Apple just lately launched the sixth-generation iPad mini, that includes a whole redesign, a bigger show, the A15 Bionic chip, and extra. The iPad mini now successfully shares the design of the iPad Air, with each units possessing lots of the identical options corresponding to an all-screen design with no House button, Touch ID within the prime energy button, and stereo audio system.
For the reason that iPad Air was launched an entire yr in the past in September 2020, do you have to purchase the costlier, older, bigger-screened iPad Air, or go for the brand new iPad mini? Our information solutions the query of the way to resolve which of those two iPads is greatest for you.
Evaluating the iPad mini and iPad Air
The iPad mini and iPad Air share a lot of key options, corresponding to design, a rear 12MP Huge digicam, and a USB-C port:
- All-screen industrial design with flat edges
- Contact ID scanner constructed into the highest button
- Liquid Retina show with P3 vast colour, fingerprint resistant coating, 500 nits max brightness, full lamination, anti-reflective coating, and True Tone
- A-Sequence Bionic chip with 64-bit desktop-class structure, 4GB of RAM, and Neural Engine
- 12MP ƒ/1.8 Huge rear digicam with 5x digital zoom and Good HDR 3
- 4K video recording at as much as 60fps with 3x video zoom, 1080p slo-mo video at 120fps or 240fps, and time-lapse with stablilization
- Entrance-facing digicam with Retina Flash, Good HDR 3, cinematic video stabilization and 1080p video recording
- Second-generation Apple Pencil compatibility
- As much as 10 hours of battery life
- USB-C port
- Two speaker audio panorama mode
- Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
- Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Mobile fashions
- 64GB and 256GB storage choices
Apple’s specification breakdown exhibits that the 2 iPads share lots of their most essential options. Even so, there are a lot of significant variations between the iPad mini and iPad Air which can be value highlighting, together with their A-series chips, front-facing cameras, keyboard compatibility, and extra.
- 8.3-inch show with 2266‑by‑1488 decision at 326 ppi
- Smaller, compact design for optimum portability
- A15 Bionic chip
- Rear Quad-LED True Tone flash
- 1080p HD video recording at 25fps, 30fps, or 60fps and prolonged dynamic vary for video as much as 30 fps
- 12MP ƒ/2.4 front-facing Extremely Huge digicam with 2x zoom out, Heart Stage, and prolonged dynamic vary
- 6GHz 5G on mobile mannequin
- Suitable with Bluetooth keyboards solely
- Weight of as much as 0.66 pound (297 grams)
- Accessible in House Grey, Pink, Purple, and Starlight
- 10.9-inch show with 2360‑by‑1640 decision at 264 ppi
- Bigger design that’s higher for productiveness
- A14 Bionic chip
- 1080p HD video recording at 60 fps
- 7MP ƒ/2.2 front-facing FaceTime HD digicam
- 4G LTE on mobile mannequin
- Smart Connector for exterior keyboards together with Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
- Weight of as much as 1.01 kilos (460 grams)
- Accessible in Silver, House Grey, Rose Gold, Inexperienced, and Sky Blue
Learn on for a better have a look at every of those elements, and see what precisely each iPads have to supply.
Design and Dimension
Dimension is the obvious distinction between the iPad mini and iPad Air, with the iPad mini being 52.2mm shorter and 43.7mm narrower than the iPad Air. This makes it doable for most individuals to carry the iPad mini from edge to edge in a single hand. It is usually 163 grams (0.36 kilos) lighter than the iPad Air.
The compact type issue and low weight of the iPad mini make it rather more transportable than the iPad Air, being far simpler to slot in a small bag and even a big pocket and use on the go. Although the iPad Air continues to be skinny and lightweight to hold round, it merely will not be as handy to make use of on the go because the iPad mini, which is a tool that pushes iPad portability to the acute.
Customers could really feel extra snug strolling round with the iPad mini and utilizing it discreetly in public areas than the iPad Air, and it’s also a fantastic measurement for teenagers. Choice for one measurement or the opposite finally comes right down to your private use case.
Each units function the identical squared-off industrial design language that has change into the norm on a spread of iPhone, iPad, and Mac units, which makes them simpler to grip and choose up off a floor.
The iPad mini and iPad Air can be found in a spread of various colour choices. The iPad mini is offered in House Grey, Pink, Purple, and Starlight, whereas the iPad Air is offered in Silver, House Grey, Rose Gold, Inexperienced, and Sky Blue. In case you have your coronary heart set on a specific colour, you’ll need to keep in mind that the colour choices are completely different throughout each units aside from House Grey.
The iPad mini and iPad Air function the identical Liquid Retina show with P3 vast colour, a fingerprint-resistant coating, 500 nits of most brightness, full lamination, an anti-reflective coating, and True Tone. As with design, the distinction between the 2 shows comes right down to measurement.
The iPad mini options an 8.3-inch show, whereas the iPad Air has a bigger, 10.9-inch show. Because of this the iPad mini’s show is 2.6-inches smaller diagonally, which interprets to an virtually 45% discount in whole display space. The upper pixel density of the iPad mini does compensate considerably, nonetheless.
Each units have slim bezels across the show for an all-screen look. The bezels are the identical measurement on each units, which makes them extra pronounced relative to the iPad mini’s smaller show.
The iPad mini’s smaller show could really feel extra cramped than on the iPad Air, with smaller contact targets and extra restricted multitasking choices. For instance, the keyboard takes up many of the show in panorama, utilizing apps in cut up view makes them very small, and app icons are smaller than they’re on the iPad Air.
Even so, the iPad mini’s smaller show could also be extra snug for studying or enjoying handheld video games. The iPad Air’s bigger, 10.9-inch show is rather more suited to productiveness, multitasking, and watching movies, with significantly extra display house to suit app home windows, UI parts, and extra.
A14 Bionic vs. A15 Bionic Chip
The iPad mini options Apple’s newest A-series chip, the A15 Bionic. That is additionally the chip used within the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. Then again, the iPad Air makes use of final yr’s A14 Bionic chip from the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional.
The A15 within the iPad mini is downclocked to 2.9GHz, in comparison with 3.2GHz in all iPhone 13 fashions, which has a small two to eight % impression on efficiency in comparison with these units.
Early benchmarks present that the A15 is round 10 % sooner in single-core duties, 20 % sooner in multicore duties, and 15 % sooner graphics than the A14. That is extra of an iterative enchancment, so whereas the A15 within the iPad mini does supply higher efficiency than the iPad Air and will probably be extra futureproof with a more moderen chip, it’s a marginal enchancment that’s unlikely to have a powerful bearing on which gadget you should purchase.
Each the iPad mini and the iPad Air function a 12MP ƒ/1.8 Huge rear digicam with 5x digital zoom and Good HDR 3, however the iPad mini options prolonged dynamic vary and is ready to file 1080p video at a spread of framerates, relatively than simply at 60fps on the iPad Air. The iPad mini additionally provides a rear Quad-LED True Tone flash.
The iPad mini’s rear digicam is barely extra succesful than that of the iPad Air, the True Tone flash could make it extra appropriate for scanning paperwork, and its type issue could make capturing movies and pictures extra snug, however broadly the rear cameras on the 2 are very related.
Entrance-Dealing with Cameras
Among the many extra vital variations between the 2 iPads are their front-facing cameras. The iPad mini has a way more superior 12MP ƒ/2.4 Extremely Huge digicam with 2x zoom out and prolonged dynamic vary. This can be a large enchancment over the 7MP ƒ/2.2 FaceTime HD digicam of the iPad Air.
The iPad mini’s Extremely Huge front-facing digicam allows its assist for Heart Stage, which mechanically retains customers completely framed throughout video calls. As customers transfer round, Heart Stage mechanically pans to maintain them within the body. When different folks take part on the decision, the digicam detects them too, and easily zooms out to suit everybody into the view and ensure they’re a part of the dialog.
Because of this for video calls and selfies, the iPad mini is a way more succesful gadget that ought to ship a markedly higher expertise and picture high quality.
Each the iPad mini and iPad Air function Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and can be found in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Mobile variants. For the mobile fashions, a key distinction between the iPad mini and iPad Air is 5G connectivity. The iPad Air is in a position to hook up with 4G LTE solely, whereas the iPad mini can connect with 6GHz 5G for a lot sooner speeds with the newest mobile know-how. If you happen to plan to make use of a mobile plan along with your iPad, this can be an essential consideration and would make the iPad mini rather more future-proof.
The iPad mini and iPad Air are appropriate with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which magnetically snaps onto the aspect for pairing, charging, and storage. The iPad mini’s type issue could make it a fantastic match for note-making with the Apple Pencil, whereas the bigger show of the iPad Air could also be higher for illustration and graphic design.
The iPad Air incorporates a magnetic Good Connector on its rear to hook up with keyboards corresponding to Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Good Keyboard Folio. It is usually appropriate with Bluetooth keyboards and pointers.
Resulting from its small measurement, the iPad mini doesn’t function a Good Connector or any first-party keyboard choices. The iPad mini continues to be appropriate with exterior keyboards and pointing units, however these would have to be separate units that join through Bluetooth.
If you happen to plan to move your iPad with a keyboard or use it as a laptop computer substitute, you’ll be higher off shopping for the iPad Air. The iPad mini continues to be workable with Bluetooth peripherals for infrequent emails or phrase processing, however its measurement is solely not sensible to be used as a whole laptop computer substitute.
Different iPad Choices
If the iPad Air is out of your worth vary however you’ll nonetheless like an iPad with a much bigger display, there’s the ninth-generation iPad, which begins at $329 and serves as an entry-level mannequin within the iPad lineup. This undercuts the worth of the $499 iPad mini and $599 iPad Air, however nonetheless gives essential options like an Extremely Huge front-facing digicam with Heart Stage, first-generation Apple Pencil compatibility, a Good Connector to be used with an Apple Good Keyboard, the A13 chip, and extra.
Alternatively, in case you are searching for an iPad that’s extra geared towards productiveness with “professional” options, there’s the iPad Pro, which begins at $799. The iPad Professional options the M1 chip from the Mac, a ProMotion show, a Thunderbolt port, and gives a fair bigger mannequin with a 12.9-inch show.
General, the iPad Air is the most effective all-around possibility for almost all of customers, offering a big display for productiveness and consuming leisure in a slim, transportable design. The extra $100 wanted to purchase the iPad Air over the iPad mini is greater than justified for the advantages that include a bigger show, not least the power to virtually use it as a laptop computer substitute.
But, most clients shopping for the iPad mini will doubtless be shopping for it due to its display measurement relatively than despite it. The iPad mini is right for comfortably studying books, enjoying handheld video games, and unobtrusive storage.
Those that purchase the iPad mini will doubtless have a particular use case in thoughts for the way they’ll use the gadget, corresponding to for note-taking on the go, throwing right into a small backpack to make use of on public transport, or sliding into a big pocket to make use of whereas working.
The iPad mini is undoubtedly extra futureproof with its newer A15 chip, 5G connectivity, improved front-facing digicam, and Heart Stage. Utilizing a mobile connection or holding video calls can also be a greater expertise on the iPad mini, however once more, the principle purpose to decide on the iPad mini shall be its novel measurement.
If you don’t see the iPad mini’s smaller show, simple one-handed grip, gentle weight, and transportable type issue as an energetic benefit and are centered on a extra versatile bigger show, you’ll doubtless want the iPad Air. If you would like extra of an all-around gadget that works as a possible laptop computer substitute, with the added bonuses that include a much bigger display for productiveness and leisure, the iPad Air would be the higher possibility for you.