The redesigned $499 iPad mini finally catches up with the times

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After years of sticking to the same looks and features, Apple’s iPad mini will finally get a major redesign, similar to last year’s iPad Air update, the company announced today. The tablet’s screen size increases from 7.9 to 8.3 inches, and includes a new A15 Bionic processor, which Apple says is “up to 80% faster” than the A12 chip in the older iPad mini 4. But the redesign also comes with a price. The Enhancement: The new iPad Mini starts at $499, which is $100 more than the previous model.

Like other recent iPads and iPhones, the iPad mini omits the Home button to make more room on the front of the device for a larger, almost edge-to-edge screen. However, it doesn’t have Face ID like the iPad Pro. Rather, it follows the 2020 iPad Air in featuring a TouchID fingerprint reader on one of the power buttons for authentication. It also shuns Apple’s long-standing, proprietary Lightning port in favor of industry standard USB-C—a change that also came through in other recent iPad redesigns.

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The new iPad mini will be available for pre-order today and will be available on September 24.

This is a developing story. Today’s Apple Event is still on. We’ll update this piece with information as it becomes available, but you can follow the announcements in real time within our liveblog.

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