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iPad mini 6 release date, specs, design, colors and news

iPad mini 6
(Image credit: Apple )
Apple iPad mini 6 specs

Starting price: $499
Screen: 8.3 inches (2266 x 1488)
Battery life (claimed): Up to 10 hours (rated)
Processor: A15 Bionic
Storage: 64GB or 256GB
Cameras: 12MP (rear) 12MP (front)
Video recording: Up to 1080p HD at 30 fps
Security: Touch ID
Apple Keyboard support: None
Pencil support: Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches
Weight: 0.65 pounds
Ports: USB-C
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 5G optional

The iPad mini 6 was announced at Apple's September 2021 event (read our Apple event recap for all the big news) and it's the makeover Apple's smallest tablet needed. This new 2021 iPad mini sports a slimmer design, upgraded performance, a new edge-to-edge screen, and Touch ID support like that found in the iPad Air.  

The new iPad mini 6 is available for pre-order right now via Apple's website at a starting price of $499, and it's expected to ship the week of September 21st. Here's how to preorder the iPad mini 6 and get the best early deals.

It's available in an array of new colors complemented by matching new Smart Folio cover accessories, and with the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic chip powering it, it's pretty clear that the iPad mini 6 is shaping up to be one of the best iPads (and indeed, one of the best tablets period) for most people.

So with those upgrades in mind, here's everything we know so far about what to expect from the iPad mini 6. 

The 5 biggest things to know about the iPad mini 6

  • The iPad mini 6 features a new look, with an edge-to-edge screen you may recognize from the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro.
  • That means it also supports the superior 2nd Gen Apple Pencil. But there is no Apple Smart Keyboard for it.
  • The iPad mini 6 also features an A15 Bionic processor, which Apple rates as offering  40 percent jump in CPU performance vs the iPad mini 5.
  • The iPad mini 6's front camera has Center Stage for tracking your face on calls so you stay in the center of the frame.
  • The iPad mini 6 is available for pre-order right now at a starting price of $499, and shipping next week (9/20).

iPad mini 6 release date and price

At its September 2021 event Apple announced that the iPad mini 6 is available for pre-order right now via Apple's website, and it's expected to ship the week of September 20.

iPad mini 2021 price

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad mini 6 has a starting price of $499, so it starts about a hundred bucks more expensive than its predecessor, the $399 iPad mini 5. You can order the iPad mini 6 in one of four colors: purple, pink, starlight, and space grey.

iPad mini 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Plus, the iPad mini 6 now supports 5G, so you can order either the base Wi-Fi model or the more expensive version with 5G connectivity. If you like to splurge on accessories, Apple is releasing a new series of Smart Covers for the iPad mini 6 that complement its new color options.

iPad mini 6 display

The iPad mini 6 features an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display capable of achieving 500 nits of brightness. It also offers wide color support, TrueTone, and an antireflective coating. 

iPad mini 2021 Apple Pencil 2

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has moved the TouchID sensor off the front of the device (since the display now runs from edge to edge) and onto the power button on the top-right edge of the iPad mini 6. 

iPad mini 6 specs

The new iPad mini delivers a 40% improvement in CPU performance and an 80% increase in GPU performance over its predecessor thanks to the A15 Bionic chip driving it. If that sounds familiar, it's because the A15 Bionic is the chip which powers the iPhone 13 lineup.

iPad mini 2021 USB-C

(Image credit: Apple)

In other promising news, the 2021 iPad mini now sports a USB-C port at the bottom edge rather than Apple's proprietary Lightning port, which should make the device easier to charge.

iPad mini 6 design

As was hinted at in leaks during the run-up to Apple's September event, the iPad mini's display has grown to 8.3 inches thanks to its new design, which sports an edge-to-edge screen. It looks like a smaller version of the iPad Air 4.

The power button is now a TouchID sensor, and it sits on the top right edge of the new iPad mini 6.

The iPad mini 6 now comes in your choice of purple, pink, starlight, and space grey.

Plus, it now supports the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, and you can magnetically attach the Pencil to the iPad mini 6 to keep it charged and readily at hand.

iPad mini 6 cameras

Apple's big talking point around the iPad mini 6 cameras is Center Stage, which uses onboard AI to have the iPad's front-facing camera automatically follow you as you move around during video calls.

iPad mini 2021 camera

(Image credit: Apple)

It first debuted in the 2021 iPad Pro, and now Center Stage is supported by the iPad mini 6's new 12MP Ultra Wide front-facing camera, which has a much wider field of view than that of its predecessor.

The rear camera is upgraded from an 8MP sensor to a 12MP Wide angle lens.

iPad mini 6 outlook

We've said before that the iPad mini is in desperate need of a redesign, and now it looks like Apple has at least partly answered our prayers. 

While we would like to see how the iPad mini 6 performs in real-world conditions, and get a look at that new edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display in person, the new design, fresh color options, and improved A15 Bionic performance make the iPad mini 6 an exciting new addition to Apple's product lineup.