Home Latest News Apple iPad Mini review 2022 – Good Housekeeping

Apple iPad Mini review 2022 – Good Housekeeping

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Is the new “mini” tablet worth buying?
Apple’s more affordable line of iPads, the Mini series, got a well-deserved upgrade in 2021, with a welcome tweak to the design and size, an improvement to the display and processor chip, and a better camera system for video-calling.
In our opinion, the Mini is best suited for most people who just want to catch up on the news, read an e-book or two, or catch up on the Strictly final away from the telly.
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You might already have an iPad, wondering whether it’s worth upgrading, or maybe you’re thinking your iPhone is enough to do a job. Our Tech Editor has tested it out for a week, read on to find out if it’s worth your time.
Prices for the most basic 64GB version start at £479. Even if you store your pictures in Apple’s Cloud storage, 64GB is really not enough for most people, especially if you’re planning on downloading a few streaming services, games, or taking any videos on your new tablet.
We’d recommend getting the 256GB model if you’re planning on using this tablet heavily, but these start at £619.
It’s more than half the price of the iPad Pro in most cases, which is a bonus if you want to try using your new iPad more frequently than your smartphone at home.
The latest Mini has the A15 Bionic chip, which is the same one that’s found in the iPhone 13 series from 2021. Apple says this translates to faster loading speeds than previous iterations, and your apps should open quicker and crash less frequently, for example.
In our testing we didn’t notice that much of a real-world speed-boost to write home about, but the processing power will help you flick between apps, snap photos and videos, and browse online.
This faster processing also allows for a 5G data connection if you pick up an LTE model. This basically means you can put in a SIM card and use data away from the wifi, which is great for streaming on the go. 5G is the new standard of data streaming and will help you download entire films in seconds if you’ve got a strong enough connection.
The latest iPad Mini gets a significant design shift from previous iterations, losing the curvy back and edges in favour of flatter sides and a brushed-metal rear. We think this makes the tablet a bit easier to hold over longer periods of time, and we also think it looks modern and snazzier.
The biggest change is the “Home” button that used to be at the bottom of the screen on previous iPad Minis has now been removed, and the Touch ID to unlock the device is now on the power-on button at the top edge.
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There’s no Face ID on this model unfortunately, but we found the fingerprint scanner to be reliable in unlocking our tablet and keeping our profile secure. We’d recommend registering at least one finger on each hand to make it easier to log in quickly. The volume up/down buttons are also now on the top edge of the tablet.
This 2021 edition is only a little bit bigger (by 0.4 inches) than the 2019 model, measuring 8.3 inches, but the display overall is almost edge-to-edge and covers more of the front-side of the tablet. We’ll go into more detail on that below, but we think this larger screen makes the iPad Mini 2021 look smarter and definitely helps when watching TV shows or scrolling online.
It’s worth mentioning it’s also slightly lighter by 7.5g, making it a little easier to hold with one hand without feeling like too much strain is being put on your wrist.
It comes in the familiar “space grey” colour you’ll find on most other Apple products, but there are also three new colours for this model: pink, purple, and “starlight”, which is sort of an off-white colour.
The display gets a small upgrade on previous models as it’s an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina. This is Apple’s term for high-def image quality. It’s actually better than Full HD (2266 x 1488 pixels) so if you like to stream Disney+ or Netflix shows on the go, you’ll enjoy detailed visuals and brilliant colours comparable to your standard HD TV.
Half an inch of size might not sound like much compared to the 2019 version, but the larger screen surface area makes the new iPad Mini’s display much bigger and better without being heavier or more difficult to hold.
It’s also marginally brighter than older models (around 20%), meaning you can have it on a lower setting and still clearly see text on a website without straining against the light. We found this to be a great improvement when reading books on the Kindle app, particularly in the evening, as the words were easier to read but were a lot kinder to our eyes.
However, it’s not all positive, as we did sometimes experience issues where apps hadn’t been optimised for the Mini display, resulting in words or clickable buttons falling off the edge of the screen. It wasn’t a common problem, but we did notice it a few times on the NHS Covid app and the Kindle app, which was frustrating.
We also got annoyed at how much of the screen is taken over when you use the keyboard in landscape mode. The keyboard pops up and covers around two thirds of the screen, leaving you with barely any room to see your texts, and making it a real nightmare to fill out info in text-boxes on websites.
The Mini’s size does lend itself to being a better snapper than previous iPads, though we’d recommend using your camera phone if you do want to grab a picture.
The rear lens is a 12MP wide camera that can take fairly good pictures, so long as you’re not too far away from the subject. It’s not brilliant at taking high-quality pictures zoomed in though, so you’ll have to practice finding the right distance to take the best photos.
The front-facing “selfie” camera is also a 12MP wide that is much better suited to video calling. The new iPad has Apple’s ‘Centre Stage’ feature which focuses the camera on your face and will follow you around if you’re on a work Zoom call or family FaceTime and you’re moving about the room.
The selfie camera can record in 1080p Full HD so you’ll look clear on your calls, and the rear camera can film in 4K 60 frames per second (FPS) so if you’re taking videos to send to loved ones, the footage will look crystal clear.
All these calling features are made better by the small, lighter chassis and flat design that makes it easier to hold one handed, so we could still keep a hold of our cup of coffee while calling family.
The iPad Mini’s battery life lasted around nine hours for us, though Apple claims you should get around ten hours of general use on social media or browsing the internet. During our testing we watched two episodes of DopeSick on Disney+, replied to emails, finished a bit of Christmas shopping, and caught up on Twitter a few times an hour before running out of juice.
It’s the same battery you’ll find in the 2019 version, but we feel it’s still not quite enough, especially if you’re planning on using the tablet to help you complete work from home, or to give to children to play games on or watch shows.
It comes with a USB-C charging cable which is a faster recharging method than older devices, giving you a full battery in just under two hours.
There’s no wireless charging on this model though, which might be a frustration if you were planning on using a QI-certified charging pad to top up your tablet and your iPhone together.
We think if you’re looking to upgrade your ageing tablet or perhaps you don’t already have one, the latest iPad Mini provides an affordable alternative to some of the other popular devices on the market.
Sometimes your smartphone is just too small to get the job done, whether you’re video calling a loved one or reading up on the news, and this new Mini gives you a bit more screen space to see what you’re doing without being too big or heavy.
We were thankful not to have to squint at a text during our testing time with this tablet, and it allowed us to update the weekly shopping order or browse online shops and buy clothes without having to turn on a laptop or computer, or hunch over our phone.
The iPad Mini is, in our opinion, one of the best tablets for basically anybody, from young children watching cartoons, to adults to use around the house.

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