The full-sized iPad received a minor revamp, while the iPad mini underwent a major overhaul at Apple’s California Streaming event.
The Apple iPad (9th generation) retains a 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone. One of the most important updates for the COVID age is the move to a 12 megapixel Ultra Wide front camera, with support for Centre Stage. First seen on the iPad Pro, Centre Stage automatically pans and zooms the camera to keep people in view – making video calls more engaging in FaceTime, as well as third-party video-calling apps.
Retaining the Lightning connector, the new iPad also supports Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Smart Keyboard. Under the bonnet, the A13 Bionic chip delivers a 20% performance boost. Meanwhile, onboard storage has doubled and starts at 64 GB.
The upgrade to iPadOS 15 brings improved multitasking, making features like Split View and Slide Over easier to discover. Notes go system wide with Quick Note. New widget layouts for the Home Screen and App Library make it easier to personalise the device.
Meanwhile, the Apple iPad Mini has undergone a much more significant transformation with an “all screen” design. Narrowing the screen’s borders allows the step-up to an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, while retaining the same compact footprint.
Featuring the brand new A15 Bionic chip, the new iPad mini delivers up to 80% faster performance than the previous generation. As with the latest Apple iPad Air, the mini ditches the physical button below the screen in favour of a Touch ID fingerprint reader in the power button.
One of the other key differences between the iPad and iPad mini 2021 is the mini’s move to embrace USB-C. As a result, it supports the Apple Pencil (2nd generation). The cellular models support 5G.
The iPad starts at $499 and the iPad mini at $749. Pre-orders begin today and the tablets are available from September 24.