I recently picked up the new iPad mini 6 and wanted to give some quick thoughts on it after about a week of using it.
I have always loved the iPad mini, going all the way back to the original one from 2012. I have owned each model, save for the 3rd generation. Most recently I got the iPad mini 5th generation when it was released in March 2019. I was so excited that Apple was updating the mini that I preordered it the moment it was announced. The iPad mini 5 was my constant companion up until back in January of this year when I unfortunately lost it. I have never lost an electronic like this in my life but after spending a few weeks trying to find it by retracing my steps as well as using Apple’s Find My app, it was indeed lost for good. 😢
I found myself craving another mini but by the time I had lost it, that model was about 2 years old and I hated to buy another one at full price. Apple complicates things for us mini lovers as they only sporadically update it. I decided to take a wait & see approach, and I’m glad I did as on September 14th this year, Apple unveiled the iPad mini 6th generation. Finally, I could have the mini back in my life!
Apple really went above and beyond on the new mini. I believe this is because they know that they only update it on occasion, so they make it count when they do. The iPad mini 6 introduces a lot of new features for the mini line. It has an all-new design mirroring the recent iPad Pros as well as the 4th generation iPad Air. This means saying goodbye to the home button as well as a introducing a squared off design and an edge to edge screen. The body of the iPad mini 6 is actually slightly smaller than the mini 5 it replaces but the screen has gotten slightly larger due to the reduced bezels, from 7.9″ to 8.3″. All of these are welcome changes in my opinion and make the iPad mini 6 truly feel modern again.
I picked up a Space Gray iPad mini with 256gb of storage and 5G cellular connectivity. As this is my favorite model of iPad, I don’t mind spending a bit more, although it does seem that Apple is reaching the upper limit for how much they can charge for the mini line. 💸💸💸 After using it for about a week, here are my thoughts so far:
- One thing I love about the mini is it can just be an iPad. With Apple pushing the iPad Pros the last few years, with their keyboard cases, multitasking, and best in class performance, more and more people are now using their iPad’s as laptops and their main computers. This is fine of course, I use my iPad Pro in this same manner. However, there is something about the mini, with it’s compact size that is too small for a good keyboard case and a screen that is better suited for single-screen tasks than multitasking, that hearkens back to how we all used the original iPads, as just a fun device. I love using the mini full screen in portrait way more than in landscape. This is a big strength of the mini in my opinion.
- As I mentioned before, the size of the mini is not conducive to a keyboard case. This means you are going to be doing a lot of typing using the mini’s on-screen keyboard, which is fantastic, particularly in portrait mode. I absolutely love thumb typing on the mini in portrait orientation, it is so so good.
- I have been very impressed with the speed of the mini as well. Apple gave it their latest processor, the A15, the same chip they put in the also recently released iPhone 13 line, and it is fast. I have yet to find anything that can slow this iPad down. I would imagine that this chip will perform very well for years to come, which is great because it will most likely be years before Apple updates the mini again. Likewise, I appreciate that the iPad mini 6 has moved to 5G for its cellular data connection. This insures that it will get the best cellular speeds for years to come.
- Another new feature for the mini 6 is support for the second generation Apple Pencil. While the 5th generation iPad mini did support the original Apple Pencil, I much prefer the gen 2 Pencil. It has a nicer matte finish, has a flat side, and most of all charges in a much more elegant way than the first gen did. Huge upgrade in my opinion.
- Another feature the mini 6 added is support for Center Stage for the front facing camera. The was a feature first introduced with the M1 iPad Pros earlier in 2021. Basically, Center Stage utilizes the wide angle front facing camera by showing you a cropped view and then following you if you move to the left or the right. This allows you to actually move around a bit when on a long video call, knowing that the iPad will keep you in frame. It can also detect if someone joins you in the room and automatically zoom out to keep both subjects in the frame. It’s a great feature and it just works.
- My favorite feature of the new mini is something it shares with all of the previous minis in the line and that is simply it’s portability. I love how easy the mini travels with you. It fits in my jacket pocket, my small sling bags, the back pocket of my jeans, & you barely even notice it in a larger bag. There is rarely a reason not to take it with you because of this. Having an iPad that is this powerful but also this small is a really useful thing.
These are my thoughts on the iPad mini 6. It really is a fantastic little device. The main way I am using it so far is for reading saved articles, going through my RSS feeds, playing Apple Arcade games, scrolling thru Twitter, and watching YouTube. I’m very glad to have the mini back in my life.