Apple’s new iPad Mini has ditched the Lightning port for USB-C amid a raft of new features including a larger Liquid Retina display and 5G connectivity, while the basic iPad has been given a new, faster processor.
Unveiled at Apple’s press event overnight, the sixth-generation iPad Mini ships with iPad OS 15 and the new A15 Bionic chip, which the manufacturer says delivers up to 80 per cent faster performance over the previous generation.
The Home button is gone in the name of thinner bezels and a larger display, with Touch ID now moved to the power button on top of the device; additionally, the new Mini now supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, which can magnetically attach to the side of the tablet.
The front camera has been upgraded with Centre Stage, a feature from the iPad Pro that automatically pans and zooms to keep users in frame while they move during video calls, while the rear camera now features a 12MP sensor with Focus Pixels and a larger aperture.
Additionally, 5G is now available for the Mini, while the Lightning port is gone – a possible signal for future apple products – replaced by a USB-C connection for data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps.
According to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, the new generation is the most capable iPad Mini yet.
“With its ultra-portable design and wide range of uses from everyday tasks to creative and enterprise applications, there’s nothing else like iPad mini.
“With a new all-screen Liquid Retina display, massive boost in performance, new advanced cameras on the front and back, Centre Stage, USB-C, 5G, and support for Apple Pencil, the new iPad mini is a huge leap forward that can be held in the palm of your hand,” he said.
Also receiving an upgrade is the ninth-generation stock iPad: it will now feature Apple’s A13 Bionic processor, which Apple says makes it up to three times faster than the best-selling Chromebook and six times faster than the best-selling Android tablet. The new iPad also includes a 10.2-inch retina display, support for first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and double the storage of the previous generation.
“With the powerful A13 Bionic, more engaging video calls with Centre Stage, and double the storage, the new iPad delivers advanced capabilities, versatility, and simplicity at an incredible value,” said Joswiak.
The new iPad Mini is available for preorder today in five colours, starting at $749 AUD for the wi-fi model and $979 for cellular models, while the ninth-generation iPad will start at $499 AUD. They will release next Friday, September 24.