Buy iPad Mini 7 or wait iPad Mini 6
Image Shows iPad Mini 6

Should you wait for iPad Mini 7 or buy iPad Mini 6 right now?

The iPad Mini lineup is a niche category of iPads that caters to those who want a compact tablet without compromising on performance heavily. The iPad Mini offers excellent productivity in a portable and convenient form factor. On the Android side, no such tiny tablet exists and is free of competition.

Since it’s the only tablet of its kind, Apple’s pace of innovation with this model is glacial. They can afford to keep 2 or even 3-year cycles extremely iterative, and people still pick it up. It isn’t the most popular iPad model but remains the only compact choice. Apple’s most popular iPad remains its largest and most expensive 12.9″ model.

This proves that Apple’s strategy of using a pricing ladder to try and convince people to buy the most expensive is working pretty well. Slightly more money than the base iPad 10 gets you the Air. Upgrade the storage. And it’s too close to the base Pro model, and people spend more money than they initially would.

Critical reception of the iPad Mini 6 was mostly positive; the only issues we could spot were jelly scrolling on some units. We can’t tell how widespread this is; not everyone notices jelly scrolling. The iPad Mini 6 came out about two years ago, in September 2021, with a 60Hz 8.3″ LCD with thinner borders than the previous model, the 5nm A15 Bionic SOC, USB C 3.1, and a 12MP primary camera.

This post will focus on whether it’s worth waiting for the iPad Mini 7 or purchasing the current iPad Mini model. We don’t expect that foldable iPad Mini to happen this year, so the upgrades are probably very iterative.

sixth-generation iPad mini
Sixth-generation iPad mini

Expected Specs of iPad Mini 7

1. Display

The weakest part of the 2021 iPad Mini was the display. There are no concrete leaks that Apple will improve the display for the iPad Mini, and there’s almost no chance of AMOLED or Mini LED. It has full lamination, unlike the iPad 10th Gen, which also carries a similar price tag.

The screen only goes 500 Nits bright. Despite fully supporting the DCIP3 gamut, colors are washed out since regular LCD panels generally don’t have excellent contrast ratios. We are hoping for some brightness improvements or a bump to the refresh rate of the iPad Mini, though neither is likely. However, Apple should address the jelly scrolling issue.

If you’re scrolling in portrait mode, one part of the screen refreshes slower. This results in a weird wavy motion or jelly effect. It’s still divisive since some can easily live with it, others consider it a dealbreaker, and some don’t even notice it. According to Apple, Jelly scrolling is a typical LCD problem, but we didn’t observe this problem on any tablets then. It’s probably a case of Apple skimping out on components.

Fixing the jelly scrolling with better components and hopefully improving the display quality is on top of our wishlist for the iPad Mini 7. Despite the lack of credible rumors about the screen, we hope they still make some strides in the weakest part of the previous model.

2. Performance

The performance of the A15 Bionic is decent, and it’s an efficient chip, too. It outclasses chips like the Snapdragon 870 and 8 Gen 1. However, Apple is supposedly upgrading it to the 4nm A16 Bionic or the brand-new 3nm A17 Bionic SOC.

The former is more likely since TSMC’s yield rates aren’t great for 3nm chips. The A17 will shoot up the price to an obscene amount unless Apple cuts down on profits, which isn’t how the company operates. There’s no chance of M1 since that chip is too old now. We can’t expect M2 either since that’s probably coming to the Air model next year. It’s also difficult to tune for a small tablet, considering the severe thermal constraints of a desktop-class chip.

Moving to the A16 Bionic isn’t a tremendous performance boost. The 5 Core GPU of the A15 is nearly identical to the A16’s GPU. There are minor efficiency gains from a 4nm chip, but nothing worth mentioning in the CPU department.

While using the A17 will massively improve performance and efficiency, it’ll also increase the tablet’s price. A tipster mentioned that the iPad Mini 7 exists but didn’t share any details. They say more info will come later this month. We’re stuck speculating on which approach they will take.

Using the A16 will result in slightly better gaming performance, faster video compilation, and a better overall video editing experience.

3. Cameras

A new chip comes with some noticeable improvements to the ISP. The chance of getting a new sensor on the rear for the new iPad Mini is improbable. However, we can expect minor enhancements in image quality thanks to a new ISP.

Night mode and all the portrait modes and effects are available on the Pro iPad. This is probably an intentional software limitation, considering even Apple’s latest SE model lacks night mode. The new ISP on the A16 or A16 will likely enable portrait mode, night mode, and more. If Apple upgrades the sensor, we might see ProRes video recording straight from the camera app.

The 10th-generation iPad got an essential change to the front camera placement. Instead of the typical portrait arrangement, the 10th-generation iPad has a camera in landscape orientation. This is more convenient for video calls, and features like Center Stage will work much better this way. The new orientation didn’t make it to the M2 iPad Pro, but we can speculate the iPad Mini will get it.

Three reasons to wait for iPad Mini 7

1: Potential new Apple Pencil

The above list of specifications we expect includes three parts of a tablet, but we didn’t mention another one: the Apple Pencil. A majority of iPad sales come from students who use iPads for Notes. The iPad Mini 6 supports the second-generation Apple Pencil.

However, Apple didn’t update the Apple Pencil in a hot minute. We might see a new 3rd generation Apple Pencil debut alongside the iPad Mini 7. While the current one is functionally acceptable, the latency could use improvements. The battery is not industry-leading either.

There aren’t too many details, but some leaks mention a glossy finish instead of matte. The tip also might get some changes. The writing tip might increase in size, making things much better for digital artists. The note-taking experience will improve, too.

There were rumors that Apple would launch a third-generation Apple Pencil with the iPad Mini 6. These didn’t come true, but there’s a good chance they will this time since a long time has passed. A video that supposedly shows the latest Apple Pencil appears to have flat sides.

2: Performance improvements

The A15 Bionic SOC uses a 5nm fabrication, which isn’t as efficient as newer and upcoming processes like 4nm and 3nm. The new iPad will undoubtedly have better battery life. Gaming performance will improve since CPUs and GPUs get higher clock speeds with new generations.

The iPad Mini 6 already features a much more powerful SOC than the 10th-generation base iPad. The upcoming will take gaming to the next level, and the more compact form factor is also highly comfortable for gamers.

Since these use flagship chips, it goes without mentioning that basic multitasking and all games will run perfectly well on the tablet. Heavier tasks like editing multiple RAW photos, 60FPS videos with multiple layers, and basic graphic design will improve with a new chip. For those who create many layers and create ultra-high resolution digital art on apps like ProCreate, this will improve that performance, too.

3: More software support

Strong rumors exist that the upcoming Pro iPhones will start at 256GB base storage. The base iPhone 13 Mini also starts at 128GB of storage. It’s perhaps time that Apple will make the iPad Mini start at 128GB. We don’t have any official confirmation for this, but 128GB base storage will help with product longevity.

Having a better processor is also better long-term. The iPad will have at least two years of extra software support. That’s two more years of iPadOS features you could miss out on with older versions. iPadOS 17 is currently in beta. If the iPad Mini ends up launching in September, it will ship with iPadOS 17 out of the box.

Apple prioritizes newer models with the launch of features. Older models still get the updates, but many major features are missing. If there is a new Apple Pencil, Apple might tie new software features to iPadOS 17 on this tablet. Once the iPad Mini 7 comes out, the 6 will also drop in price from third-party sellers.

Three reasons to buy the iPad Mini 6

1: The overall upgrades remain monotonous

A chip bump is something we see every year or every other year. It isn’t a significant redesign. We’re not getting crazy new hardware, and it’s just a minor bump contributing a little to a slightly better experience overall. The iPad Mini was redesigned in 2021 with thinner bezels and new colors. We don’t expect significant design changes for the iPad Mini line anytime soon.

The next time we see an iPad, it’s probably in 2025 or 2026, when foldable technology at Apple is ready. Apple reportedly plans to enter the foldable market with an iPad instead of an iPhone since it’s less risky.

Since the upgrades, for now, aren’t too major, you could get away with a similar experience overall without having to wait for a new launch. It’s just a tiny spec bump and is a tremendous upgrade for iPad Mini 5 or iPad 8th gen and below users. There are other minor updates like Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E, but these don’t make or break purchase decisions.

2: Potential increase in price

With a potentially pricey 3nm chip, double the base storage, and maybe a new pencil, the new iPad Mini could hit the $549 mark. The current 6th generation iPad Mini costs $499, which is reasonable.

It’s cheaper than the iPad Air but a bit more expensive than the base iPad 10. It’s better than the iPad 10 in many ways, too. It performs better, has faster USB C speeds, has a better screen, supports a newer Apple Pencil, and doesn’t have inconsistencies with the annoying dongle.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Mini 6 will drop by around $100 once the iPad Mini 7 launches, so you can find it cheaper.

3: The tablet might not launch in September 2023

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the tablet might not come out this year. There’s a chance that it’ll launch next year instead, making this decision a bit difficult. Waiting for one month is comparatively easier than waiting around six or seven months for the next event. Delays are unpredictable in the tech industry.

If we’re following the leaks from Kuo, the device will enter mass production at the end of 2023 or Q1 2024. If it’s pushed to 2024, it’ll launch at the Spring event in March. Other leakers claim one iPad is coming out later this year, and they’re speculating that it’s the iPad Mini 7. There are plans to launch a new iPad Pro model next year, alongside an Air, so that Apple might announce all three of them at once next year.

Conclusion

This arrives at a reasonably natural conclusion. If you’re in the market for a decently powerful compact tablet and don’t mind losing out on some performance, you won’t be disappointed by the current iPad Mini 6. You might want to wait for price drops to accommodate your budget.

If you’re a power user who can take advantage of the extra performance from the A16 or A17 and want to keep the device around for longer, it’s better to wait for the upcoming iPad Mini 7. However, the Mini 6 isn’t a bad deal if you cannot wait six more months for a tablet, in case Apple doesn’t announce the iPad Mini 7 at the event in September.

It’s worth noting that several other iPad models are outside of the Mini. If this isn’t a priority, you can look at refurbished iPad Pro models or the M1 iPad Air for better specifications.

About Binay Konwar

He is the Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of DealNTech. He loves technology and oversees the whole website. He follows the latest trends and is highly passionate about mobile and PC technology. Email: [email protected]. Follow him on X(Twitter)

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