iPad mini 5 vs iPad 6: Which should you buy?
New, but familiar
The first new iPad mini since 2015 includes a better (but smaller) display and other hardware improvements over the older iPad 6.
- Uses current generation Apple processor and coprocessor
- Better FaceTime HD camera
- More storage
- More expensive
- Small display (of course)
The iPad 6 offers a traditional 9.7-inch display for less than you'll pay for the new 7.9-inch tablet. The lower price means accepting older equipment, however.
- Bigger screen
- Less expensive
- Older processor and coprocessor
- Poor FaceTime HD camera
- Older model
The introduction of the iPad mini 5 caught many by surprise. There are critical differences it and the 2018 iPad 6, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise given the price differences.
Break it down now...
In the most general way, think of the iPad mini 5 as a more advanced iPad 6 with a smaller display.
|Header Cell - Column 0||iPad mini 5||iPad 6|
|Release||March 2019||March 2018|
|Screen Size||7.9-inch Retina, laminated, True Tone display||9.7-inch Retina display|
|Resolution||2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 326 PPI||2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 PPI|
|Storage sizes||64GB, 256GB||32GB, 128GB|
|Colors||Silver, Space Gray, Gold||Silver, Space Gray, Gold|
|Weight||0.66 pounds||1.03 pounds|
|Dimensions||8 x 5.3 x 0.24 in||9.4 x 6.6 x 0.29 in|
|Apple Pencil support||First gen||First gen|
|Chip||A12 Bionic chip||A10 Fusion chip|
|Coprocessor||Embedded M12 coprocessor||Embedded M10 coprocessor|
|Camera||8-megapixel camera w/ƒ/2.4 aperture||8-megapixel camera w/ƒ/2.4 aperture|
|Max videorecording||1080p HD video recording||1080p HD video recording|
|FaceTime HD camera||7-megapixel||1.2-megapixel|
|Battery Life||up to 10 hours||up to 10 hours|
Processors & RAM
The iPad mini 5 features Apple's A12 Bionic chip with an M12 coprocessor while the iPad 6 includes the A10 Fusion chip and M10 coprocessor plus 2GB of RAM. Until the newer model is released to the public, the RAM count is unknown.
Apple Pencil support
Back in 2018, Apple introduced the first non-iPad Pro tablet that supported Apple Pencil. A few months later, it revealed the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) for the 2018 iPad Pro lineup. Alas, the two iPads noted here only support the first-generation model only (opens in new tab).
The iPad mini 5 includes a 7.9-inch diagonal LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with a resolution of 2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 326 PPI, compared to the 9.7-inch diagonal LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with a resolution of 2048-by-1536-pixel at 264 PPI found on the iPad 6.
Perhaps more importantly, the iPad mini 5 features:
- A laminated display, which reduces glare from bright lights and works better with outdoor settings
- P3 Wide Color, which displays images and video with a wider color gamut
- True Tone, which shifts the white balance of the screen depending on where you are to avoid overly blue displays
- An anti-reflective coating, which further reduces glare
Interestingly, both iPads include an 8-megapixel back camera with ƒ/2.4 aperture. However, the iPad mini 5's FaceTime HD camera is significantly better. Beyond this, camera features are mostly the same.
Both iPads feature dual speakers on the bottom of the devices. The iPad Pro lineup offers four speakers.
You can purchase the iPad mini 5 with 64GB and 256GB compared to 32GB and 128GB for the older model.
You can purchase AppleCare+ for both iPads for $3.49 per month for up to 24 months or $69. With AppleCare+, the warranty on your tablet extends to two years from your time of purchase. For this, you receive two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $49 per event. You also get 24/7 priority access to Apple experts via chat or phone. You can purchase AppleCare+ when you buy your iPad Air or up to 60 days after purchase.
Third-party insurance options are also available for purchase for both tablets.
Who should buy the iPad mini 5?
If you're not an iPad Pro buyer, can't afford the iPad Air 3, yet still want the newest technology, go with the iPad mini 5. This tablet offers better internals and more storage than the 2018 iPad 6.
Who should buy the iPad 6?
For entry-level users and those working with a small budget, there's nothing wrong with selecting the iPad 6. It offers Apple Pencil support for much less than the iPad mini 5 and yes, it has a bigger screen!
New year, new iPad mini
Don't let its small size fool you
A 7.9-inch iPad mini is back for a fifth time! Buy one to experience Apple's latest tablet internals for much less than other models.
The first iPad to support Apple Pencil.
If size matters and money are a huge concern, this is the iPad to buy.
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Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.