It's been two years since the Apple iPad mini got an update, and it's one worth waiting for. Packed with the snappy Apple A15 Bionic chip, the new tablet also comes with second-generation Apple Pencil support, USB-C, and a brilliant 8.3-inch display. If you've been waiting to get an iPad mini, this is the one to get — well, till the next model gets released, of course.
- Apple A15 Bionic (6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)
- 64GB or 256GB
- 12MP front and rear camera
- Stereo speakers
Featuring a redesign that brings it in line with the latest iPads, the iPad mini drops the home button found in the previous five models. TouchID is now located on the power button, like the iPad Air. The volume buttons have also moved to the same row, and I like how Apple makes it so that depending on your orientation, the volume up key is always “up”. I hope it makes its way to future iPad designs. There's a magnetic charging port for the Apple Pencil, too. The rear camera is okay, but you're better off using an iPhone 13 if you want the best picture quality.
I also like how light the tablet is — you can comfortably use it with one hand. It took me some time getting used to smaller 8.3-inch screen after using the larger iPad Air. But after a while, I felt that iPad Air was too large instead. Reading eBooks on the iPad mini's smaller screen is a lot more comfortable because of the size. The screen is very bright at max, but everything is comfortably visible even at 30% brightness. Battery life is great, too, you'll get a full day of use, but you may run low towards the end of the day. In our battery life test with brightness and volume at 100%, the tablet lasted 5hr 1min. It doesn't sound like much, but I reckon the bright screen use up quite a bit of juice.
The A15 Bionic makes using the iPad mini a breeze. Everything is snappy. iPadOS 15 also adds a few cool things. Center Stage lets the camera to track you if you choose to move around while chatting on FaceTime. There's also SharePlay, which lets you watch shows together on supported apps on FaceTime. This works with music, too. Quick Notes lets you write notes in any app or screen and is useful for quick ideas. Honestly, while you can probably do some work using the iPad mini, it's really best for entertainment or for sketching, thanks to Apple Pencil support. My only bugbear is if you're using the iPad mini vertically, it's hard to hit the right app on the dock if you have many apps there due to how small they become.
With a starting price of S$749 for the Wi-Fi and 64GB model, the Apple iPad mini comes in four pretty eye-catching colours. Honestly, it's probably the best 8-inch tablet in the market. There are very few flagship-class 8-inch tablets, so if you're looking for the latest and greatest, you can't do no wrong with the iPad mini. Get it at Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, or the online Apple Store.
Note: Review unit provided by Apple.
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