The small iPad from Apple was finally given the much-needed upgrade on Tuesday, meet the iPad mini 6 (iPad mini 2021). This new small 8.3″ iPad sheds off the dated styling of the previous Gen 5 and happily embraces a design that brings it in line with the iPad Pro range and much closer to the iPad Air 4 (iPad Air 2020).
Speaking of which, the iPad Air 4 too was given the same modern makeover in October last year and the new mini follows its footsteps. As in, the iPad mini 6 is basically a smaller iPad Air 4 in comparison but with better specs to boot overall. Let’s compare the specs and then discuss why you should buy the iPad mini 6 over the iPad Air 4.
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iPad mini 6 vs iPad Air 4
|Dimensions (mm)||195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3||247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1|
|Weight (grams)||293 (Wi-Fi) / 297 (Cellular + Wi-Fi)||458 (Wi-Fi) / 460 (Cellular + Wi-Fi)|
|Price||$499 (64GB Wi-Fi), $649 (256GB Wi-Fi) / $649 (64GB Cellular + Wi-Fi), $799 (256GB Cellular + Wi-Fi)||$599 (64GB Wi-Fi), $749 (256GB Wi-Fi) / $729 (Cellular + Wi-Fi), $879 (Cellular + Wi-Fi)|
|Display||8.3" Liquid Retina IPS LCD Display, 2266 x 1488 px, 326 ppi, True Tone, P3 color space, 500 nits, supports Apple Pencil (2nd gen only)||10.9" Liquid Retina IPS LCD Display, 2360 x 1640 px, 264 ppi, True Tone, P3 color space, 500 nits, supports Apple Pencil (1st and 2nd gen)|
|Chipset and RAM||A15 Bionic, 4GB||A14 Bionic, 4GB|
|Wireless connectivity||5G (sub-6 GHz), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, eSIM||4G (Gigabit-class LTE), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, eSIM|
|Storage||64GB, 256GB||64GB, 256GB|
|Magnetic connector for accessories||Yes||Yes|
|Camera system||12MP wide with Quad-LED TrueTone flash, 4K 60fps (rear) + 12MP ultra-wide, Center stage, 1080p 60fps (front)||12MP wide, 4K 60fps (rear) + 7MP, 1080p 60fps (front)|
|Speaker||Stereo speakers||Stereo speakers|
|Biometrics||Touch ID||Touch ID|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hrs||Up to 10 hrs|
iPad mini 6 vs iPad Air 4: Easy battle!
The most powerful chipset on the go
Right off the bat, the iPad mini 6 stomps the iPad Air 4 in the processing department. The A15 Bionic chipset borrowed from the iPhone 13 makes its way here. It is currently the fastest mobile device chip and definitely faster than the A14 in the iPad Air 4. Not only that, you can rest assured as it is future-proof due to the latest and greatest mobile silicon from Apple. Both the mini and Air have 4GB of RAM onboard.
5G all the way!
Apple transitioned to 5G last year with the introduction of the iPhone 12 series and iPad Pro 2021. This year the iPad mini 6 marches along to deliver blazing-fast download speeds and a better internet experience. Sadly, the iPad Air 4 loses out here too.
A new front camera system
A new 12MP front camera with a 122-degree field of view is here as opposed to the aging 7MP unit on the iPad Air 4. The ultra-wide camera with a higher degree field of view in the iPad mini 6 brings Centre stage. The feature helps keep the person in the frame during video calls by panning the camera as and when user movement is detected. All thanks to machine learning-powered by AI and yes, that mighty A15 Bionic powerhouse.
The dimensions of the iPad mini 6 are in the convenient ballpark making it ultra manageable and portable when compared to the iPad Air 4. The 8.3″ display on the iPad mini is by no means inferior to the 10.9″ panel of the iPad Air. Both devices have a Liquid Retina IPS LCD with similar color properties and qualities. Barring the size, the iPad mini has a more pixel-dense display and again a manageable overall footprint.
Priced right, buy now
At a starting price of $499, the iPad mini 6 feels like a steal especially when you get updated internals over the iPad Air 4 where for $599, all you get is a larger display and nothing else. Oh, we missed out on one thing though, the iPad Air 2020 even lacks a camera flash, let alone a Quad-LED True Tone gizmo. The iPad mini 6 is up for pre-order with shipment to commence September 24.