Apple iPad mini 6 release date, price, features and news

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Below we have everything you may want to know about Apple's newest small tablet – the iPad mini 6 (2021). In addition, feel free to check out our full iPad mini 6 review.

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Apple iPad mini 6 release date

  • September 24, 2021

Apple officially announced the iPad mini 6 during the iPhone 13 announcement event. Following that, the iPad mini 6 began shipping on Friday, September 24, 2021.

Apple iPad mini 6 price and storage options

The iPad mini 6 starts at $499 for the base Wi-Fi model and $649 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Both the Wi-Fi-only and Cellular iPad mini 6 variants only come with either 64GB or 256GB of non-expandable storage.

Below we have all 2021 iPad mini variants and their pricings:

It's also worth noting that the Cellular iPad mini 2021 models also have 5G support.

Apple iPad mini 6 design

Unlike every other iPad mini to date, the 2021 iPad mini has gotten a huge redesign, now boasting the modern, flat-edge looks we've seen on the iPad Pro and iPad Air 2020.

In fact, the iPad mini 6 is basically a smaller iPad Air 2020 design-wise, as it uses the exact same power button with embedded Touch ID (as opposed to Face ID), in addition to USB Type-C, and finally on an iPad mini – it has true stereo speakers.

While its back and frame are made out of aluminum, the iPad mini's display is covered with glass and has no visible air gap, unlike some older iPad minis and the budget iPad. This means that writing with an Apple Pencil on the iPad mini 6 will feel more natural.

Speaking of design, we can't overlook how lightweight the iPad mini 6 is, at just 0.65 pounds (293 grams) for the Wi-Fi iPad mini 6 and 0.66 pound (297 grams) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular one.

Apple iPad mini 6 display

The iPad mini 6 comes with a rather standard 8.9-inch IPS LCD display with 500 nits of peak brightness. This is less than on the iPhone 13 or the 2021 iPad Pro, but enough for it to be visible outside, except in direct sunlight.

We don't get a smooth ProMotion display refresh rate on the iPad mini, as it's 60Hz screen. However, it has P3 color gamut accuracy and is reasonably sharp. But, there's something about the iPad mini 6 display that got people's attention more so than anything else...

Apple iPad mini 6 jelly scrolling effect

When scrolling on the iPad mini 6 in portrait mode, there's a visible screen jelly effect where half of the screen appears to scroll a bit faster than the other half. Apple says iPad mini 6 jelly scrolling is normal behavior for LCDs, and is seemingly not planning to do anything about fixing this issue.

While Apple's statement is technically correct, jelly scrolling is normally much less noticeable on other LCD displays. To be fair, many users likely won't notice it on the iPad mini 6, or care about it, but by many accounts others can't stand it.

As mentioned earlier, this display issue only happens when scrolling in portrait mode, and doesn't appear to be present when scrolling in landscape.

Apple iPad mini 6 colors

The new 2021 iPad mini 6 comes in four colors, which Apple has named Space Gray, Pink, Purple and Starlight. For reference, we have them all for you below.

Apple iPad mini 6 specifications

Apple iPad mini 6 camera

Unlike past iPad mini models, this one has a camera bump, so it's not going to lie completely flat on a surface. Inside the camera bump is a single main 12MP wide camera with autofocus, capable of recording videos at up to 4K, 60 frames per second.

But after testing the camera performance for our review, we concluded that it's best to record in 1080p, 60FPS instead. Not only does this format take significantly less storage, but it actually looks better and brighter than 4K, with much less motion blur present.

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Please refer to our full iPad mini 6 review for more camera samples, including photos from both the front and main camera.

CenterStage support

Like all 2021 iPads, the iPad mini 6 comes with an ultrawide FaceTime camera with CenterStage support. CenterStage is a feature that you can have enabled on most messaging apps (Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger), which can focus on you and follow you as you move around during video calls.

If a second person enters the frame, CenterStage will automatically expand the shot to include them, and attempt to keep you both at the center of the frame.

Apple iPad mini 6 speakers and sound quality

Like the 2020 iPad Air, the 2021 iPad mini 6 has four speaker grills, but there are speakers only behind two of those. Unfortunately, it's the bottom ones (when holding the iPad in landscape), so they're fairly easy to cover with the user's hands.

On the upside, the iPad mini 6's speakers produce loud and rich sound, with clear high and mids, and even a hint of upper bass. Plus, unlike any previous iPad mini model, the iPad mini 6 produces true stereo sound, meaning each of its two speakers are on opposite sides of the tablet.

This makes watching movies and videos, and especially gaming a much better experience. If playing a game like Pub G, for example, you can clearly hear which side gunshots and explosions come from, which, again, wasn't the case on previous iPad minis.

Apple iPad mini 6 ports and Apple Pencil support

Now that the iPad mini has been fully redesigned to resemble Apple's other modern, premium tablets, it no longer has a headphone jack. Fortunately, the redesign also finally brings USB Type-C as opposed to Lightning.

Aside from a USB Type-C port (with external storage support), the iPad mini 6 has a magnetic dock for the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) on top (when held in landscape, on the right side when in portrait).

However, likely due to its small size, the iPad mini 6 does not have a keyboard connector for attachable iPad keyboards like the 2020 iPad Air and the iPad Pro do.

Apple iPad mini 6 software and features

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The iPad mini 6 comes with iPadOS 15 out the box, which has improved multitasking, home screen widgets and an updated Safari web browser. As this iPad will also support the Apple Pencil, users will be able to take advantage of features such as Scribble too. Scribble lets users write with the Apple Pencil in any text field, for example in the Safari app, as opposed to using a physical or on-screen keyboard.

What's new with the Safari browser aside from a redesign is an option in its settings to make it more compact. The search bar and tabs can be optionally combined into one row. That saves some valuable vertical space on the iPad mini 6's already small screen.

UPDATE: Apple announced iPadOS 17 during its annual WWDC 2023 event, and it will be coming to the iPad mini (6th generation) sometime this fall. The new OS comes with a lot of improvements, including live widgets, wallpapers and other Home screen customizations, Health app for iPad, and some cool features borrowed from iOS 17, such as AirDrop over the internet, FaceTime messages, and offline maps. Check out the iPadOS 17 official announcement article for the full list of new features.

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