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The iPhone 13 Pro and the Apple Watch Series 7 launch may have stolen all the headlines around Apple’s California Streaming event initially, but now that the dust has settled attention can turn to the real star of the show, the new iPad Mini.
It’s genuinely new from top to bottom, and after the disappointment of it not arriving earlier in the year, it has proved to be worth the wait. Not only that, but it comes at a time when there is renewed attention on large screen portable devices, giving the smallest Apple tablet a chance to shine like never before.
Not convinced? Allow me to explain.
The iPad Mini is the one product revealed during the event that felt truly new. The iPhone 13 series is subtly different from the iPhone 12, while the Apple Watch Series 7 has some visual changes, it retains enough of the old design to make it still compatible with existing straps. While alterations like a smaller notch on the phone and a curved screen on the watch do make a difference, it may need an expert eye to recognize them from a distance.
There’s no mistaking the new iPad Mini for the old iPad Mini. The massive bezel and Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the Home button are relics of Apple’s old design language, seen today only on its entry-level products like the iPhone SE (2020). By doing away with both and adopting the thin bezel, square-sided style of the iPhone 12 and the iPad Pro, the iPad Mini is very much a modern Apple product.
Crucially, the updated design brings about a significant spec alteration. The new iPad Mini has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina screen, up from the 7.9-inch Retina screen on the old Mini. The Touch ID sensor is now inside the power key, just like the iPad Air, and the Lightning connector has been replaced by a USB Type-C connection.
Before you pass these changes off as designs borrowed from other Apple products, remember that Apple has ignored the iPad Mini since 2019, and even then, the fifth-generation model shared most of the same design and technology as the fourth-generation iPad Mini launched in 2015. Bringing the iPad Mini right up to date with the new family design is the treatment the little tablet truly deserved.