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iPad 2021 & iPad Mini: More beautiful, more powerful and with a new camera

iPad Keynote 62
© Apple / Screenshots: nextpit

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Apple has just unveiled the iPad 2021 and iPad Mini, its new entry-level and compact tablets. The two new iPads are up for pre-order today and will be released next week. They both feature a reworked design, a more powerful SoC and a new camera with a feature from the latest iPad Pro.

  • the iPad 2021 is up for pre-order today, starting at $399 for the 64GB version
  • the iPad Mini is on pre-order today from $499
  • both tablets have the selfie camera of the iPad Pro 2021 with the Centre Stage feature
  • the shipments will start on September 24

Apple hasn't refreshed the entry-level and Mini lines of its iPad lineup in a few years. The new iPad 2021 and iPad Mini have been given a serious makeover to be consistent with the visual identity of the latest iPhone. I'll summarize here the main new features of Apple's tablets.

Before we get to this article on the Apple Watch 7, be sure to check out our other Apple keynote recaps if you haven't already done so:

iPad 2021: The entry-level with a Pro touch

With a price tag of $399, the iPad 2021 is the entry-level tablet from Apple. I own the second-to-last model of 2019 and am very happy with it.

The new version embeds the A13 Bionic SoC, the same as on the iPhone 11, a chip fully capable of handling even the most intense uses (gaming). As always, Apple guarantees a 20% performance gain over the previous generation, which still doesn't mean much.

iPad Keynote 17
The iPad 2021 looks a bit more dated than other Apple tablets / © Apple / Screenshots: NextPit

The most interesting thing about the iPad 2021 is the new selfie camera. Apple has packed the new 12 MP ultra-wide angle lens with a 122° FOV. Combined with the Neural Engine, this photo module supports the feature first introduced on the iPad Pro 2021, Center Stage. This allows you to adjust the framing of your video during video calls or recordings as you move around or as additional participants come on screen.

iPad Keynote 56
The famous new selfie camera with Center Stage / © Apple / Screenshots: NextPit

Another new feature, which is just a catch-up, is that Apple has implemented True Tone, which adjusts the screen's colorimetry based on the ambient light. The screen retains the 10.2-inch diagonal.

The iPad 2021 will obviously run on iPadOS 15 and will be compatible with entry-level keyboards (not the Magic Keyboard?) as well as the 1st generation Apple Pencil. It will finally accept the 20 Watts fast charge and will come in two colors: Space Grey and Silver. A Wifi+4G version will also be available.

iPad Keynote 35
What you should know about the Apple iPad 2021 / © Apple / Screenshots: NextPit

iPad Mini 2021: The new compact 5G tablet with the A15 chip

The iPad Mini is on pre-order from 549 euros (Wifi) and 719 euros (Wifi+5G) to be released on September 24, in 64 or 256 GB. It has also undergone a serious redesign according to Apple although I do not see much difference with the iPad Air 2020 last year. It comes in 4 colors: Purple, Pink, Starlight and Space Grey.

It packs an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with no edges, which means the Touch ID button is actually hidden under the power button. Apple promises a maximum brightness of 500 nits, an anti-reflective coating and the aforementioned True Tone feature.

iPad Keynote 58
The iPad Mini 2021 comes with its own set of accessories, of course / © Apple / Screenshots: NextPit

The SoCn is Apple's latest A15 Bionic chip, the same one debuted in the iPhone 13. So we're starting with the most powerful compact tablet on the market. Apple guarantees the usual 80% performance gains on the GPU and 40% on the CPU. According to the manufacturer, the iPad Mini 2021 is twice as powerful as the previous generation.

Gone is the Lightning port, Apple is finally switching to USB-C and is also offering 5G compatibility for the cellular version of the iPad Mini 2021 (which supports Wifi-6, incidentally). There's also the same selfie camera as on the iPad 2021 with Center Stage as well as a dual stereo speaker system. The iPad Mini 2021 is finally compatible with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil.

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What you should know about the iPad Mini 2021. / © Apple / Screenshots: NextPit

What do you think of these two new iPads? Will you pre-order one of these models? Tell us in the comments.

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Antoine Engels

Antoine Engels
Senior Editor

Black belt in specs sheet analysis. OnePlus fanboy in (slow) remission. Average estimated reading time of my articles: 48 minutes. Tech deals fact-checker in my spare time. Hates talking about himself in the 3rd person. Dreams he was a gaming journalist in another life. Doesn't get the concept of irony. Head of editorial for NextPit France.

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