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iPad Mini 6 vs. iPad Air 4: Which to Buy in 2021?

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Looking to get a new iPad for movie streaming and entertainment? With the recent announcement of the new iPad Mini 6, Apple has brought a great series of devices to the users. So, if you’re confused about the tablet to buy, follow on and read our take on the iPad Mini 6 vs. iPad Air.

The new iPad Mini is available for pre-order and is expected to ship to users by the end of September 2021. However, if you need to buy a tablet right this instant, then get the Air 4. However, if you can wait a few more days, we assure you that the Mini 6 will likely become the best option for a new tablet.

The smaller size of the Mini 6 might not suit your needs, but the overall quality and performance of the device are sure to impress you. It also supports a SIM, which means that you can also use it as an oversized phone, which is expensive with the Air 4. However, the extra screen real estate with the Air 4 is also appreciated by many users. So, which one should you get? Well, follow on, and hopefully, you come to a decision.

What’s new with the iPad Mini 6?

The new iPad Mini 6 brings a lot of new improvements to the Mini lineup. Let’s just say that powerful things come in smaller packages. The Mini 6 is small, but it is still much more powerful than the larger iPad Air. So, let’s take a look at all the significant improvements that the iPad Mini 6 brings to the table:

Updated Processor – The biggest improvement to the Mini 6 is the inclusion of the A15 Bionic chip. The A15 Bionic is much more powerful than the previous A14 Bionic and also has more GPU cores for extra gaming performance. This means that all the apps on your iPad would run smoothly and would deliver a lag-free experience.

Better Build – The iPad Mini 6 is also better built with a redesigned metal frame. It also has better cameras and 5G capability for faster connectivity speeds. The iPad Mini frame resembles the latest iPhones, and hence, you can also expect a robust and durable body that will last a long time.

Improved Display – While the 8-inch display sounds small, especially for a tablet form factor. It is much better than a lot of tablets in its price range. It has a 2266 x 1488 resolution and a peak brightness of 500 nits, making it perfect for outdoor usage.

USB-C – Finally, the Mini 6 also brings USB-C connectivity. This means that you can use a standard charger across all your USB-C devices and enjoy the benefits of various USB0-C hubs and adapters to extend their functionality.

iPad Mini 6 vs. iPad Air 4: specification comparison

DeviceiPad Mini 6iPad Air 4 
ProcessorApple A15 BionicApple A14 Bionic
OSiPad OS 14IPad OS 14
Display8.3-inch,
Liquid Retina (2266 x 1488) 60Hz,
326 ppi,
500 nits brightness
10.9-inch,
Liquid Retina (2360 x 1640) 60Hz,
264 ppi,
500 nits brightness
RAM4GB4GB
Storage64GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB
Battery Life9 – 10 hours9 – 11 hours
Quick Charge20W30W
Camera12MP f/1.8 Wide-angle (Rear),
12MP f/2.4 Ultra-wide (Front)
12MP f/1.8 Wide-angle (Rear),
7MP ƒ/2.2 (Front)
Connectivity & UnlockingWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, LTE, 5GTouch IDWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0Touch ID
PortsUSB-CUSB-C
Dimensions7.69 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches
Weight10.3 ounces (300g)16 ounces (460g)
AudioStereo SpeakersStereo Speakers
Price$499$599

iPad Mini 6 vs. iPad Air 4: which should you buy?

Clearly, the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Mini 6 contend at different segments and cater to different users. If you value a larger screen and better battery life, the iPad Air is the perfect option. However, if you enjoy the portability of a smaller screen and blazingly fast performance, then the iPad Mini 6 is the way to go. Still, if you’re not sure, let’s look at the primary factors of both the tablets and put them head-on with each other to determine the tablet that you should pick.

Price and Value

The iPad Mini 6 comes at a great price tag of $499. This makes the tablet an excellent pick for users looking to spend around $500 and get a great performing device. However, the smaller display can be a huge bummer for some people.

This is where the more expensive iPad Air 4 comes in. It will cost you $599 for the base variant and is an excellent pick if you want decent performance and a larger screen. However, the iPad Mini 6 is much more powerful than the Air 4, and hence, it makes up for a better price to performance value.

Winner – iPad Mini 6

Design

When it comes to design, both the tablets have a glass and aluminum-built body. The design, too, is very similar, and the build quality is comparable. While the Air 4 is much more rounded, the Mini 6 brings a sharper look to the table. Hence, there is no sure winner, and it is all dependent on the buyer and their preferences.

Tie (Depends on your preference)

Display

A similar case to the “Design” of the tablets, both of these devices have beautiful displays. They are also equally specced and have a decent resolution of 2266 x 1488 and 2360 x 1640 for the Mini and Air, respectively.

However, the Mini is smaller at just 8.3 inches, and the Air supports a larger 10.9-inch panel. Who doesn’t love some extra screen real estate, and, as said – larger is better. So, the iPad Air 4 takes the win this time.

Winner – iPad Air 4

Performance

Both tablets have decent performance and can run all your tasks at excellent speeds. However, the iPad Mini 6 is more powerful and delivers a faster gaming and productivity experience than the iPad Air 4.

This is due to the newer A15 Bionic chip on the Mini 6. Whereas the Air 4 is stuck with the last-gen A14 Bionic. The A15 Bionic is around 15% faster overall than the A14 Bionic, and hence, the iPad Mini 6 will deliver you better performance and a faster, smoother gaming experience.

Winner – iPad Mini 6

Battery Life

Apple rates both the tablets to have similar battery life. The Mini 6 is expected to last you around 10 hours, and the same goes for the Air 4. You may be able to get a little more or less depending on the tasks you use it for. Hence, it depends on the user and what your needs are. Other than that, both the tablets would last you for a similar amount of time, and both can be charged with a fast charger for quicker charging.

Tie (Depends on the user)

Accessories

This section of the review won’t suit to a lot of users. However, if you want to run your tablet as a primary on-the-go work/entertainment device, then it is for you. While the upcoming iPad Mini 6 doesn’t seem to incorporate any new accessories such as a Magic Keyboard for obvious size limitations.

The iPad Air doesn’t have any such issue. It has a Magic Keyboard that can be attached to it for a better typing experience and can be used with an Apple Pencil for drawing or note-taking. Not to mention the larger display also helps in improving productivity and delivering an excellent streaming experience.

Winner – iPad Air 4

iPad FAQs

Which is better, iPad Air or iPad Mini 6th generation?

While the iPad Mini 6 is more powerful than the latest iPad Air, it is still a fair comparison due to the larger display and better productivity on the Air 4. Hence, the Mini 6 is better if you want more performance and a portable form factor whereas, the Air 4 is better if you want a bigger screen and improved productivity options.

Is iPad Air 4th Gen worth buying?

Yes, the iPad Air 4 is worth buying. It has excellent performance and a beautiful 10-inch display perfect for streaming or as an on-the-go work device.  While it is a year old, we still assure you that the iPad Air would perform strong and deliver a great overall experience in anything you use it for.

Which is the best iPad to buy in 2021?

Apple has many iPads on sale, and it isn’t easy to choose the best option for 2021. At the same time, it depends from user to user. The best of the best is still the latest and greatest iPad Pro. However, if you need a smaller option, you can get the iPad Air or the latest iPad Mini.

Bottom line

The iPad Mini 6 is an excellent device for users who love portability and a small form factor. However, the iPad Air 4 is also a great choice and is perfect for someone with an extra $100 and looking for a larger device.

Hence, in our opinion, Apple has priced and positioned the iPad Mini 6 perfectly as a smaller compact tablet for users that enjoy the portability and a more affordable price tag. While the iPad Air 4 is a larger, slightly expensive option that delivers similar performance but with more flexibility and improved productivity.

So, choose the tablet that suits your needs, and we hope the comparison above helped you out to make that decision. With that said, we have reached the end and hope you have a great time using your new iPad.

You may want to take a peek at:

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Apple iPad Pro M1 (2021) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

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iPad Pro 2021 vs Huawei MatePad Pro 2021 – Does Apple Finally Have a Rival?

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