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iPad vs iPad Mini – which is best?

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on April 15, 2024
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When it comes to choosing between the iPad and iPad Mini, Apple’s two most affordable tablets, it can be challenging to determine which one is the winner. In this guide, we will compare the specs, design, performance, features, and price of the Apple iPad and iPad Mini to help you make an informed decision. 

Keep in mind that we will specifically focus on the September 2021 iPad and iPad Mini models, which are the 9th generation of the 10.2-inch base iPad and the 6th generation of the iPad Mini.

iPad vs iPad Mini specs

SpecificationsiPadiPad Mini
Display10.2-inch Retina display8.3-inch Retina display
ChipsetA13 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chip
Storage options64GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB
Apple Pencil support1st Generation Apple Pencil2nd Generation Apple Pencil
Keyboard supportSmart KeyboardBluetooth keyboards
Cameras8 MP wide ƒ/2.4 rear camera and 12 MP FaceTime ƒ/2.4 front camera12 MP wide ƒ/1.8 rear lens and 12 MP TrueDepth ƒ/2.4 front lens 
iPad vs iPad Mini

iPad vs iPad Mini features

Here are the features of the Apple iPad and the Apple iPad Mini:


One of the main differences between the iPad and iPad Mini is their size. The iPad typically features a 10.2-inch display, while the iPad Mini has a smaller form factor with a 7.9-inch display. However, the most recent iPad Mini 6 has a slightly larger 8.3-inch display, thanks to a redesign that brings it closer in line with the design of the iPad Air and iPad Pro.


In terms of design, the entry-level iPad retains a familiar look with curved edges, chunky bezels, and a home button. It also features a Lightning port for charging and a headphone jack. On the other hand, the iPad Mini has a more modern design, with an edge-to-edge laminated display, flat edges, quad speakers, and USB-C for charging. The iPad Mini’s design and smaller size make it a more portable option.

Performance and processing power

When it comes to performance, both the iPad and iPad Mini are highly capable tablets. The entry-level iPad typically features a chipset that is a generation behind the latest flagship iPhone. For example, the iPad 10 uses the A14 Bionic chip, which was found in the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4 released in 2020.

On the other hand, the iPad Mini traditionally has a slightly older chipset than the iPad. However, the iPad Mini 6 breaks this trend with the inclusion of the A15 Bionic chip, the same powerful chipset found in the flagship iPhone 13. This upgrade in processing power makes the iPad Mini 6 a better option for tasks that require more intensive performance.


In terms of software, both the iPad and iPad Mini run on the same operating system, iPadOS 15. This means you’ll enjoy similar features and functionalities on both devices, including enhanced multitasking, home screen widgets, drag and drop capabilities, and mouse and keyboard support. iPadOS 15 provides a seamless and intuitive user experience, making both tablets a great choice for productivity and entertainment.


The entry-level iPad is compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil and various third-party keyboard cases. The more recent iPad 10 is also compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard, providing a more premium accessory experience.

On the other hand, the iPad Mini supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, similar to the entry-level iPad. However, due to its smaller size, there is no official keyboard accessory available for the iPad Mini 6.

iPad vs iPad Mini price

The entry-level iPad starts at just $449 (Wi-Fi only) and goes up to $629 for the 256GB version with cellular data. On the other hand, the iPad Mini 6 starts at $679 (Wi-Fi only) and goes up to $879 for the 256GB with cellular connectivity.

It’s important to note that the prices of the iPad and iPad Mini may fluctuate, so make sure to check for any discounts or promotions before making your purchase.

Is the iPad better than the iPad Mini?

Choosing between the iPad and iPad Mini ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If portability is a top priority and you prefer a smaller display, the iPad Mini is the clear winner. Its modern design, support for the Apple Pencil 2, and improved processing power make it a great choice for digital artists and those on the go.

However, if you value a larger screen and more screen detail, the 10.2-inch iPad is the better option. It offers a more affordable price point, compatibility with the first-generation Apple Pencil, and support for the Smart Keyboard.

As a tech and AI writer for PC Guide, Gloria is interested in what new technology means for the future of consumer electronics and digital and broadcast journalism.