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Apple’s New iPad Mini Will get The Upgrades I’ve Been Ready For

A hand holding a sixth-gen iPad Mini playing Marvel Future Revolution.

Apologies for the large meaty fingers.
Photograph: Mike Fahey / Kotaku

When Apple launched the unique iPad Mini again in late 2012 I believed, “That is it, the proper form-factor for pill gaming.” All over the place I went I pulled out the compact gadget, displaying off its 7.9-inch display, how properly it slot in my outsized paws. I used to be by no means going again to a full-size iPad. Then Apple spent the subsequent eight years neglecting my tiny pill pal, giving all the nice upgrades to its upsized fashions. I’d fully given up on ever getting a very good iPad Mini once more, however then final month it occurred.

No extra residence button. No extra lightning cable. It’s acquired a beautiful 8.3-inch liquid retina show and a strong A15 Bionic chip. The iPad Mini is lastly again.

Apple did away with the house button on the iPhone X again in 2017. It eliminated the house button and swapped the lightning plug for USB-C within the iPad Professional in 2018. Then, in 2019, the corporate launched the fifth-generation iPad Mini.

The fifth-generation iPad Mini, AKA garbage.

Photograph: Apple

I used to be fully crushed. For a fan of the smaller type issue, the presence of that residence button and the truth that this “new” piece of {hardware} nonetheless used the proprietary lightning cable was proof that Apple didn’t care in regards to the Mini almost as a lot as I did. Regardless of the older parts I almost purchased one however was postpone by the IPS LCD show.

A photo of Apple's newer, better iPad Mini sixth-generation models.

Photo: Apple

That’s why it was such a joyous surprise last month when Apple revealed the sixth-generation model, the first major redesign of the iPad Mini since its introduction back in 2012. No more thick borders on the top and bottom to house the home button and hardware. No more shitty IPS screen. Four stereo speakers, two on the top and two on the bottom, as opposed to the fifth-generation with its two speakers on the bottom only.

A photo of an iPad Mini sixth-generation playing a shooter with an Xbox Series X controller.

The desk could use more wires, I agree.
Photo: Mike Fahey / Kotaku

The sixth-generation iPad Mini is only slightly bigger than an Xbox Series One controller. Tossing both into a bag for on-the-go gaming is easy. Coupled with a subscription to Apple Arcade, I’ve got a huge library of controller-ready games at my fingertips at all times. Yes, I could do the same with a Nintendo Switch, but the Nintendo Switch doesn’t also do all of the things an iPad does, like everything I can do with a computer, all over a 5G wireless connection.

In most situations, I prefer the iPad Mini over the latest model iPad Air. The smaller form factor is more comfortable for me to hold for long periods of time. It’s slightly wider. The compact screen means I can hold it closer to my eyes and still take everything in, an important consideration for someone who spends a lot of time in bed due to a disability.

A photo of the back of the sixth-generation iPad Mini.

Mine is pink. I picked the perfect background for this photo to completely obscure that fact.
Photo: Mike Fahey / Kotaku

In fact, the only time I will reach for the iPad Air instead of the Mini is when I want to read comic books. I am not getting any younger, and when it comes to reading text bubbles, bigger is always going to be better for me. That said, I can get by with the Mini if I’m using a reader with a panel-by-panel zoom function just fine.

I’ve been playing games on my iPad Mini for a couple of weeks now, which is more than I’ve played on my iPhone or iPad Air in months. It’s just so easy to pick up when I want to level my Marvel Future Revolution characters or complete a few more rounds of Zookeeper World. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally get back to playing some Genshin Impact on this little baby. I’m always looking for more things to simultaneously adore and get angry about.

So the new iPad Mini, like its ancient 2012 ancestor, has quickly become my go-to device for quick-hit gaming. Heck, though it’s sitting on my over-bed computer desk inches from my mouse and keyboard, half the time I’ll reach for it instead on my PC when I need to look something up real quick. Once again it’s the sweet spot between portability and power. Here’s hoping Apple doesn’t make me nine years for another worthy model.

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