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Difference Between iPad Mini and iPad Air

An iPad is an indispensable tool for those looking for laptop-like functionality in a portable form factor. The Apple iPad is like a mini computer that you can use to do almost anything you’d typically do on a fully-functional laptop computer. Its slick design and intuitive controls are the reasons it was able to capture the tablet market quickly. It’s not as bulky as a laptop nor it needs to be anchored in one room. When it comes to iPads, the two most obvious choices are the iPad Mini and the iPad Air, strictly for their slick design aesthetics. But, which one would you prefer – the iPad Mini or the iPad Air?

All about iPad Mini

Apple recently introduced the new iPad Mini, featuring a complete design overhaul, a larger display, and the powerful A15 Bionic chip. The new iPad Mini shares a similar design of the 4th generation iPad Air from 2020. The iPad Mini, as the name suggests, is a portable version of the original iPad with an all-screen design and a more powerful processor. It is perfectly designed to fit in the palm of your hand and thanks to its edge-to-edge 8.3-inch liquid retina display, the iPad Mini looks stunning than ever. It basically has the same features of the iPad Air, such as the power button-mounted Touch ID, stereo speakers, and no Home button.

Why choose iPad Air

The new Apple iPad Air has got even better and more powerful than ever. The new iPad Air is now supercharged with the Apple’s fastest processor, the M1 chip. It features the same liquid retina display but with a larger screen. As 10.9 inches, the new iPad Air is stunningly bigger, featuring complimentary technologies like True Tone, P3 wide color, and an anti-reflective coating. Just like the Mini, the Touch ID is integrated into the power button at the top so you unlock your iPad with just your fingerprint. The new iPad Air is available in five beautiful colors.

Difference between iPad Mini and iPad Air

Display 

– Besides the obvious differences in size and dimensions, both iPad Air and the iPad Mini share the same liquid retina displays with True Tone technology. The iPad Air features a larger edge-to-edge 10.9-inch display with a screen resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels and about 81.3% screen-to-body ratio. The iPad Mini has a smaller 8.3-inch edge-to-edge display with a 2266 x 1488 pixels screen resolution and 77.41% screen-to-body ratio.

Performance

 – The sixth-generation iPad Mini is a major redesign of its predecessor and resembles the 2020’s iPad Air. Inside, it is powered by the more powerful and the latest A15 Bionic system on a chip with 64-bit architecture and embedded motion co-processor and 4GB RAM. The new iPad Air is powered by the Apple’s fastest mobile chip yet, the M1 chip which is a 8-core CPU and 8-core graphics, and with Next-generation Neural Engine. It comes with 8GB of RAM. The iPad Air is clearly more powerful and capable than the iPad mini.

Camera

 – Both the iPad Mini and the iPad Air feature the same 12MP wide camera at the back with ƒ/1.8 aperture and 5x digital zoom, and a 12MP ultra wide camera at the front for selfies and video calls. Both the iPads support 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps. Both have extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps. Both support the cool Center Stage option. However, there’s no TrueDepth camera system to support Face ID on both the iPads. One major difference between the two rear camera systems is iPad Min’s Quad-LED True Tone flash.

Price 

– In most configurations, the new iPad Air is about $100 more than the sixth-generation iPad Mini, which starts at $499 for the base Wi-Fi model. Both the iPads come with two storage options (64GB and 256GB) and two connectivity options (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+Cellular). The iPad Mini Wi-Fi+Cellular version costs $649, and when you choose the higher storage option, it will cost $799. The iPad Air starts at $599 for the base Wi-Fi model with the 64GB storage option. The Wi-Fi+Cellular model starts at $749 for the 64GB storage and goes up to $879 for 256GB.

iPad Mini vs. iPad Air: Comparison Chart

Summary

Both iPad Mini and the iPad Air are great tablets for drawing, painting, rendering, designing, and surfing on the go without being anchored to a desktop computer. The latest in the Mini line is the sixth-generation iPad Mini that is powered by the Apple’s latest and more powerful A15 bionic chip. The iPad Mini shares the same design of the iPad Air, with basically the same features such as an all-screen design with no Home button, power button-mounted Touch ID, and stereo speakers. For entertainment and personal use, both are great options, but at $100 less, the iPad Mini is an excellent value option.

Why is the iPad Mini more expensive than the iPad?

The iPad Mini is powered by the Apple’s latest and more advanced A15 bionic chip whereas the iPad 9th generation features the old A13 Bionic system on a chip and does not have the 5G LTE support either. This is few of the reasons why iPad Mini is more expensive than the iPad.

Is iPad Air 2 better than iPad Mini?

The iPad Air 2 is an older model launched in 2014 and is powered by the outdated A8X chipset. It is a good tablet but it’s no longer the best iPad to buy in 2022.

Can you use an iPad mini as a phone?

The new iPad Mini is a slick and compact tablet with a smaller form factor. In many ways, it is not that different from an iPhone, but it isn’t one either. The iPad Mini is powered by the A15 Bionic chip, the same processor that powers the iPhone 13 lineup. So, it is as powerful as an iPhone. It can come pretty close to a phone.  

Why is it called iPad Air?

The iPad Air was the first iPad to offer unique color choices similar to iPhone colors, along with different size and power capabilities. It is really thin and light, hence the name.

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References :


[0]Carlson, Jeff. Meet the iPad and iPad Mini. California, United States: Peachpit Press, 2014. Print

[1]Hattersley, Mark and Sean McManus. iPad for the Older and Wiser: Get Up and Running with Your Apple iPad, iPad Air and iPad Mini. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. Print

[2]Greenwald, Will. “Apple iPad vs. iPad Air vs. iPad mini vs. iPad Pro: Which Tablet Should You Buy?” PCMag, 8 Mar. 2022, www.pcmag.com/news/apple-ipad-vs-ipad-air-vs-ipad-mini-vs-ipad-pro-which-tablet-should-you.

[3]Blake, Alex. “iPad mini vs iPad Air: which should you buy?” Creative Bloq, 20 Dec. 2021, www.creativebloq.com/features/ipad-mini-vs-ipad-air.

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