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Apple iPad mini 6th generation: Compact yet powerful

Apple iPad mini 6th generation: Compact yet powerful

A lot of muscle in pocketable sized hardware makes the iPad mini 6th gen a mini magic.

Weighing 293 grams, the flat-edged device makes it super convenient to hold Weighing 293 grams, the flat-edged device makes it super convenient to hold

Price: Rs 46,900 onwards for WiFi + 64GB  
Specs: 8.3-inch display, 1488x2266p resolution, A15 Bionic chip, iPad OS 15, 12MP front camera + 12 MP rear camera, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, Apple Pencil 2nd gen support, fingerprint sensor, 293 grams
Colour: space gray, pink, purple, starlight
In the box: iPad mini 6th gen, USB-C Charge Cable, 20W USB-C power adapter  
 
I often hear tech enthusiasts questioning the existence of the 'mini' in the iPad lineup that includes 'Pro’ and ‘Air’ models which offer more screen estate. On the other hand, I know many who swear by the compact size that makes it ideal for reading books, video calls, gaming, streaming, even setting and designing, and more. No wonder, Apple refreshed the design and added more power to its mini tablet.
 
I am all in favour of the new design of the iPad family. Flat edges yet a sleek body, thin bezels minus home button -- all these makes it look ultra-premium. And finally, after a long time, even mini gets the same industrial design language as the elder siblings.   

There is more screen estate as it now houses an 8.3-inch display. The sleek bezels on the sides complement this experience. The edges attract finger impresses but can be wiped easily. The iconic home button is gone for good and the TouchID is embedded into the power button, sitting on towards the top right when held in landscape mode.

While the sound output from the stereo speaker is loud, the iPad mini lacks a 3.5mm audio port. With the new 12MP camera, there is a slight bump at the rear, so it does not lay flat on a surface. Most importantly, the lightning port is replaced with the USB-C. In all, I loved the hand-feel of the new iPad mini.
   
Weighing 293 grams, the flat-edged device makes it super convenient to hold. It can easily fit in the back pocket of jeans (although not in my slim-fit jeans), and I was able to hold and use it without feeling pressure on my hands for longer durations.  
 
The 8.3-inch screen Liquid Retina with wide-colour support looks good and comes with TrueTone display that adapts the colour temperature of the device display according to surrounding light sources. At full brightness, the display looks vibrant -- perfect for gaming and streaming OTT content.

The new iPad mini also supports the Pencil 2nd Gen, which magnetically attaches (and charges) on the right edge of the tablet. The used cases for the Pencil are many. In my case, I used it for taking notes (loved the new Quick Note feature) during meetings and conferences. I also used the markup tool for highlighting important information and taking notes on PDFs in Apple's Keynote app. I loved drawing doodles too as the experience is very similar to using a pen and paper. No wonder, I have heard from many of my friends in creative fields like graphic designing, fashion designers, and even some interior designers, tell how much they love using the iPad with pencil for daily work.   

There are new cameras at the front and the rear. The 7MP front camera has been replaced with a 12MP ultra-wide one with support for Centre Stage that automatically kept me in the centre view even with the slightest of movement during video calls over Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft teams. The rear 12 MP camera is also decent that can also capture up to 4K at 60fps video. However, instead of capturing images, I used it for stargazing and other AR apps.

Unlike Pro models, mini does not feature LiDAR, my new favourite. However, be it browsing the web, gaming, using AR apps or sketching using the Apple Pencil, the iPad mini powered by the A15 Bionic chip handled every task beautifully.  

Complementing the overall experience was the iPad OS 15 which makes multitasking easy on this iPad too. I was able to open two apps side-by-side, and even drag and drop with ease. For instance, the Safari browser opened along with the notes app and I was able to add links to the latter just by dragging.  

Apple has bumped up many small features on the new mini. It has WiFi 6. The Type C port, which has replaced lightning, not just makes it convenient to charge but also more accessories, including a pen drive, can be connected.

Lastly, even the battery life does not disappoint. With a couple of hours of usage every day, it lasted me close to five days. My usage spiked over the weekends which included hours of streaming videos, reading books on the Kindle app and browsing the web. The tablet easily lasted me two days with about five hours of average usage.  

If you are looking for a compact tablet, the iPad mini 6th gen is a great tablet to have.  

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