iPad Mini 2021 Review || Five Reasons It's Worth It

The last thing I see before going to bed at night is the screen of an iPad Mini. It has long become the device where I read books or consult something on the web before going to sleep. Yes, I know that is not a good idea. No, I have no trouble falling asleep, unless the TikTok algorithm is especially inspired and links several DIY videos in a row.

But for me, that's the advantage of the iPad Mini. No other tablet model fits that scenario well because they are either too heavy or too dazzling in brightness. The Mini is perfect and the latest model, if possible, is even more so.

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I've been testing it for the past five days and it has become my favorite tablet (with permission from the iPad Pro, which I use for work when I travel and for several years it was my main computer).

It is small and light enough to be held in one hand and its design, inspired by that of the iPad Pro and iPad Air, leaves much more space for the screen, which is now 8.3 inches. The price to pay, apart from 549 euros, are quite large frames in relation to size. Those of the iPad Pro and even those of the iPad Air, having more screen surface, are more discreet.

It keeps the fingerprint sensor, but like the latest iPad Air, it hides it in the power button. It works well and accomplishes its mission, although it is not as comfortable as FaceID.


There are five features that stand out in this tablet and the first is that it has the same processor as the iPhone 13 Pro . It runs at a slightly lower frequency but also equips a 5-core GPU. It moves fewer pixels and does not have ProMotion (like the iPad Pro), so here there is plenty of power everywhere.

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This comes in handy because the iPad Mini has been refocused as a tablet designed for the creative public who find the size of conventional iPads too large and there the extra power is always welcome.


The second feature to note, in fact, is that the iPad Mini is now compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil , which is more precise and versatile. The stylus is almost as long as the tablet, so Apple has had to move the volume buttons to the top to make room for the magnetic docking and charging system.

It takes a bit of getting used to and there is a curious detail: now the volume buttons change depending on the orientation of the tablet. To increase the volume, always press the one furthest to the right, regardless of how we are holding the iPad. As far as I have been able to verify, this is the only iPad in which this happens.


Continuing with the theme of design change and orientation to the creative market, the new Mini also abandons the Lightning port and goes to USB-C. It is not Thunderbolt and is limited to 5 Gbps, but it opens the door to using various external accessories such as hard drives or cameras.

Apple's policy with USB-C and Lightning is still somewhat confusing, in my opinion. There is no logical reason why Mac keyboards, for example, have to be charged by Lightning and this iPad includes a USB-C. Personally, it is a change that has affected me because everything I have near the bedside table charges either wirelessly or with Lightning, but hey, it's not a big problem.

Hopefully everything will gradually transition to USB-C. By inertia or by mandate of the EU.


Yes, I know, nobody takes pictures with an iPad ... until they have an iPad in their hand and they need to take a picture of something. The Mini's camera has been updated and now has 12 megapixels and records video in 4K . In general, it is a quality quite similar to the main camera of an iPhone 12 . It does not work miracles but it can be useful, especially now that iOS15 includes the LiveText function to detect text in images.

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The front camera is another story. It has also improved and now has 12 megapixels but, more importantly, it includes support for Center Stage, the automatic reframing technology that Apple also has in the iPad Pro . Thanks to it, it is possible to move during a video conference and always be focused on the screen. Coupled with the new stereo speakers, the iPad Mini is a good device for video calling.


And finally, the iPad Mini now has support for 5G networks in its version with connection to mobile networks, which is 130 euros more expensive. It works as you might expect, but the high speeds that 5G can provide is highly dependent on the coverage of each operator and the user's location.


The iPad Mini from 2021 is a great device, comfortable to use and very light. That gives it an advantage in some uses, such as games.

The only "but" that I have been able to find, regardless of its price (high for a tablet), is that the screen, which in itself is smaller than the rest of the iPad, is not fully used. The iOS 15 operating system leaves a lot of wasted margin in the main view and the desktop widgets and icons look very small. Maybe it's age, but it's hard to read with the default size and display options chosen.

The tablet is available now for reservation and can be purchased from this Friday. Unlike iPhones, the most basic model still has 64GB of memory and only one other option, which is 256GB. Available in four colors (gray, purple pink and white), its price starts at 549 euros ($643) for the model that only has WiFi.

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