If you’re having trouble deciding between the iPad 10 and the iPad Mini 6, I can help you make a more informed decision without spending unnecessary money. While the iPad 10 boasts a new design, display, and USB-C port, there are important differences between the two devices, including their accessories. Let’s take a closer look to determine which one is the superior choice.
We will discuss the prices in more detail later when we cover the configuration options. But just to give you an idea, in the United States, the iPad 10 starts at $449, while the iPad Mini 6 starts at $499, resulting in a $50 price difference between the two devices.
Design and Size
The first decision to consider is the size since both iPads have similar designs with rounded corners and squared edges. The Mini resembles a smaller version of the iPad 10.
Both devices are available in four colors, but the iPad 10’s colors are more vibrant in person. If having a colorful device is important, the iPad 10 is the better option. Personally, I adore the pink one.
In terms of size, the Mini has an 8.3-inch display, while the iPad 10 boasts a 10.9-inch screen. This disparity in size has significant implications.
If you plan to use the device for watching movies or playing games, the larger screen on the iPad 10 will provide a more immersive experience. However, when using the device for web browsing or productivity apps, the difference in content visibility between the two devices is not as significant due to their similar resolutions.
Portability is also a crucial factor to consider, with the iPad Mini being smaller and lighter than the iPad 10. However, it is essential to reflect on whether this size difference matters for your specific use case. Personally, I typically carry my iPad in a backpack when traveling or working at a coffee shop, so the disparity in size and weight is not a significant factor for me. But, it may be more critical for others.
Both iPads have eliminated the home button and adopted Apple’s new Touch ID system, which is integrated into the power button, for biometric authentication.
Both the iPad Mini and iPad 10 feature a Liquid Retina display with True Tone technology and the same peak brightness.
However, the iPad Mini’s P3 display offers a broader color gamut compared to the SRGB on the iPad 10. This allows it to reproduce colors with more precision, resulting in a more true-to-life color representation.
Additionally, the iPad Mini has a higher pixel density, which makes the image technically sharper. It also has an anti-reflective coating, making it a better option for outdoor use or in brightly lit environments.
Another significant difference between the displays is that the iPad 10 does not have a fully laminated display. This means there is an air gap between the display and the touch layer/cover glass combination. In contrast, the iPad Mini features a fully laminated display where all three layers are fused into a single display assembly, eliminating the air gap.
Both displays are highly responsive and accurate. The main difference appears when using the Apple Pencil. On the iPad Mini, it will look like the pencil tip is touching the content being created, while on the iPad 10, there will be a slight gap. Personally, I use the Apple Pencil for notetaking, document markup, and light sketching, so the air gap isn’t a big issue for me. However, I have friends who are illustrators and can create amazing content with both iPads, and given the option, they prefer a fully laminated display.
Now, the one advantage of the iPad 10 display is that if you scratch or crack it, you’re most likely only damaging the top layer, which is much less expensive to replace. On the iPad Mini, regardless of whether you just scratched the top layer, the entire display assembly would have to be replaced, which of course, is much more expensive.
Apple Pencil and Keyboard Cases
Let’s discuss the accessories for both iPads. The iPad Mini 6 is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which charges and pairs wirelessly and can be magnetically attached and stored on the side of the iPad.
On the other hand, the iPad 10 still uses the first-generation Apple Pencil, and it requires a $9 adapter to charge or pair the pencil since the iPad 10 has USB-C while the pencil uses lightning port. This means that the first-generation pencil may not always be fully charged, and an extra accessory is needed when traveling.
The iPad 10 is a better choice when it comes to keyboard cases, as the available options for the iPad Mini are uncomfortable to type on due to its small size. In contrast, Apple’s Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad 10 features a full row of function keys, an excellent trackpad, and an adjustable back for optimal viewing angles.
Cameras & Speakers
Another significant difference between the two iPads is their camera systems. Both have a 12-megapixel wide camera on the back with identical features such as an F1.8 aperture, 5x digital zoom, and Smart HDR 3 for photos. However, only the iPad Mini has a flash. Both devices offer the same video capabilities, including resolution, frame rate, slow motion, and zoom. The front-facing cameras are also identical in terms of hardware.
Both iPads come with stereo speakers, featuring one speaker on each side when held in landscape mode. However, the iPad 10 delivers louder and warmer sound, with less of a tinny quality compared to the iPad Mini 6.
In terms of processing power, the iPad 10 is equipped with the A14 Bionic chip, while the iPad Mini 6 features the more advanced A15 Bionic. Both iPads have 4GB of RAM.
When comparing raw processing power, the iPad Mini 6 has better single and multi-core performance, as well as a more powerful 5-core GPU, outpacing the 4-core GPU on the iPad 10.
For everyday tasks such as browsing the web, watching videos on YouTube or Netflix, and working with basic productivity apps, the differences in processing power between the two iPads are unlikely to be noticeable, as both the A14 Bionic and A15 Bionic chips are extremely powerful. Both iPads offer fast, responsive performance, quickly wake from sleep, open apps quickly, and switching between apps is practically instant.
Regarding multitasking, both iPads offer similar features, but the larger and higher-resolution display on the iPad 10 gives it an advantage. It is also a better choice for Sidecar and Universal Control due to its larger size. Sidecar is a highly recommended feature that enhances productivity, and personally, I use it almost daily.
Battery Life and Gaming
When it comes to battery life, the amount of screen time you get will depend on your usage. However, in my side-by-side test, I have found that the iPad 10 has a longer battery life than other devices.
Battery life is a crucial factor to consider when it comes to gaming. While the iPad Mini 6 boasts a more powerful chip, the most significant difference between it and other devices is its ergonomics. The iPad Mini is incredibly comfortable to hold, especially during long gaming sessions, thanks to its lightweight design. This makes it a far better option for gaming than playing on a phone.
If I am using a game controller or using the iPad as a display, I would give the edge to the iPad 10 because of its larger screen size. Additionally, the iPad 10 has better battery life, which is an advantage when gaming for extended periods.
And speaking of prices, the $449 for the iPad 10, and the $499 for the iPad Mini 6, are the official prices from the Apple Store, but you can usually find better prices on amazon.
In any case, these are the prices for the 64GB versions of both. And it will cost you an additional $150 to upgrade to the 256GB models. Now, I really wish that Apple started both of these iPads at 128GB, and then had an upgraded version at 512GB, especially for the iPad 10, which was released at the end of 2022.
Now, both iPads support Wi-Fi 6. The iPad 10 supports Bluetooth 5.2 versus 5.0 on the iPad Mini 6. And both are available in cellular models, which support 5G.
To ensure that you make the right decision and don’t waste your money, consider the following factors:
If you prioritize portability and prefer the ergonomics of a smaller tablet, prioritize getting the iPad Mini 6. Additionally, if you want a better user experience with the Apple Pencil, require a more color-accurate display, or a more powerful processor, the iPad Mini 6 would be the better option.
However, if you want to save some money, prefer a larger display for multitasking, viewing content, and gaming, or plan to use it with a keyboard case as a laptop replacement, the iPad 10 would be the better option.