There’s a lot to love about the 2021 iPad Mini (8/10, WIRED Recommends). We think it’s the Best iPad for portability and the best portable tablet in general. But it’s just too darn expensive. WIRED reviewer Brenda Stolyar said as much in her in-depth review: “It’s tough to justify such a high price on a screen when I already have so many around me.”
Until at least Mother’s Day, it’s a little less expensive. The iPad Mini is on sale for $ 400 at Amazon, Best Buyand Target. This is the cheapest we’ve ever seen the tablet sell for, at $ 100 off its official price and $ 60 less than the previous-best price (seen on Amazon). Though prices vary, the discount applies to every color, connectivity, and storage configuration. If you’ve been eyeing this good-but-overpriced tablet, this sale is worth checking out. Note that availability is fluctuating and the discount may not last very long.
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What’s WIRED and Tired About the iPad Mini?
WIRED: Last year’s refresh gave the iPad Mini its first facelift in many years, transforming it into a modern-looking gadget with sleeker, smaller bezels and a more compact frame. It’s more portable and has Touch ID fingerprint sensing baked into its power button. There’s also a bit more screen real estate than before (8.3 inches vs. 7.9), and the upgraded USB-C charging port means you can charge it quicker and more easily connect it to devices.
The internals also received an overhaul. The A15 Bionic processor is the same you’ll find in the newest iPhone, and even better than the A13 found in the current mid-size iPad. The iPad Mini is great for multitasking (with or without MacOS Catalina).
You can’t make the most of the iPad Mini without its many wonderful accessorieswhich is both a blessing and a curse.
TIRED: To fully take advantage of this portable powerhouse, you’ll need a keyboard and a stylus of some sort — whether they’re Apple-branded or not. That adds on to the already-steep price. (Check out our guide to the Best iPad Accessories for recommendations.)
There are a few other things we’d change about the sixth-generation iPad Mini. The battery life is disappointing (well under 10 hours in some circumstances), and the front-facing camera sits really low if you hold it in landscape mode, which drives us a bit bonkers at times.
Despite how far they’ve come, tablets can still feel redundant and unnecessary for folks who own both a smartphone and a laptop. But if you want a non-smartphone device and as little bulk as possible, the iPad Mini is your best bet. Especially when it’s on sale.
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