Apple unveils redesigned iPad mini with bigger screen, better performance, 5G, USB-C

Apple has announced a new iPad mini. It’s a completely redesigned iPad mini that greatly resembles the iPad Air. It’ll start at $499 and go on sale next week, with preorders up now.

The new iPad mini looks a lot like the iPad Air, but that’s by no means a bad thing. Gone are the chunky bezels and home button of iPad minis past, and in its place are thin bezels and nothing but swipe controls for interacting with the device. Apple even integrated the Touch ID sensor into the power button for security, just like the Air.

The display on the new iPad mini grows from 7.9-inches to 8.3-inches. It’s a Liquid Retina panel, which means it’s LCD and not mini-LED or OLED. Apple says the screen gets up to 500 nits bright and supports the second-generation Apple Pencil. The speakers that surround the screen are also improved with proper stereo separation.

If you look on the bottom of the iPad mini, you’ll find a USB-C port. This means yet another iPad in Apple’s lineup has finally been given a more versatile port than the aging Lightning connector still found on iPhones and the $329 iPad. When this port will finally take over all of Apple’s mobile devices remains to be seen, but hopefully that time will come sooner than later.

Under the hood, Apple includes the new A15 Bionic processor from the iPhone 13 series. This should significantly improve the performance of the mini from the previous model. In addition, Apple includes new 12MP cameras on the tablet, with the rear camera boasting a True Tone flash and Smart HDR. The selfie camera has an ultra-wide lens that supports Center Stage (the ability for your iPad to track your head using software while on a video call).

One of the biggest surprises from this announcement was the inclusion of 5G. Apple sees the iPad mini as one of the most mobile computing devices you can own, so it wanted to ensure you could get the fastest cellular speeds while on the go. This contrasts with the iPad Air which is still stuck on LTE, but it’ll likely get an upgrade in the near future.

To coincide with the new iPad mini, Apple has a lineup of new Smart Folio cases. There doesn’t appear to be a Smart Connector on the device, so don’t expect a Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard anytime soon.

Apple will sell the new iPad mini in four new colorways: space gray, pink, purple, and starlight.