As expected, Apple introduced a new iPad mini at today’s “California Streaming” event. It sports a larger 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display in four finishes. It packs the new A15 Bionic chip and, per Apple, delivers up to 80% faster performance than the previous generation.
A new USB-C port allows faster connectivity, and new cellular models with 5G are available. The upgraded table also boasts new advanced cameras, Center Stage, and support for the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) .
New All-Screen Design
The new iPad mini comes in a new array of finishes — pink, starlight, purple, and space gray. It features a larger 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with narrow borders, all while keeping the same compact footprint. With advanced technologies such as 500 nits of brightness, a P3 wide color gamut, anti-reflective screen coating, True Tone, and full lamination, images and video will be vibrant and come right up to the surface of the glass, according to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. New landscape stereo speakers, combined with the new display, deliver a great movie-viewing experience, he adds.
The all-screen design is enabled by moving Touch ID to the top button of the tablet.
A15 Bioni chip
The iPad mini gets a huge performance boost from the new A15 Bionic chip, with its incredibly efficient design that delivers all-day battery life, says Joswiak. According to Apple, the 6-core CPU delivers a 40% jump in performance, and the 5-core GPU delivers an 80% leap in graphics performance compared to the previous generation.
Advanced machine learning (ML) functions are powered by a 16-core Neural Engine and new ML accelerators in the CPU, delivering 2x faster ML tasks than its predecessor. Combined with the CPU and GPU, the Neural Engine enables apps to deliver next-level experiences, such as image recognition and natural language learning, notes Joswiak.
The Center Stage experience on iPad Pro is now available on iPad mini. An updated Ultra Wide front camera with a new 12MP sensor and a larger field of view enable Center Stage, which automatically pans the camera to keep users in view as they move around. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to easily include them in the conversation.
The back camera now features a 12MP sensor with Focus Pixels and a larger aperture to capture sharp, vivid photos. The back camera also features a True Tone flash, perfect for capturing images in low light. With a new ISP in A15 Bionic, users will purportedly see natural-looking photos with Smart HDR, which improves image quality by recovering details in shadows and highlights.
5G and USB-C for Faster Connectivity
5G is now available on the iPad mini, allowing the tablet to reach peak speeds of up to 3.5Gbps (well, in ideal conditions). Combined with continued support for Gigabit LTE and eSIM, iPad mini offers flexibility when users need to get connected. Wi-Fi 6 ensures faster Wi-Fi connection, as well.
iPad mini now features a USB-C port for up to 5Gbps data transfer. That’s 10x faster than the previous generation.
iPad and the Environment
The iPad mini features 100%recycled aluminum in the enclosure.This means every model in the iPad lineup now has a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure. The new iPad mini also uses 100% recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board, and 100% recycled rare earth elements in the magnets in the enclosure and the speakers.
Pricing and Availability
- The new iPad mini is available to order beginning today on apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app in 28 countries and regions, including the US, with availability beginning Friday, September 24.
- Wi-Fi models of iPad mini are available with a starting price of $499 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $649. The new iPad mini, in 64GB and 256GB configurations, comes in pink, starlight, purple, and space gray finishes.
- iPadOS 15 will be available beginning Monday, September 20, and ships for free with the new iPad mini. iPadOS 15 will be available as a free software update for iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models.
- The Apple Pencil (2nd generation), available for purchase separately, is compatible with iPad mini for $129.
- The new Smart Folio for iPad mini is available for $59 in black, white, dark cherry, English lavender, and electric orange.
- Customers can buy any Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad model directly from apple.com/store or at an Apple Store and get up to $200 (US) back from T-Mobile/Sprint or Verizon with activation. Terms apply. For eligibility requirements and more details see apple.com/shop/buy-ipad. Customers can also trade in their current iPad and get credit toward a new one.
- You can engrave the iPad with a mix of emoji, text, and numbers, all for free, at apple.com/store or in the Apple Store app.
- Apple provides customers with a number of services in store and online that make its retail experience uniquely Apple. With personalized support and advice from Apple Specialists, convenient delivery and pickup options, free engraving, and special ways to save with Apple’s carrier offers and great trade-in values, Apple ensures the best way to buy Apple products is from Apple Store locations and apple.com/store.