Apple unveils 9th-gen iPad, but redesigned iPad mini 5G makes it look obsolete

Apple iPad is the world's best tablet, regardless of model. Whether you opt for the "regular" iPad or Pro models, they are all superior to anything running Android. And yet, the non-Pro iPad is starting to feel a bit stale. It still has a lightning port, huge bezels, and it is not compatible with the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil.

Today, Apple unveiled the 9th generation non-Pro iPad (10.2-inch Retina display) and the company did not address any of those things. It has big bezels and a clunky physical home button, a lightning port instead of USB-C, and it's still only compatible with the first-gen Pencil. Apple merely gave it more storage (64GB minimum), a better processor (A13 Bionic), and a slightly improved front camera (12MP Ultra-Wide). It is a boring evolutionary upgrade that will make owners of existing iPad tablets yawn.

Thankfully, Apple also showed off a redesigned iPad mini with an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display. This is one of the most exciting iPad models ever. Powered by the A15 Bionic chip, it makes the regular 9th-gen iPad look obsolete. This new mini iPad looks more like the pro models. It has thinner bezels and Touch ID has been moved to the power button on the top. There is no home button.

The redesigned iPad mini uses USB-C rather than Lightning, making it compatible with many accessories, including USB-C external storage, without the need for a dongle. And yes, it is compatible with the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. Best of all, you can opt for a model with 5G cellular connectivity. Wow!

"The new iPad comes equipped with the powerful A13 Bionic chip, delivering a 20 percent performance boost over the previous generation. This makes the new iPad up to 3x faster than the best-selling Chromebook, and up to a whopping 6x faster than the best-selling Android tablet. The added performance will allow users to seamlessly run advanced apps and games on the most affordable iPad. The Neural Engine in A13 Bionic also powers next-level machine learning capabilities, including Live Text coming in iPadOS 15, which uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in a photo that users can take action on," says Apple.

The iPhone-maker further says, "iPad mini gets a huge performance boost from the new A15 Bionic chip, with its incredibly efficient design that delivers all-day battery life. The 6-core CPU delivers a 40 percent jump in performance, and the 5-core GPU delivers an 80 percent leap in graphics performance compared to the previous generation of iPad mini. A15 Bionic on iPad mini handles even the most demanding tasks -- from graphically rich games to pro apps used by designers, pilots, doctors, and more. With its powerful performance and compact design, iPad mini is the ultimate tool users can take anywhere."

Of course, since the all-new iPad mini is clearly much better than the regular iPad, it is priced as such. The 9th generation iPad starts at $329, while the redesigned iPad mini begins at $499. Both can be pre-ordered starting today and will hit stores on September 24. The regular iPad can only be had in silver and space gray, while the new mini will be offered in pink, starlight, purple, and, space gray.

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