iPad Mini Versus iPad Air: Which iPad Do You Need?

If you are considering buying a new tablet, an iPad is a natural choice for brand recognition and reliability. Similar to top Android competitors, Apple offers you peak quality and enjoyability, regardless of the version you choose.
But that’s generally the issue: choosing from Apple’s massive array of iPads. The ones to watch are the iPad Mini and the iPad Air. Which one is right for you, your needs, and your lifestyle? Keep reading to learn more about both to see which one you’ll use effectively and happily, especially if you invest in an extended warranty and take excellent care of your latest Apple tablet.

The Iconic iPad Through the Years

You might know a little—or even a lot—about the iconic iPad over the years, but it never hurts to take a peek back in time to see how far this masterpiece has evolved. For more than a decade, iOS fans have flocked to get a chance at first dibs on iPad releases because they were the first of their kind, and the quality hasn’t waned in all this time.

History of the iPad Mini and iPad Air

Ever since Steve Jobs asked the pivotal question of whether “there was room for something in the middle” of the iPhone and the MacBook, the tablet revolution took hold. To any naysayers of that time or any time after, the early sales of 3 million iPads in the first 80 days indicated that Jobs knew the answer before asking the question. He was so on point that brand-after-brand has followed—or tried to follow—the iPad’s lead.
In March 2021, Daniel Nations at Lifewire shared that Apple had sold over 425 million iPads since the first version in 2010. The first iPad Mini showed up in 2012, alongside the iPad 4, forging bold new territory in toggling the line between the iPhone’s compact size and the larger iPad.
And it wasn’t just a carbon copy of the standard iPad at a smaller size. It had its own look and feel, curvier and rounded edges. It also used the iPad 2’s resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels on a 7.9-inch screen instead of the iPad 4’s Retina display. Finally, it had an A5 processor, making it less powerful than the iPad 4, which was expected.
The iPad Mini has remained a small-but-mighty marvel ever since.
One year later, in 2013, the iPad Air arrived on the scene, ready to challenge the iPad. The first iPad Air featured a new design, including the smooth, rounded contours of the iPad Mini. The big selling point was that it was on par with the iPad in terms of size and power, but it was 20% lighter and significantly slimmer.
Over the years, the iPad Mini and iPad Air have gone head-to-head. Let’s see what the latest iterations offer.

The iPad Mini Versus the iPad Air Today

Apple made its latest updates to the iPad Mini in September 2021, bringing it in line with the 2020 release of the iPad Air, notes Creative Bloq. As you might expect, even though the iPad Mini is a year newer than the iPad air, it still costs substantially less at $494, while the iPad Air rings up at around $599.
In both respective updates, Apple removed the famous Home button, replacing it with an all-screen design, using gesture-based controls instead. Another similarity is that the Touch ID sensor is tucked away inside the lock button at the top of both devices.
Otherwise, both machines share a great deal in common. The best part about that is that they both look great and offer plenty of features and functionality.
Here are some common traits:
  • New edge-to-edge, all-screen design
  • Elegantly rounded corners
  • Powerful A-15 Bionic chip
  • Lightning-fast 5G
  • Support for Apple Pencil
  • An array of beautiful colors for both
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
The two iPads also differ in several aspects. For example, the battery life factor is complex. The iPad Air naturally has a larger battery and greater capacity, but it also has more display and functionality to power. The iPad Mini requires a smaller battery with less size and operations to power. However, both iPads should last up to 10 hours of web or video use via Wi-Fi.
Another difference is the front-facing camera is the primary area that shows the differences between the two. The iPad Mini takes the lead here, offering a 12MP f/2.4 camera on the front, compared to the iPad Air’s 7MP f2.2 lens.

Which iPad Looks Best to You?

Both new iPad releases have much to offer. Your choice might come down to preferring a more compact size and a higher quality camera with the Mini. Alternatively, you might like a larger screen available with the Air.
Regardless of your choice, remember to buy an Upsie extended tablet insurance plan to keep your latest Apple purchase operating smoothly and protected from accidents like drops and spills. With Upsie, you even have access to Genius Bar repairs on all covered claims. Best of all, Upsie costs up to 70 percent less than warranties sold by manufacturers and retailers. With Upsie, customers can make unlimited claims up to the purchase price of the device.
Upsie also offers warranties for smartphones, laptops, and other electronics.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.