Apple could be about to combine premium tablet features with a small body to create an iPad mini Pro, according to the latest rumors. And some awesome renders of how it would look have already been made.
We're firmly expecting an update to the current two-year-old iPad mini this year, in the form of the iPad mini 6. However, new rumors suggest the mini could get a fresh design in the style of the iPad Air and iPad Pro, or at least a significantly larger display.
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The rumors come from user yeux1122 on Korean blogging site Naver (opens in new tab), who claims Apple will make an iPad mini Pro measuring 8.7 inches, which will launch in the second half of 2021.
The author doesn't mention any other features, but does say this redesign will leave the new iPad mini shorter and wider than the current model.
It also claims the model is currently in the "P2" phase of production, which means it still has another round of tests to go through, but is well on the way to becoming a mass-produced device.
This is hardly the first rumor concerning the new iPad mini 2021. Back last year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that there would be a new iPad mini model in 2021. His report also suggested the mini would increase in size from 7.9 inches to between 8.5 and 9 inches, and would get a new chipset.
According to Kuo, the total size wouldn't change significantly even with the larger display, which points to reduced bezels and possibly the removal of the home button. If that happened, Apple could instead add an iPad Air-style power button with Touch ID, or Face ID like the iPad Pro.
Given that the redesign of the iPad Air removed the home button and shrunk the bezels, it's also possible Apple is planning to give a similar makeover to the iPad Mini, rather than making a new Pro variant.
in short, we don't know yet what Apple will give us. Although a new iPad mini of some kind certainly seems likely.
Either way, renders from Svet Apple (opens in new tab), which you see below, give us an idea of how this iPad mini Pro could look. The concept differs slightly from the rumors since it measures 8.9 inches rather than 8.7 inches.
The iPad renders don't feature the same dual cameras and LiDAR sensor on the back as the regular-sized Pro, but a single sensor instead.
From the front, there's no home button, but no Face ID either; Svet Apple has decided that this concept uses a power-button Touch ID sensor instead.
The inclusion of a USB-C connector and Apple Pencil 2 support mean the renders bear further similarity to the iPad Pro and iPad Air.
Underneath is an A14 chipset, which is the same as the one found in the iPad Air, plus 4GB RAM. The concept offers three storage options: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.
Svet Apple does accept that these rumors may not come to pass. Instead, there's a less ambitious render of a new iPad mini which merely reduces the bezel and home button size, but keeps much of the current design intact.
The iPad family takes several spots on our best tablets list, but the iPad mini is not among them. Giving the mini a premium makeover could help Apple get another top tablet. But equally, a minor refresh would likely satisfy the budget and business users who tend to buy the smallest iPad.
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