IPad Mini (2021) Review: Form A to Z

The new iPad mini 2021, sometimes known as the iPad mini 6, is a potent gadget with a clear, smaller screen, compatibility for 5G connectivity, and a fashionable, portable form that makes it simple to tuck into bags and even larger pockets. The best little tablet money can buy is unquestionably this one, however it won’t be the best iPad for everyone.

Two-minute review

The iPad mini (2021) is distinguished by its diminutive size, and like the iPhone 13 mini, it combines a popular, user-friendly scaled-down design with high-end features and capabilities.

Imagine it as an iPad Air 4 that has been reduced in size and given a more potent chipset within. With square corners, no home button, and a USB-C connection on the bottom edge, it takes after the iPad Air 4’s style.
The 8.3-inch screen is clear and bright enough to use both indoors and outdoors, making it ideal for all tablet activities. Apple refers to this as a “all-screen design,” although we’d counter that’s a big assertion given the larger bezels.

Yet, these bezels make this iPad mini simpler to grasp, so they aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Four hues are available to you: Purple, Pink, Space Gray, or Starlight.

Thanks in large part to the new A15 Bionic chipset, which has pleased us with its performance during our testing time, Apple has made sure that the iPad mini shines in the features category.

Depending on the model you choose, the storage capacity is either 64GB or 256GB.

The iPad mini now supports 5G, a first for Apple’s more compact tablet. In other words, if you choose the cellular version and have a carrier that supports it, you can connect to next-generation networks.

The differences between this iPad mini and the iPad mini 2019 are minor, but the sixth generation of the iPad Mini delivers improvements in a number of different areas. It isn’t the best tablet available, but if you’re seeking for a tiny gadget, it is unquestionably the best tablet.

iPad mini (2021) release date and price

At Apple’s launch event on September 14, 2021, the new iPad mini (iPad mini 6) and the iPhone 13 series were both unveiled. Ten days later, the new iPad mini was available in the US, UK, and Australia.

You can order it right away on Apple’s website (opens in new tab), and we’re also noticing that many other merchants have it in stock. The iPad mini 6 costs $499, £479, or AU$749 when purchased new.

The full list of costs for the new iPad mini variants, including those for Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + cellular versions with 64GB and 256GB of storage, is provided below. It’s important to note that the 2021 iPad mini’s capacity has been doubled from the 2019 model’s 32GB or 128GB options.

New iPad Mini (2021) prices
Connectivity & storage US Price UK Price AU Price
Wi-Fi & 64GB $499 £479 $749
LTE & 64GB $649 £619 $979
Wi-Fi & 256GB $649 £619 $979
LTE & 256GB $799 £759 $1,209


The new iPad mini is substantially easier to operate than even the iPad Air 4 despite not being nearly tiny enough for one-handed use. Regarding form factor, this appears to be the ideal middle ground between a larger tablet like the iPad Air 4 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Its dimensions of 195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3mm (that’s notably smaller than the last-gen mini) make it one of the smallest tablets we’ve ever used, and it’s an enjoyable experience for anyone who doesn’t need a larger screen for watching video and more.

The design of this tablet resembles the iPad Air 4 or the new iPhone 13 more than the previous mini because it is flat-edged, has a luxury look and feel, and has a brushed metal impression on the back.

The Purple model is shown throughout this review. There are four color choices: Purple, Pink, Space Gray, and a cream-like tint that Apple is dubbing Starlight.

If you’re looking for a more striking design, we suggest selecting one of the Purple or Pink colors over the more restrained Space Gray because they are more striking and bright than the selections for the iPad mini 2019 or the iPad Pro 2021.

The iPad mini weighs 293 grams, which is somewhat less than the 2019 model and makes it simple to slip into a purse or even a large jacket pocket without feeling the weight of the device.

The volume buttons are now located on the top edge of the new iPad mini, at the top right-hand corner, thanks to a small button relocation by Apple. They were located on the right edge of the device in earlier iterations.

The iPad mini 2021 also lacks the home button, a feature of earlier iterations of this tablet. Instead, there is a power button on the top edge in the left corner, which is also the location of the Touch ID sensor, which allows you to unlock the tablet with your fingerprint.

Whether you’re using the tablet in portrait or landscape position, we advise setting up your fingers on both hands so that the unlock button is always within easy reach of one of your digits.

The USB-C port, which is used to charge the tablet and connect peripherals, is located on the tablet’s bottom edge. Although though the iPad mini is compatible with a wide range of add-ons, like the Apple Pencil, it isn’t as functional as the iPad Pro 2021 with its Thunderbolt connector.

The second-generation Apple Pencil charger and connector, as well as the SIM tray, are located on the right edge. You’ll need to spend more money if you want Apple’s stylus because it is not included with the tablet.

Upgraded stereo speakers are also included with the iPad mini, and we found that they provided rich, clear audio whether playing music or watching videos on the tablet.


The 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display on the iPad mini provides good visual quality.

Apple claims that the device has a “all-screen design,” but we contend that this isn’t quite accurate given the substantial bezels that surround the screen’s perimeter. But, because they make it easier to handle the tablet without touching the screen, these bezels aren’t always a problem. Yet it’s far from a “all-screen” appearance.

There are 326 pixels per inch in this resolution of 2266 x 1488. That’s good for a tablet, but it isn’t the best resolution we’ve seen on a slate, and – most noticeably when you’re watching video – the resolution isn’t as strong as on some Android tablets or even the iPad Pro 2021 line.

Although it’s unlikely to be a problem, the screen is sufficiently bright and the picture quality is sharp. The iPad mini has a typical 60Hz refresh rate, unlike the 120Hz iPad Pro series, so you won’t get a super-smooth experience whether scrolling around social media or playing games.

The display here is ideal if you’re looking for a tablet with a smaller screen; while we would have preferred to see a 120Hz refresh rate, it isn’t a major drawback.

Specs, performance and camera

Apple’s new A15 Bionic chipset, which is the same processor found in the iPhone 13 series, powers the iPad mini 2021. Its CPU is powerful enough to run any program or game you find on the App Store and is multitasking-capable.

Although it isn’t as strong as the M1 chipset in the iPad Pro, we found it to be more than adequate for all the tasks we needed to complete on the iPad mini. The majority of people will be satisfied with what’s on offer here, but if you require the greatest power possible, you might want to choose the iPad Pro series instead.

Although we don’t yet know how much Memory the iPad mini has, it performed more than adequately in our tests for daily tasks.

The multi-core score we received from the Geekbench 5 benchmarking program was 4700, which is comparable to the iPhone 13’s performance. This is a lot better than the iPad Mini (2019), which had a score of 2680, but not nearly as good as the iPad Pro 2021, which received a score of 7297.

We never anticipated the iPad mini to be able to compete with the M1 chipset, and the average user won’t require that kind of performance, even if they’re using a lot of power-hungry apps. The iPad Pro 2021 score is unusually high.

The tablet is available with 64GB or 256GB of storage; as usual, there is no microSD compatibility, so you must use the built-in storage in addition to any available iCloud storage. You should probably choose the 256GB variant if you intend to store a sizable amount of media on your tablet.

Nonetheless, serious power users will probably find that 256GB of storage is insufficient. If you want to load your tablet with media and apps, the new iPad Pro, which has storage capacity of up to 1TB, might be worth considering.

The iPad mini now offers 5G connectivity for the first time, albeit it won’t work with mmWave 5G, so if you have Verizon service, you might want to check this out before you buy the tablet.

The iPad mini’s back camera is a 12MP wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a digital zoom range of up to 5x. It works nicely and, while it can’t completely replace your smartphone’s camera, it will suffice if you use it for augmented reality applications or other apps that require the rear camera.

A 12MP ultra-wide camera with a 122-degree field of view and an f/2.4 aperture is located on the tablet’s front. This camera is quite useful for video calls, and we discovered that it provides greater quality than the camera on the device’s back.

Moreover, Apple has transferred the iPad mini’s Center Stage feature from the iPad Pro 2021 model. As a result, the camera can follow you during video conversations and make sure you’re always in the center of the picture.

This method seems to work well, and it’s particularly helpful when another person enters the frame and you want to include them in the video as well.

Battery life

The iPad mini 2021’s battery life is adequate to last you a full day with normal use, but don’t anticipate it to be exceptionally long. Since Apple withholds this information, we are unsure of the size of the cell inside the iPad Mini. But, we wouldn’t be surprised if some astute teardowner soon discovered this information.

We found that Apple’s estimate of up to 10 hours of use while web browsing or viewing videos over Wi-Fi to be about right. If you’re using your iPad mini at full brightness and switching between several apps, it won’t likely last that long. With more heavy use, we were getting about eight hours of battery life.

In other words, the battery life is adequate but not extraordinary. We discovered that using the Apple Pencil to sketch also reduced battery life more quickly; if you’re also using a mobile connection, this reduction is probably even more pronounced.

To recharge your tablet, a USB-C charger and cable are provided in the box. The tablet can be charged quite rapidly with the 20W fast charging available here, but it will still take more than an hour and a half to fully recharge your tablet.

During our tests, the iPad mini charged from 0% to 17% in 15 minutes and reached 36% in 30 minutes.

There is no wireless charging available, and the company’s MagSafe attachments, which are compatible with a number of iPhone versions, do not function with the iPad mini.


You desire a little, expensive item.

The size of the iPad mini is what sets it apart, despite what might seem obvious. This is a great option if you want a tablet that you can tuck into a bag or just prefer a smaller gadget in your hand.

You require a ton of power.

While the iPad mini 2021 can’t match the performance of the iPad Pro 2021, it does offer impressive everyday performance, handling a variety of tasks with ease.

You have an outdated iPad.

If you want to replace an older iPad model, the iPad mini might be the best option. The latest iPad mini might be a terrific option if your iPad is older than that, even though there may not be enough new features to warrant an upgrade from the iPad mini 2019. To recharge your tablet, a USB-C charger and cable are provided in the box.

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