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Apple iPad Mini (7th gen) wishlist: All the features I want to see
Larger tablets are great, but they aren’t for everyone. Some of us prefer a smaller pad that can be easily carried but offers more screen real estate than the typical smartphone. While some good small Android tablets are out there, none are quite as convincing as Apple’s iPad Mini series. The next one we expect to see from the Cupertino giant is the iPad Mini (7th generation).
Today, the most recent iteration is the 6th generation iPad Mini. It is designed beautifully, has excellent performance, solid battery life, and you can add 5G connectivity. What could be improved in the next iPad Mini? Let’s dig into what I want to see from the iPad Mini (7th generation).
Can we get a Smart Connector?
Modern iPads now feature what Apple calls the Smart Connector. The current iPad Mini is the only one missing it. This is a three-pin connection that attaches to accessories magnetically. Apple uses them to connect iPads to accessories such as keyboards. This connector can transfer both data and power, making it a very convenient addition I wish to see in the next iPad Mini.
Even the more affordable iPad (10th generation) has it, so I see no reason why it wouldn’t make it to the next iPad Mini. And if it does get the Smart Connector, chances are Apple will release other compatible accessories to go with it.
While the 7th gen iPad Mini manages to get much thinner bottom and top bezels, largely thanks to the removal of the home button, these are still pretty significant. The 2021 iPad Mini has a 77.4% screen-to-body ratio. That isn’t much compared to most other high-end devices.
That said, the bezels aren’t absolutely horrible, either. And many of you like that you have a nice area to hold the tablet without the risk of accidental touches.
In our iPad Mini (6th generation) review we mention that the included 20W charger doesn’t do much to juice up the device quickly. It took us about half an hour to reach from 10% to 50%, but going from 10% to 100% extended that time to about 90 minutes.
I know Apple has never been at the forefront of fast charging, but a boost sure would be nice. Since this device is actually pretty small, maybe even wireless charging would be a welcome addition.
A better display would be nice
The iPad Mini (6th generation) Liquid Retina IPS LCD display is pretty good, but it could be better. I’m happy with the 1,488 x 2,266 resolution and 327ppi density, but one of the main complaints in our review was that it only had a 60Hz refresh rate. The current standard for higher-end products is 120Hz.
A 120Hz panel might happen for the next iPad Mini. Popular tech Twitter user @FromTron shared a Korean forum post in late 2021, in which it was rumored that Samsung Display shipped an 8.3-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate for testing. Current Apple devices with 120Hz refresh rates label this feature as “ProMotion.”
It would be nice to see 120Hz on the iPad Mini (7th generation) display, but it seems unlikely.
While I’m hoping for higher refresh rates like what ProMotion offers in other products, analyst Ross Young mentioned on Twitter that this isn’t likely the case. The iPad Mini uses an a-Si LCD, which isn’t compatible with ProMotion. Apple would need to switch the panel to an Oxide LCD (or an OLED, of course).
While smaller, iPad Mini devices are not really budget tablets. We’ve become accustomed to seeing these little pads carrying powerful processors, usually the same as their iPhone counterparts.
The 2021 iPad Mini came with the same Apple A15 Bionic processor the iPhone 13 series carried in 2021 when both launched. Similarly, I hope (and expect) Apple to put a next-gen chipset in its next iPad Mini. Especially considering noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo mentioned that the tablet would have an upgraded processor and that it would be a “main selling point.”
Chances are the 7th-generation iPad Mini will have either an Apple A16 Bionic used in the iPhone 14 Pro series or an A17 Bionic. Some believe it might even be an M series processor, which is what powers the more powerful iPads — like the iPad Pro M2 and iPad Air M1 — and all modern Mac computers.
Other smaller upgrades
Apple is likely to bring incremental upgrades throughout the iPad Mini experience. We might see improved cameras, more base storage, an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E, and more. Of course, these are just assumptions for now but we will keep you updated with more spec details as they emerge.
What do you want to see in the 7th-generation iPad Mini?
Will there be an iPad Mini (7th generation)?
The iPad Mini, as cool as it is, has never been seen as a staple in Apple’s portfolio. They tend to be a secondary addition to more significant announcements, and Apple is no longer constantly releasing one yearly. iPad Mini launches are kind of all over the place. What matters is whether we will see an iPad Mini or not. If I had to bet on it, we would say Apple won’t be killing the iPad Mini series. It is the top dog in the small tablet market and still has plenty to offer. In fact, the iPad Mini (6th gen) was the second most sold tablet in Q1 2022, according to IDC. It was only second to the regular 2021 iPad.
Additionally, we’ve started to hear rumors of the next-gen iPad Mini 7, even if very few. Chances are it’s coming. It’s just a matter of when.
Most previous iPad Mini iterations were announced around October or September. The 7th-gen iPad Mini is an exception, as Apple’s “Scary Fast” event from October 31 did not bring any iPad announcements.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in late 2022 that mass shipment of the new iPad Mini won’t commence until either late 2023 or during the first half of 2024. Kuo followed up that statement with another one in January 2023, suggesting there won’t be any new iPads in the next 9-12 months. Based on this, a 2024 launch could be expected.