Apple Reviews

Review: Apple iPad Mini (2021)

I’ve always been very fascinated with compact computers I guess ever since I saw the original Nokia Communicator 9000 with Val Kilmer in the 1997 film, The Saint. Since then I’ve had a bunch of mini computers including the Nokia Communicator 9110, Sony Clie UX-50, Asus Eee 900, and the MSI Wind. I think this is why I’ve always wanted an iPad Mini and after spotting the purple one at an Apple store in Amsterdam while on vacation, I decided it was time I got one. So after getting back to Kuwait I got in touch with Xcite and managed to get my hands on one.

Full disclosure, I have a long-standing relationship with Xcite who provided me with this iPad. They’ve been very supportive of the blog from the very early days and they’ve lent or given me a number of items over the years to review, as well as hooking me up with discounts. I’m a huge Xcite fan.

Firstly right off the bat, I’ll tell you that I tried my best to capture in the photos how beautiful the purple color of this new iPad Mini is, but I’ve failed at doing so. The purple Mini combined with the dark cherry Apple cover I got for it looks amazing, you really need to see it in person because my photos don’t do it justice. Color aside, I also love the new form factor of the Mini which now follows the updated design language of the larger iPads and new iPhones. Gone are the curvy soft edges which are now replaced with the sharper sides that I think give it a timeless look. One reason I felt so comfortable with the Mini right away is that it feels like a Kindle in my hands, and side by side with one, you’ll see below they’re pretty close.

The iPad Mini is tiny and incredibly light, especially when compared to my huge 12.9″ iPad Pro. It’s not as light as my Kindle, but it’s light enough that I can hold it for an hour while reading magazines and not feel bothered by the weight. And yeah, I’ve mostly been using my Mini to read magazines, RSS feeds, and documents. Although my iPad Pro’s larger screen makes the magazine experience more natural due to the size of the pages on the screen, it’s a much more comfortable experience on the Mini because of how lightweight it is. One thing I found surprising, the iPad Mini is actually small enough to fit into the front pockets of my pants. I wouldn’t walk around with an iPad in my front pocket, but the idea that I could, if I needed to, makes it very convenient.

I’ve had the iPad Mini for a few weeks now and it’s replaced both my laptop and iPhone for casual browsing while watching TV. It’s kinda like having a phone in your hands but better because of the larger screen. But, it is a very odd size and I’m not sure who I would recommend this iPad for. It’s not going to replace your phone since it’s not a phone, but it’s also really small so if you’re thinking of getting an iPad, it wouldn’t be the size you’d want to get. It’s not even the cheapest iPad so it wouldn’t be the one you’d get for your kids either.

I think the iPad Mini is meant for people like me who already have a regular-sized iPad and a regular-sized iPhone and are looking for something in between. It’s not something I need, but something I’m finding uses for. For example, I currently take my iPad Pro with me when I travel so I can watch shows on the plane. But I don’t like taking my MacBook Air with me when I do that since my backpack becomes too heavy. Now I can take both my MacBook Air and iPad Mini with me and the weight is fine. I’ve also started using the iPad Mini when working on my cars to load up documents. Previously I was using my iPhone, but the Mini’s larger screen makes reading instructions from a distance much easier. If you get a Mini you’ll find uses for it.

One issue I should mention I have with the Mini is the battery life. According to Apple, both my larger iPad Pro and new iPad Mini have a similar battery life, but that can’t be the case because I feel my iPad Mini’s battery drains a lot faster. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time on it, more than I would on the Pro, but I don’t think so. Another thing I’m kind of disappointed about is the fact Apple doesn’t make a keyboard for the iPad Mini. It’s the one thing I really wish it had because my idea of a mini computer always involves a keyboard. There are some third-party ones available, but I haven’t found one yet that I liked. I do have the Apple Pen which works with the Mini, but I rarely use it. Finally, the last issue I have with the Mini is the Touch ID. The iPad Mini doesn’t have facial recognition and instead uses Touch ID which is located on the power button to unlock the iPad. You’re meant to touch it and it scans your fingerprint and then unlocks. It’s been a few weeks and I still haven’t gotten used to it yet and I tend to spend a lot of time accidentally turning off the iPad when trying to unlock it. It’s super annoying.

When I spoke to Xcite about getting an iPad Mini I requested the entry-level 64GB model because that’s really more than enough for my needs. Also, because this is going to supplement my various Macbooks, iPads and phone, it doesn’t really make sense financially to get anything more expensive than the entry-level model which already costs quite a bit at KD160. So that’s the model I’d recommend, I also wouldn’t bother with the 5G models since you can always tether your iPad to your phone.

In conclusion, I’m loving my Mini. Not sure who to recommend it to but if you’ve been thinking about getting one I’d pull the trigger and get it. It’s fast, the speakers are loud and the size is perfect. To check out the various iPad Mini models and colors available, here is a link to the Xcite website.

6 replies on “Review: Apple iPad Mini (2021)”

I love this iPad Mini, I also got one but in Starlight, 64 GB with 5G. I personally use it for work, its basically my notebook that I use for all my notes (Notability is awesome) and important documents I need to have with me

I opted for the 5G because I used to have the old iPad Mini with wifi only, and using the hotspot drains my phones battery so much and makes it hot, so it became inconvenient

“But I don’t like taking my MacBook Air with me when I do that since my backpack becomes too heavy.
“Now I can take both my MacBook Air and iPad Mini with me and the weight is fine.”

Did you mean MacBook Pro in the first bit?

yeah thats what I say in the post, “I currently take my iPad Pro with me when I travel so I can watch shows on the plane. But I don’t like taking my MacBook Air with me when I do that since my backpack becomes too heavy. “

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