iPad Mini 6 vs. iPad Air 4 Buyer’south Guide
Apple recently introduced the sixth-generation iPad mini, featuring a complete redesign, a larger display, the A15 Bionic chip, and more. The iPad mini now effectively shares the design of the fourth-generation iPad Air from 2020, with both devices possessing many of the same features such equally an all-screen design with no Domicile push, Touch ID in the meridian ability button, and stereo speakers.
Since the iPad Air was released over a year agone in September 2020, should you buy the now-discontinued, bigger-screened iPad Air, or opt for the new iPad mini? Our guide answers the question of how to decide which of these ii iPads is best for you.
Comparing the iPad mini and iPad Air
The iPad mini and iPad Air share a large number of cardinal features, such as design, a rear 12MP Broad camera, and a USB-C port:
- All-screen industrial design with flat edges
- Touch ID scanner congenital into the summit push button
- Liquid Retina display with P3 wide colour, fingerprint resistant blanket, 500 nits max brightness, full lamination, anti-reflective coating, and True Tone
- A-Series Bionic bit with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, 4GB of memory, and Neural Engine
- 12MP ƒ/one.8 Wide rear camera with 5x digital zoom and Smart HDR 3
- 4K video recording at up to 60fps with 3x video zoom, 1080p slo-mo video at 120fps or 240fps, and time-lapse with stablilization
- Front-facing camera with Retina Flash, Smart HDR iii, cinematic video stabilization and 1080p video recording
- 2d-generation Apple Pencil compatibility
- Up to ten hours of battery life
- USB-C port
- Two speaker audio landscape mode
- Wi-Fi half-dozen and Bluetooth 5.0
- Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models
- 64GB and 256GB storage options
Apple’due south specification breakdown shows that the two iPads share many of their nigh of import features. All the same, there are a large number of meaningful differences betwixt the iPad mini and iPad Air that are worth highlighting, including their A-series chips, front-facing cameras, keyboard compatibility, and more.
- 8.3-inch display with 2266‑by‑1488 resolution at 326 ppi
- Smaller, compact design for maximum portability
- A15 Bionic chip
- Rear Quad-LED True Tone flash
- 1080p Hard disk drive video recording at 25fps, 30fps, or 60fps and extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
- 12MP ƒ/2.4 front-facing Ultra Wide camera with 2x zoom out, Middle Phase, and extended dynamic range
- 6GHz 5G on cellular model
- Uniform with Bluetooth keyboards just
- Weight of up to 0.66 pound (297 grams)
- Bachelor in Space Grey, Pink, Purple, and Starlight
- ten.9-inch display with 2360‑past‑1640 resolution at 264 ppi
- Larger design that is better for productivity
- A14 Bionic scrap
- 1080p HD video recording at 60 fps
- 7MP ƒ/ii.two front-facing FaceTime Hard disk drive camera
- 4G LTE on cellular model
- Smart Connector for external keyboards including Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Page
- Weight of up to 1.01 pounds (460 grams)
- Available in Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gilt, Green, and Sky Blue
Read on for a closer look at each of these aspects, and meet what exactly both iPads accept to offer.
Design and Size
Size is the nearly obvious difference betwixt the iPad mini and iPad Air, with the iPad mini being 52.2mm shorter and 43.7mm narrower than the iPad Air. This makes it possible for nigh people to hold the iPad mini from edge to edge in ane manus. It is also 163 grams (0.36 pounds) lighter than the iPad Air.
The compact grade cistron and depression weight of the iPad mini brand information technology much more than portable than the iPad Air, being far easier to fit in a small bag or even a big pocket and utilize on the get. Though the iPad Air is still sparse and light to carry around, it just is non as user-friendly to employ on the go equally the iPad mini, which is a device that pushes iPad portability to the farthermost.
Users may experience more comfortable walking around with the iPad mini and using information technology discreetly in public spaces than the iPad Air, and it is also a bully size for kids. Preference for ane size or the other ultimately comes down to your personal employ case.
Both devices feature the same squared-off industrial blueprint language that has become the norm on a range of iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, which makes them easier to grip and pick up off a surface.
iPad mini color options: Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Starlight.
The iPad mini and iPad Air are available in a range of different color options. The iPad mini is available in Space Gray, Pink, Imperial, and Starlight, while the iPad Air is available in Silverish, Space Grey, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue. If you have your heart assail a particular color, y’all will need to bear in mind that the colour offerings are unlike beyond both devices with the exception of Space Greyness.
iPad Air colour options: Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, and Heaven Bluish.
The iPad mini and iPad Air characteristic the same Liquid Retina display with P3 broad color, a fingerprint-resistant coating, 500 nits of maximum brightness, full lamination, an anti-reflective coating, and Truthful Tone. As with design, the difference between the two displays comes down to size.
The iPad mini features an 8.3-inch brandish, while the iPad Air has a larger, 10.nine-inch display. This means that the iPad mini’s display is two.half-dozen-inches smaller diagonally, which translates to an virtually 45% reduction in full screen area. The college pixel density of the iPad mini does compensate somewhat, however.
Both devices take slim bezels around the display for an all-screen look. The bezels are the same size on both devices, which makes them more pronounced relative to the iPad mini’s smaller display.
The iPad mini’southward smaller display may experience more than cramped than on the iPad Air, with smaller bear upon targets and more express multitasking options. For example, the keyboard takes up well-nigh of the display in landscape, using apps in split up view makes them very small, and app icons are smaller than they are on the iPad Air.
Nevertheless, the iPad mini’s smaller display may be more comfortable for reading or playing handheld games. The iPad Air’s larger, 10.9-inch display is much more suited to productivity, multitasking, and watching videos, with considerably more screen space to fit app windows, UI elements, and more.
A14 Bionic vs. A15 Bionic Fleck
The iPad mini features Apple tree’due south latest A-series bit, the A15 Bionic. This is also the scrap used in the iPhone thirteen and iPhone 13 Pro. On the other mitt, the iPad Air uses last year’due south A14 Bionic bit from the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
The A15 in the iPad mini is downclocked to ii.9GHz, compared to 3.2GHz in all iPhone 13 models, which has a small two to viii percent touch on performance compared to those devices.
Early benchmarks show that the A15 is around 10 pct faster in single-core tasks, 20 percent faster in multicore tasks, and fifteen percent faster graphics than the A14. This is more of an iterative improvement, so while the A15 in the iPad mini does offering better performance than the iPad Air and it volition be more futureproof with a newer chip, it is a marginal improvement that is unlikely to take a strong bearing on which device y’all should buy.
Both the iPad mini and the iPad Air feature a 12MP ƒ/1.eight Wide rear photographic camera with 5x digital zoom and Smart HDR iii, simply the iPad mini features extended dynamic range and is able to record 1080p video at a range of framerates, rather than just at 60fps on the iPad Air. The iPad mini also adds a rear Quad-LED True Tone flash.
The iPad mini’southward rear camera is slightly more capable than that of the iPad Air, the True Tone wink may make information technology more than suitable for scanning documents, and its course cistron may make capturing videos and images more comfortable, only broadly the rear cameras on the two are very similar.
Amid the more meaning differences between the two iPads are their front-facing cameras. The iPad mini has a much more advanced 12MP ƒ/2.4 Ultra Wide camera with 2x zoom out and extended dynamic range. This is a huge comeback over the 7MP ƒ/2.2 FaceTime HD photographic camera of the iPad Air.
The iPad mini’s Ultra Wide front-facing photographic camera enables its back up for Center Stage, which automatically keeps users perfectly framed during video calls. As users move around, Center Phase automatically pans to keep them in the frame. When other people bring together in on the call, the photographic camera detects them besides, and smoothly zooms out to fit everyone into the view and brand sure they are function of the conversation.
This ways that for video calls and selfies, the iPad mini is a much more than capable device that should deliver a markedly meliorate experience and image quality.
Both the iPad mini and iPad Air characteristic Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and are available in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular variants. For the cellular models, a key departure betwixt the iPad mini and iPad Air is 5G connectivity. The iPad Air is able to connect to 4G LTE but, while the iPad mini can connect to 6GHz 5G for much faster speeds with the latest cellular technology. If you plan to use a cellular programme with your iPad, this may be an of import consideration and would brand the iPad mini much more future-proof.
The iPad mini and iPad Air are compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which magnetically snaps onto the side for pairing, charging, and storage. The iPad mini’s form factor may brand it a bang-up match for note-making with the Apple Pencil, while the larger display of the iPad Air may be ameliorate for illustration and graphic design.
The iPad Air features a magnetic Smart Connector on its rear to connect to keyboards such equally Apple tree’s Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio. It is also compatible with Bluetooth keyboards and pointers.
Due to its minor size, the iPad mini does not characteristic a Smart Connector or any first-party keyboard options. The iPad mini is still compatible with external keyboards and pointing devices, but these would need to be dissever devices that connect via Bluetooth.
If you lot program to ship your iPad with a keyboard or use it as a laptop replacement, you will be better off buying the iPad Air. The iPad mini is still workable with Bluetooth peripherals for occasional emails or word processing, but its size is merely not practical for use as a complete laptop replacement.
Other iPad Options
If the iPad Air is out of your price range but you would withal like an iPad with a bigger screen, there is the ninth-generation iPad, which starts at $329 and serves as an entry-level model in the iPad lineup. This undercuts the price of the $499 iPad mini and $599 iPad Air, but however offers of import features like an Ultra Wide front-facing photographic camera with Center Stage, first-generation Apple Pencil compatibility, a Smart Connector for use with an Apple Smart Keyboard, the A13 chip, and more than.
- iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer’s Guide
Alternatively, if you are looking for an iPad that is more geared toward productivity with “pro” features, there is the iPad Pro, which starts at $799. The iPad Pro features the M1 scrap from the Mac, a ProMotion brandish, a Thunderbolt port, and offers an even larger model with a 12.9-inch display.
Overall, the iPad Air is the best all-around option for the bulk of users, providing a large screen for productivity and consuming entertainment in a slim, portable design. The additional $100 needed to buy the iPad Air over the iPad mini is more than justified for the benefits that come with a larger brandish, non least the ability to practically use it every bit a laptop replacement.
Yet, most customers buying the iPad mini will likely be buying it considering of its screen size rather than in spite of information technology. The iPad mini is ideal for comfortably reading books, playing handheld games, and unobtrusive storage.
Those who buy the iPad mini will likely accept a specific employ case in heed for how they volition utilize the device, such equally for note-taking on the go, throwing into a small backpack to use on public transport, or sliding into a large pocket to apply while working.
The iPad mini is undoubtedly more futureproof with its newer A15 chip, 5G connectivity, improved front-facing camera, and Center Stage. Using a cellular connection or holding video calls is also a ameliorate feel on the iPad mini, only again, the main reason to choose the iPad mini will be its novel size.
If y’all do not run into the iPad mini’s smaller brandish, easy 1-handed grip, light weight, and portable course factor as an active advantage and are focused on a more versatile larger display, you will likely prefer the iPad Air. If you desire more of an accommodating device that works as a potential laptop replacement, with the added bonuses that come with a bigger screen for productivity and entertainment, the iPad Air will be the meliorate option for you lot.