iPad mini 7 — 3 reasons I'm excited for Apple’s new tiny tablet

The iPad mini 2021
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

When it comes to the best iPads, I’ve never given the iPad mini 6 much thought. Why would I want to use such a small tablet when the iPad Air 5 and especially the iPad Pro M2 offer more screen real estate? Yes, the iPad mini’s size is ideal for reading novels — but that’s what I have a Kindle Paperwhite 2021 for. So when I started rumors about the iPad mini 7, I didn’t pay much attention unless I had to write about it for work.

Things have now changed.

I read manga on a Kindle Paperwhite vs. iPad mini 6 for a week and found the latter as the best option for the task. Not only that, but I’ve begun using the iPad mini 6 over the iPad Pro to watch videos since the tiny tablet is easier to take around my apartment. I didn’t think I’d like the iPad mini this much. It’s definitely one of the best tablets you can buy. Due to my newfound infatuation, I’m now eager to see what the iPad mini 7 has in store.

There aren’t many rumors about the iPad mini 7. What we’ve heard points to a minor update at best — with a faster processor, a better LCD display and possibly new colors. That’s not terribly exciting, but given how much I’m enjoying the iPad mini 6 Apple let me borrow, I’m considering buying its follow-up for myself. Here’s why.

Faster processor 

The iPad mini 6 2021 playing NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition with a PS5 controller in the frame

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

According to Bloomberg reporter and Apple tipster Mark Gurman, the iPad mini 7 won’t receive a major overhaul. Instead, the tablet’s biggest update will be a processor upgrade. The iPad mini 6 utilizes the same A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 13 Pro, which is pretty zippy. However, I need a little more speed.

Some rumors claim the iPad mini 7 will pack an A16 Bionic chip while others say it will be an A17 Pro chip. I’ve heard some chatter about the iPad mini 7 possibly sporting an A18 or M1 chip, but that’s more wishful thinking as no credible leaker/tipster has discussed this. That being the case, the A16 and A17 Pro chips seem the most likely candidates.

The iPad mini 6 isn’t sluggish performance-wise but I can feel the difference when switching between it and the M2-driven iPad Pro. I’m not expecting that level of performance from the iPad mini 7 but any bump in speed would be appreciated.

There’s also the potential for improved battery efficiency with an A16 or A17. The iPad mini 6 lasted nearly 11 hours in our battery test so I’m expecting the updated tablet to last longer, though probably not by much.

No more jelly-scrolling 

The iPad mini 2021 open to home screen with widgets

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

The iPad mini 6 is great but it suffers from a major issue called “jelly scrolling,” which is an effect where both sides of the display are scrolling at different speeds. According to 9to5Mac, this issue is easier to spot in portrait mode, and the different rates of scrolling create a noticeable wiggle as you’re trying to navigate up and down the page. Though Apple claimed iPad mini 6 'jelly scrolling' isn't a problem, the issue resulted in a class action lawsuit.

Thankfully, the iPad mini 7 could fix the tiny tablet’s biggest problem. As we reported, tipster Instant Digital (via MacRumors) claims that Apple has solved the problem. According to their post on the Chinese social network Weibo, the leaker claims that a change in the way the screen is assembled means that the “phenomenon” has “improved.” Machine translation of the leaker’s post isn’t perfect, but it appears jelly scrolling will be minimized or resolved with the iPad mini 7.

This isn’t a problem I notice when using an iPad mini 6 since reading manga doesn’t require me to scroll up and down. I also don’t see the jelly-scrolling effect when watching videos with the tablet horizontally. That said, I do see it whenever I surf the web and have to scroll through sites. Hopefully, Apple will fix this problem.

More storage options 

The iPad mini 6 2021 in landscape orientation

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

The other major upgrade reportedly coming to the iPad mini 7 is upgraded cameras. That’s nice, but I don’t use cameras on tablets. I've also heard discussions about new colors, thinner bezels and a 120Hz refresh rate.

No known or credible source has discussed these aspects, so I won’t go into great detail about them. However, there is one thing I haven’t heard rumors discussing that I’d love to see. It’s also what would get our own Alex Wawro to buy an iPad mini 7 over any tablet. Namely, more storage options.

Except for the iPad Pro, all iPads ship with 64GB of storage space by default. Considering how iPadOS gobbles up nearly 10GB, you’re effectively left with 54GB of storage … which won’t last very long nowadays. Of course, you can upgrade to 256GB of storage … for an extra $150 — which would bring the total to $650 before taxes.

So what do I want? An iPad mini 7 with 128GB of storage. That would give me plenty of room to download manga, comics and even videos for when I travel. And while that storage option would raise the price, it would cost less than a 256GB upgrade.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.