iPad mini (2021) vs iPad mini (2019): which small tablet is the best one for you?

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With the iPad mini (2021) launching very soon, the old iPad mini (2019) is looking immediately less attractive than it was before. However, does it still stand up to the test? Is it still worth buying the older iPad mini (2019) or should you stick to the iPad mini (2021) altogether when looking for a new slate? We have answers to these and other questions.

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As is usually the case with all things Apple, the iPad mini (21) and iPad mini (2019) are both pretty respectable tablets in their own right.

Thanks to a few major upgrades, the iPad mini (2021) looks far more attractive now, but that doesn’t mean the iPad mini (2019) is a total write-off, especially when you should be able to find it for less than . iPad mini (2021), giving you the information on where to look.


If you’re having trouble deciding whether to choose the more expensive option or play safe with an older one, we’re here to help. We’ve looked at all the features and features that both tablets offer, as well as how their designs differ, so you can find out which one is for you.

  • Apple has also announced the Apple Watch 7
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  • There’s also a new iPad 10.2 (2021)

iPad Mini (2021) vs. iPad Mini (2019) Price and Availability

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Wi-Fi only iPad Mini (2021) Starts at $499 / £479 / AU$749 for 64GB of storage. The price rises to $649 / £619 / AU$979 for 256GB of storage.

If you want to go the cellular/5G route, expect to pay a little more for the benefit of an internet connection wherever you go. The iPad mini (2021) will be available for sale on September 24, but you can pre-order it now from the Apple website.

Buying an iPad mini (2019) is more difficult than it used to be, as in the typical Apple style, you can no longer buy the old slate directly from Apple. However, many retailers will likely sell off the rest of their stock, so you can find it at a considerable discount if you shop around.

The iPad mini (2019) is available with 64GB of storage as standard or you can expand it up to 256GB depending on the deal you find. We can no longer see it being sold for the standard launch price of $399 / £399 / AU$599.

iPad mini (2019) is no longer sold by Apple


A lot has changed between the iPad mini (2021) and the iPad mini (2019). Notably, the iPad mini (2021) has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display compared to the 7.9-inch Retina display of the iPad mini (2019). This changes quite a bit for the dimensions of the tablet, but the iPad mini (2021) still manages to be smaller.

While the iPad Mini (2019) offers dimensions of 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm, the iPad Mini (2021) measures 195.4mm in height and then has the same width and is ever slightly deeper at 6.3mm. The iPad Mini (2021) also offers an all-screen design with narrow bezels that ensure an edge-to-edge screen that looks far more attractive than the dated looking iPad Mini (2019).

The Wi-Fi-only iPad Mini (2021) is also slightly lighter, weighing in at 293 grams compared to the iPad mini (2019)’s 300.5 grams. The cellular version of the iPad mini (2021) is equally light at 297g, the iPad mini (2019) weighing in at 308.2g. None of these differences are substantial but they are worth considering.

The iPad Mini (2021) looks the same from the back

Perhaps one of the biggest changes to the iPad mini (2021) is that it removes the home button on the bottom. Now, Touch ID is operated via the button in the top right corner of the device such as the iPad Air 4. Removing the home button gives more room for the touchscreen and is also a bit more elegant.

Sounds wise, you have even more options with the iPad mini (2021), as it’s available in four different colors compared to the three options for the iPad mini (2019). The iPad Mini (2021) comes in Space Grey, Pink, Purple, and Starlight, while the older iPad Mini only offers Silver, Space Gray, or Gold.

Other design changes include the iPad mini (2021) now using the USB-C connector compared to the older Lightning connector on the iPad mini (2019). The iPad Mini (2021) supports the second generation Apple Pencil as well as all the previous accessories.

Plus, the iPad mini (2021) has better speakers, with a stereo speaker system ensuring that the sound is experienced in stereo even in landscape, rather than the fairly flat vocals of the older iPad mini (2019).

iPad mini (2019) looks good on the back but dated from the front


There have been major changes between the iPad mini (2019) and the iPad mini (2021). The iPad Mini (2021) has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina Display while the iPad Mini (2019) has a 7.9-inch Regular Retina Display. It makes a big difference in how things look.

Using an edge-to-edge display helps you stay focused on what’s happening, which makes it more practical as well as stylish.

Both screens offer a maximum brightness of 500 nits and a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, but the iPad Mini (2021) offers a resolution of 2266 x 1488, compared to the iPad Mini (2019)’s 2048 x 1536. Both the slates also come with True Tone support and wide color (P3) displays.

The slight downside here is that the iPad mini (2021) still doesn’t offer a 120Hz refresh rate. This remains the domain of the iPad Pro range, with both iPad minis continuing to offer 60Hz refresh rates. Although at this price it’s not the biggest disadvantage and browsing should still be fairly smooth.

The iPad Mini (2021) has a bigger screen and smaller bezels

camera and battery

While it’s unlikely you’ll be buying a smaller tablet for its camera, the iPad mini (2021) is much better here. It now offers a 12MP ultra-wide camera for the front snapper with f/2.4 aperture, as compared to the less wide 7MP camera of the iPad mini (2019) with f/2.2 aperture. Apart from this, the selfie camera of the iPad mini (2021) supports Smart HDR 3 for photos.

The best part is that the iPad mini (2021)’s front camera takes center stage – something we’re seeing on the latest devices, including the newly announced iPad 10.2 (2021), but this one Feature that was previously only on the iPad. Pro 2021. This means that when you make a video call, the camera can provide better focus around you.

The iPad mini (2019) has slightly worse cameras

The rear camera of the iPad mini (2021) has also seen an upgrade, a 12MP f/1.8 camera compared to the 8MP camera and f/2.4 aperture of the iPad mini (2019). A quad-LED True Tone flash helps with more cases for the iPad mini (2021).

When it comes to video recording, the iPad mini (2021) is even better as it now offers 4K video recording at 24fps, 25fps, 30fps or 60fps via the rear camera. Extended dynamic range is also possible for videos up to 30fps. The iPad Mini (2019) meanwhile tops out at 1080p.

Battery life remains the same, with the always somewhat vague promise of up to 10 hours of browsing or watching videos, or up to 9 hours if you’re doing so via a cellular network.

specs and features

As per the specifications, the iPad mini (2021) is miles ahead of the iPad mini (2019). A lot has happened in those two years and the iPad mini (2021) sports an A15 Bionic chipset (similar to the iPhone 13 range), making it much faster than the A12 Bionic in the iPad mini (2019).

Apple believes that it is 40% faster in terms of CPU processing and 80% faster for GPU than the iPad mini (2019). With a newer processor than the iPad Air 4, the iPad mini (21) is most appealing to those who want a fast but highly portable tablet.

Elsewhere, the differences are less noticeable. Both the iPad mini (2021) and iPad mini (2019) are available with either 64GB or 256GB of storage, the latter being clearly the best option for future-proofing.

Both tablets run iPadOS, with the iPad mini (2021) shipping with iPadOS 15 pre-installed – although the iPad mini (2019) will be updated soon. As expected from any Apple tablet, apps need to run fairly quickly for good optimization.

Lastly, if you’re willing to embrace 5G, you’ll have to rough up the iPad mini (2021). The iPad mini (2019) only supports 4G/LTE if you buy the cellular model.

There’s no shortage of power in the iPad mini (2021)

To remove

The iPad mini (2021) is a huge upgrade compared to the iPad mini (2019). That’s not to say that the iPad mini (2019) isn’t worth buying if you can find it at a good price, but the iPad mini (21) is the clear winner here.

It is very fast thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset, plus its front camera is much better for video calls. The latter may not matter to you, but you will appreciate the speed boost.

The display of the iPad mini (2021) is also a real winner for a tablet of this size. Reducing the bezels makes a big difference and it should be much nicer to look at than before, and a slight increase in screen size no matter how portable it is.

The iPad mini (2019) is still a worthwhile option if you’re not too fussed about the latest technology. Apple is generally good at supporting its devices for long periods of time, so there’s no reason to think the iPad mini (2019) will be made redundant any time soon.

However, the iPad mini (2021) is fast enough that it should be future-proofed for some time to come, which makes it the better choice on paper unless you can find the older slate for a considerable discount.

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