every morning, I used the iPad Mini to create To-Do lists in the Notes app and then as a second monitor to my MacBook with Sidecar the rest of the day. […] Depending on my schedule, I also used the Mini to jump on Zoom calls with colleagues.
Sadly, battery life struggled with all that activity. I managed to squeeze about five hours out of it, so almost a full workday. Apple claims up to 10 hours of web browsing or watching video on the Wi-Fi model and nine on the 5G variant. But when I streamed a Netflix show (with iMessage, Telegram, the Notes app, and Google Calendar running in the background) it hit 1 percent at around the six-hour mark. Unless you're using it lightly, don't expect it to last from 9 to 5.
Performance of A15 Bionic
As we were first to report last week, the A15 chip in the new iPad mini is downclocked to 2.9GHz, compared to 3.2GHz in all iPhone 13 models. Six Colors editor-in-chief Jason Snell shared a chart with Geekbench 5 benchmark results for comparison.
MacRumors will have our own hands-on iPad mini review in an upcoming video, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.