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Apple iPad Mini (2021) preview: Everything we know so far

It sounds like the iPad Mini is finally getting an overhaul this year

The iPad Mini hasn’t changed a whole lot in the nine years since its original release, with later versions boosting the power, screen resolution, and other features without shaking up the design.

That may finally change in 2021, however, as a reliable leaker has tipped word of a complete redesign for Apple’s pint-sized tablet. We’ve heard rumours of past iPad Mini revisions that didn’t pan out, but there’s a lot more depth to the reporting this time around.

Been holding out for a serious iPad Mini overhaul? Here’s what we’ve heard so far.

(Current iPad Mini shown)

When will the Apple iPad Mini be out?

When will the Apple iPad Mini be out?

It should roll out this autumn, keeping with the usual launch cycle for non-Pro iPad models. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman (via 9to5Mac) says the launch “should be a go” for later this year, based on what he’s heard. He’s been a reliable Apple leaker for years, so while things could change, his word is usually gospel when it comes to things like this.

Fact or fiction?

We believe it. An overhauled iPad Mini is long, long overdue.

How much will the Apple iPad Mini cost?

We haven’t heard any solid reporting on this front. The current iPad Mini starts at £399, or £70 more than the base iPad. If the new iPad Mini really is planned to feature a significant upgrade, then we wouldn’t be surprised to see a slight price bump. The iPad Air currently starts at £579, so placing the iPad Mini between the iPad and iPad Air might make sense.

Fact or fiction?

We hope to see the same price, but don’t be surprised if it jumps a little bit.

What will the Apple iPad Mini look like?

What will the Apple iPad Mini look like?

Last year’s great iPad Air (shown) took its cues from the iPad Pro line, shedding a lot of the bezel for a more sophisticated look than the past models. Now, the iPad Mini is expected to take inspiration from the iPad Air as the updated look spreads further across the line. With less bezel on the front of the tablet, we could well see a slightly larger screen too.

Fact or fiction?

We believe it: the iPad Air and iPad Pro aesthetic would work well on the smaller frame too.

What about the Apple iPad Mini’s screen?

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in 2020 that the next iPad Mini could have a screen between 8.5in and 9in in size. That would be a step up from the 7.9in screen on the current iPad Mini model, and with less bezel around the screen, there could be room for expansion. Because of the smaller frame, the iPad Mini has had a crisper screen than some other iPad models in recent years, but we’ll have to see if that holds true this time around.

Fact or fiction?

The body might be mini, but the screen should be a bit larger.

How much power will the Apple iPad Mini pack?

Tech: specs-ial edition

If the iPad Mini is being positioned as a higher-end model along the lines of the iPad Air, then we’d expect to see the latest chip within. Depending on the launch timing, that could either be the current A14 Bionic chip or the incoming A15 chip that’ll ship with the iPhone 13 line. Either way, the iPad Mini ought to be crazy powerful, capable of running even the glossiest mobile games with ease and handling multitasking like a champ.

Fact or fiction?

Depending on the price, the new iPad Mini could prove to be Apple’s most affordable iOS device running the latest chipset. We’ll have to see how it all comes together later this year.