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iPad vs iPad mini 2021 (2021): Which Apple Tablet Should You Buy?

There is no doubt that Apple dominates the tablet market with their iPads. With the release of the iPad 10.2 2021 and the iPad mini 6, the brand further strengthened their hold on the market, particularly in the entry-level to mid-range price bracket. In this article, we compare the two aforementioned models to find out their strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to make an informed decision before buying.

iPad vs iPad mini 2021 Comparison Chart

ModeliPad 2021iPad mini 2021
 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Silver2021 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space Gray
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions9.87 x 6.85 x 0.30 inches7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25 inches
Weight487 g (Wi-Fi)
498 g (LTE)
293 g (Wi-Fi)
297 g (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
Display10.2 inches Retina IPS LCD
500 nits
2160 x 1620 pixels
265 ppi
8.3 inches Liquid Retina IPS LCD
500 nits
2266 x 1488 pixels
327 ppi
Wide color gamut
True-tone
ChipsetA13 BionicA15 Bionic
Configurations64GB
256GB
64GB 4GB RAM
256GB 4GB RAM
Connectivity4G LTE
Gigabit LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
5G (sub-6 GHz)
Gigabit LTE
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
CameraMain: 8 MP, f/2.4, 31mm (standard)
Selfie: 12 MP, f/2.4, 122หš (ultrawide)
Main: 12 MP, f/1.8, (wide)
Selfie: 12 MP, f/2.4, 122หš (ultrawide)
VideoMain:
[email protected], [email protected]; gyro-EIS
Selfie: [email protected]/30/60fps, gyro-EIS
Main: [email protected],ย [email protected]; gyro-EIS
Selfie: [email protected], gyro-EIS
BatteryLightning
10 hours
USB-C 3.1
10 hours
ColorsSilver, Space GraySpace Gray, Pink, Purple, Starlight

Design

Due to being smaller, the iPad mini 6 is more portable than the iPad 10.2 2021.

ipad vs ipad mini 2021 design
You can get the iPad 10.2 2021 in space gray or silver, while the iPad mini 6 is available in four color options.

The most obvious difference between the iPad 10.2 2021 and the iPad mini 6 is their size. Measuring 9.87 x 6.85 x 0.30 inches, the iPad 10.2 2021 is significantly bigger than the iPad mini 6, which measures 7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25 inches. As it is bigger, the iPad 10.2 2021 is also heavier, by about 200 grams. Needless to say, the iPad mini 6 is easier to hold, but the iPad 10.2 2021 provides more screen real estate.

As for their builds, the iPad 10.2 2021 is similar to the 2020 model. It has curved edges, a non-protruding main camera and a home button located at the bottom bezel. On the other hand, the iPad mini is completely redesigned to have a more streamlined look. The bezels are uniform, the home button is removed since there’s no room for it and its edges are flat and angular, similar to Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup.

When it comes to color options, the iPad 10.2 2021 is available in either space gray or silver while the iPad mini 6 gives you four color options—space gray, pink, purple and starlight.

Display

The iPad 10.2 2021 has a larger screen than the iPad mini 6, but the latter’s screen has a higher ppi.

ipad vs ipad mini 2021 display
The top and bottom bezels of the iPad 10.2 2021 is thicker than the sides, while the iPad mini has a uniformed bezel design.

The 10.2-inch screen of the iPad 2021 is a Retina IPS LCD with a typical brightness of 500 nits. Its resolution is 2160 x 1620 pixels for a ppi of 265. The screen features a scratch-resistant glass and oleophobic coating for protection.

Meanwhile, the 8.3-inch screen of the iPad mini 6 is a Liquid Retina IPS LCD that also has the same 500 nits of brightness. Its resolution is 2266 x 1488 pixels for a ppi of 327. Similar to the iPad 2021’s screen, the iPad mini 6 display features a scratch-resistant glass and oleophobic coating.

The larger screen of the iPad 10.2 2021 makes reading and viewing pages easier, however, a downside to it is that it isn’t as sharp as the 8.3-inch screen of the iPad mini 6. The higher PPI of the iPad mini 6 allows it to display crisper and sharper images. You’ll be able to see more details on the smaller screen of the iPad mini 6.

Check out our iPad mini 6 vs 5 comparison

Hardware

The iPad mini 6 is faster and provides a snappier experience than the iPad 10.2 2021.

ipad vs ipad mini 2021 hardware
The iPad 10.2 2021 has curved edges while the iPad mini 6 comes with a more angular design.

When it comes to overall performance, the iPad mini 6 is definitely better than the iPad 10.2 2021 model. One of the biggest disappointments with the iPad 10.2 2021 is with its chipset. Apple decided to go with the older A13 Bionic, which is still good, but not on par with the newer A15 Bionic chip. The iPad mini 6 provides a snappier and more responsive experience than the iPad 2021.

As for their cameras, the selfie cameras are the same. They both have a 12MP, f/2.4, 122″ ultrawide selfie camera that supports HDR and can record videos at 1080p 60fps. However, it’s a different story when it comes to their main cameras. The iPad 10.2 2021 sports an 8MP, f/2.4 main camera while the iPad mini 6 features a 12 MP, f/1.8 main shooter. They both support HDR and panoramic view, but only the latter has quad-LED dual-tone flash. On top of that, the iPad mini 6’s main shooter can record videos at 4K 60fps and 1080p 240fps, while the iPad 2021’s main shooter can only record 1080p videos at 60fps and 720p videos at 120fps. When it comes to their main cameras, the iPad mini 6 definitely has the advantage.

Battery and Connectivity

Both the iPad 10.2 2021 and iPad mini 6 have a 10-hour battery life.

ipad vs ipad mini 2021 battery and connectivity
The iPad 10.2 2021 comes with a Lightning port while the iPad mini 6 sports a USB-C connector.

In terms of battery life, the iPad 10.2 2021 and the iPad mini 6 are both capable of lasting up to 10 hours when watching videos. There’s not much difference here.

However, they do have different charging ports. The iPad 10.2 2021 still has a Lightning port for charging and it comes with a Lightning to USB-C cable to use with its USB-C power adapter. On the other hand, the iPad mini 6 comes with a USB-C port for charging.

As for connectivity, the iPad mini 6 supports 5G while the iPad 10.2 2021 model is limited to LTE. The two tablets come with WiFi 6 and dual-band support. However, when it comes to Bluetooth connectivity, the iPad mini 6 supports Bluetooth 5.0 while the iPad 10.2 2021 is limited to Bluetooth 4.2.

Verdict

The iPad mini 6 is the better overall tablet, but the iPad 10.2 2021 is easier on the wallet.

If you prefer a more powerful and complete tablet, the iPad mini 6 is better than the iPad 10.2 2021. It has a more powerful processor and since it has 5G support, it’s more future-proof. Although its screen is smaller, it is capable of displaying crisper and more detailed images due to its higher ppi (pixels per inch). Also, its smaller size makes it highly portable. On the other hand, the iPad 10.2 2021 is still a good choice if you are working with a strict budget and if you don’t need 5G. While its processor is an older model, it is still good enough for everyday use.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, iPad mini 6 or iPad 2021?

The iPad mini 6 is better than the iPad 2021 in almost every area. It has a faster processor, a better main camera and it offers better connectivity as well.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the difference between the iPad and iPad mini?

The biggest difference between the two is their size. The iPad mini, as its name suggests, is a mini tablet with a smaller screen.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the iPad 2020 still worth buying?

Yes, the iPad 2020 is still worth buying, but only if it is significantly discounted since the newer 2021 iPad offers a few upgrades over it.

๐Ÿ“Œ Why is the iPad mini is more expensive than iPad?

There are many reasons why the iPad mini is more expensive than the iPad. One of them is that the mini variant comes with a more powerful processor. Another is that the screen is usually of higher quality.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.