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Apple’s new iPad Mini gets the upgrades I’ve been waiting for

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Hand holding a sixth generation iPad Mini playing Marvel Future Revolution.

Apologies for the massive fleshy hands.
Photo: Mike Fahey / Kotaku

When Apple released the original iPad Mini in late 2012, I thought to myself, “This is the perfect form factor for tablet gaming.” Everywhere I went, I pulled out the compact device, showing off its 7.9-inch screen, how well it seated in my oversized paws. I was never going to go back to a full-size iPad. Then Apple spent the next eight years neglecting My Tablet Boyfriend, giving all the right upgrades to its enlarged models. I had completely given up on having a good iPad Mini again, but last month it happened.

No more home button. No more lightning cable. It has a beautiful 8.3 inch liquid retina display and a powerful A15 Bionic chip. The iPad Mini is finally back.

Apple removed the home button from the iPhone X in 2017. It removed the home button and replaced the Lightning socket with USB-C in the iPad Pro in 2018. Then, in 2019, the company introduced the fifth generation iPad Mini. .

The fifth-generation iPad Mini, AKA trash can.

Raw.
Photo: Apple

I was completely crushed. For a fan of the smaller form factor, the presence of that home button and the fact that this “new” hardware still uses the proprietary Lightning cable was proof that Apple didn’t care as much about the Mini as I did. Despite the older components, I almost bought one but was put off by the IPS LCD display.

A photo of the new and best models of Apple's sixth generation iPad Mini.

Beautiful.
Photo: Apple

That’s why it was such a happy surprise last month when Apple unveiled the sixth-generation model, the first major redesign of the iPad Mini since its introduction in 2012. No more thick bezels at the top and bottom to house the home button and hardware. . No more crappy IPS screen. Four stereo speakers, two at the top and two at the bottom, unlike the fifth generation with its two speakers at the bottom only.

A photo of a sixth generation iPad Mini playing a shooter game with an Xbox Series X controller.

The office could use more wires, I agree.
Photo: Mike Fahey / Kotaku

The sixth-generation iPad Mini is only slightly bigger than an Xbox Series One controller. It’s easy to toss both in a bag for on-the-go play. Coupled with an Apple Arcade subscription, I have a huge library of controller-ready games right at my fingertips at all times. Yes, I could do the same with a Nintendo Switch, but the Nintendo Switch also doesn’t do everything an iPad does, like everything I can do with a computer, all over a 5G wireless connection.

In most situations, I prefer the iPad Mini to the latest iPad Air model. The smaller form factor is more comfortable for me to hold for long periods of time. It’s a bit wider. The compact screen allows me to hold it closer to my eyes and see everything, an important consideration for someone who spends a lot of time in bed with a disability.

A photo of the back of the sixth generation iPad Mini.

Mine is pink. I chose the perfect background for this photo to completely hide this fact.
Photo: Mike Fahey / Kotaku

In fact, the only time I’ll use the iPad Air instead of the Mini is when I want to read comics. I’m not getting any younger, and when it comes to reading speech bubbles, bigger will always be better for me. That said, I can get by with the Mini if ​​I use a player with a panel-to-panel zoom feature just fine.

I’ve been playing games on my iPad Mini for a few weeks now, which is more than what I’ve been playing on my iPhone or iPad Air for months. It’s so easy to understand when I want to level my Marvel Future Revolution characters or complete a few more turns World of zookeepers. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally get back to playing Genshin Impact on this little baby. I’m always on the lookout for more things to adore and to get mad at at the same time.

So the new iPad Mini, like its old ancestor from 2012, quickly became my go-to device for fast-paced gaming. Heck, although he’s sitting on my computer desk above the bed a few inches from my mouse and keyboard, half the time I’ll be looking for him on my PC instead when I need to. search for something very quickly. Again, it’s the golden mean between portability and power. I hope Apple doesn’t make me nine years for another worthy model.


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