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iPad Mini vs. iPad 9th Gen: Which iPad Should You Buy now?

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The business decided to refresh both the 9th generation iPad and the iPad mini in September 2021. It was a significant month for iPad lovers. The latter was significant. The little tablet had languished for years without any design attention. But, while these are Apple's two most affordable iPads, they're very distinct computers.

When deciding between an iPad 9th gen and an iPad mini, you should consider many factors. They include size, pricing, and accessory compatibility. You'll also need to consider what jobs you'll perform with the iPad. But make no mistake: both tablets are capable. If you're looking for additional ideas, check out our guide to the iPad generations to see where these models fit into the bigger picture.

iPad Mini vs. iPad 9th Gen

Follow these comparisons to decide which product best suits your needs.

  • Price and Release Date

  • Design and Features

  • Accessories

  • Software

Price and Release Date

In September 2021, Apple revealed the 9th generation iPad and iPad mini, and the iPhone 13 lineup. The cheapest iPad is the entry-level model. It starts at $329 for 64GB of storage and goes up to $609 for 256GB with cellular service. $329 is a fantastic price for an iPad, especially with the A13 chip, which is both fast and future-proof. 

The iPad mini has been given a price increase over the previous version. It starts at $499 for 64GB and rises to $799 for 256GB with cellular. While the price increase may deter some customers, the primary design and functionality changes make it worthwhile.

Design and Features

The design of the two devices is the most significant distinction. The design of the 9th generation iPad is now quite familiar. It has curving edges, thick bezels, and a home button. Because the 10.2-inch display isn't laminated, you'll notice warping if you press down hard. 

The 10.2-inch has a Lightning port for charging and a headphone jack. Overall, it's a good-looking, if a touch antiquated, design. Bezels have decreased over the years, but this iPad is round-edged and chunky-chinned. And with a price tag of $329, you can't go wrong.



On the other hand, the iPad mini is a very different story. The 8.3-inch screen is by far the smallest iPad screen available. But make no mistake: this is a modern tablet that's received the iPad-Air makeover. That means an edge-to-edge laminated display, flat edges, quad speakers, and USB-C charging. It gives you a lot more options for attaching accessories.

Which is the best option for you? It all depends on whether you want something with a larger screen or something that is more portable. The iPad mini is the size of a paperback book, whereas the iPad is the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The former is convenient to carry around, while the later has a larger screen.


There are a lot of distinctions here as well. The iPad mini is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2. It comes with a variety of features, such as magnetic charging and tap controls. 

However, because the iPad mini lacks a Smart Connector, you cannot use it with any of Apple's keyboards. Most Bluetooth keyboards, on the other hand, will operate properly. 



The iPad 9th generation has a smart connector and is compatible with the Smart Keyboard. 

The original Apple Pencil is also the only one that works with the 9th generation iPad. While this is serviceable in terms of sketching, it does have some design flaws when it comes to charging. It fits into the Lightning port, but it also has a closeable cap that must be removed to charge.


This one is simple: there isn't much difference between these two iPadOS computers. Both are running on iPadOS 15 at the moment. This software includes improved multitasking and home screen widgets, app drag and drop, the amazing new Live Text feature, and more. In terms of software, you'll have a similar experience on both. It'll be terrific, with iPadOS being the most smooth mobile operating system out there.




It's worth noting that neither the iPad mini nor the iPad 9th generation provides the full iPad experience. Capabilities like the ProMotion display are only available on the iPad Pro. However, these two smartphones are highly appealing.

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