iPad mini (2022): what we want to see – TechRadar
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By James Rogerson last updated 8 March 22
And what we’ve heard so far
The next iPad Mini could end up as the Mini (2023), not the 2022 model as we talk about here, but we live in hope that Apple could release a new compact tablet sooner rather than later.
The latest iPad launched was the iPad Air (2022), which had a few big upgrades which could show us what the new Mini could be like, including 5G connectivity and an M1 chipset.
The iPad Mini (2022) or (2023) will be the seventh model in the range, so the Mini 7 in other words, though one leak suggests it could land as the iPad mini Pro.
Whatever name you call it though and whenever it lands, we’re already starting to hear some rumors about it, and you’ll find those below, along with our thoughts on the likely release date and price.
Then further down we’ve included a list of things we want from Apple’s next compact slate, in order to make it even better than the iPad mini (2021).
There’s not much news on when the iPad mini (2022) might launch, but one source claimed in November 2021 that Samsung Display had already shipped a display sample to Apple for the slate, which suggests it could well arrive in 2022.
If it does, then September 2022 is when we’ll most likely see it, as the iPad mini (2021) arrived in September 2021. That also means it might launch alongside the iPhone 14. A March launch event is being hosted by the company on March 8, but this doesn’t line up with timings we’ve previously heard.
That said, this isn’t a tablet range that Apple refreshes every year, so since we already received an iPad mini in 2021, there’s a chance that we’ll be waiting until 2023 or later.
As for the price, one source claims that the iPad mini (2022) will be slightly more expensive than the iPad mini (2021), which starts at $499 / £479 / AU$749. But we wouldn’t think Apple would push the price up by much.
So far there’s only really been one iPad mini (2022) leak, but it’s a big one, detailing many of the possible specs.
Apparently, the tablet will have an 8.3-inch 120Hz screen, an A15 Bionic chipset (like the current model, though with a slightly higher 3.23GHz clock speed), 4GB of RAM, and a starting capacity of 128GB, up from 64GB on the current model.
However, as there aren’t any leaks corroborating any of this yet, and as the source doesn’t yet have a track record, we’d take this with a pinch of salt.
The iPad mini (2021) is a great slate, but with the following changes the iPad mini (2022) would be far better still.
In our review we found that the iPad mini (2021)’s battery life was solid but not special. It would last around 8 hours with intensive use, and potentially even less when the Apple Pencil was added to the equation.
The size of the slate may be a limiting factor here as there might simply not be space for a much bigger battery, but the fact is that the likes of the iPad Pro 11 (2021) offer better life, so we’d like Apple to try and make some improvements here for the iPad mini (2022).
The iPad mini (2021) isn’t exactly lacking in power. After all, it has the same chipset as the iPhone 13. But it only has 4GB of RAM, and while its chipset is good, it’s no match for the M1 in the latest iPad Pro models.
This is of course a balance for Apple – supercharge the iPad mini too much and the price will inevitably go up, but we imagine there must be a market for a powerful slate with a small screen, so we’d like to see Apple lean into that for the next model, even if it also launches a less powerful version.
The Apple Pencil is an important accessory for the iPad mini, with the 2021 model even having a connector and charger for it on the right edge of the slate, yet the Apple Pencil doesn’t actually come with the tablet.
Instead, you have to buy it separately, and at quite a high cost. This isn’t so surprising when you consider that none of Apple’s tablets come with a stylus in the box, but the need to buy one makes the overall price of the iPad mini (2021) much less appealing.
Plus, some rival slates such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 do come with a stylus included, so we’d love to see Apple do the same for the iPad mini (2022).
Despite sporting a reasonably modern design (with no home button) the iPad mini (2021) still relies on a fingerprint scanner – one built into the power button on the top edge.
This isn’t a terrible option, but we’d love to see Apple add Face ID for the iPad mini (2022). If it can keep the fingerprint scanner as well so users have options then all the better, but that’s unlikely to happen.
The iPad mini (2021) optionally comes with 5G support, but what it doesn’t have is mmWave support. This is a high frequency form of 5G that offers far higher download speeds, and it’s perhaps not that surprising that it isn’t supported, as most countries have little to no mmWave infrastructure, and even in the US it’s very limited.
But support for it would be handy for those areas that do have it, and it would help future-proof the slate, as mmWave coverage is likely to improve over time. So we want to see this offered by the iPad mini (2022).
James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.
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June 24, 2022 at 02:11AM