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Which Apple Pencil can you use with the iPad mini 6?

Ipad Mini 6 Review Hero
Ipad Mini 6 Review Hero (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

Which Apple Pencil can you use with the iPad mini 6?

Best answer: The only Apple Pencil you can use with the iPad mini 6 is the Apple Pencil 2. It magnetically attaches to the iPad mini 6's chassis for quick pairing and easy charging.

The latest and greatest

Announced and released in the fall of 2021, the iPad mini 6 is the latest tiny tablet to come out of Cupertino — but don't be fooled by its size! The new mini is more powerful than ever, packing an A15 Bionic chip, edge-to-edge Liquid Retina Display, USB-C, 5G, and more.

Though its display got a little larger this year, up to 8.3 inches from 7.9 inches previously, the overall form factor actually got a little smaller thanks to shrinking bezels. Its new bigger canvas of the iPad mini 6 makes it the perfect digital field notes device to take on the go, and, for that use case, the Apple Pencil is a must-buy accessory, but which Apple Pencil should you buy?

Whether you want to sketch and draw, take handwritten notes, or just use the device as a pointing tool, you're going to want to get the Apple Pencil 2 for your sixth-gen iPad mini. The new iPad mini does not support the older Apple Pencil. If you are upgrading from the iPad mini 5 or another iPad model that utilizes the first-gen Apple Pencil, you're going to have to upgrade your stylus.

A better Pencil

first-generation Apple Pencil

first-generation Apple Pencil (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Having to upgrade your Apple Pencil is an obvious drawback if you just spent a decent chunk of money to upgrade your tablet. The Apple Pencil 2 costing more than its predecessor is another notch in the con column. However, the Apple Pencil 2 is the superior device, and your experience of using it will be better than the original model.

Firstly, the pairing and charging the Apple Pencil 2 is much more elegant. Rather than clunkily connecting it to your iPad's Lightning port, the newer Apple Pencil instead magnetically attaches to the side of your iPad mini 6 (or iPad Air 4 and latest iPad Pro models). That's it! The first time you do it, the Apple Pencil will pair to your iPad, and it sits there, securely held by magnets, charging up, so it's always ready to be grabbed and used.

Of course, there are other noteworthy features of the Apple Pencil 2. It features low latency precision drawing and writing, a flat edge that you can double-tap to change tools without setting the pencil down, and a battery life of up to 12 hours.

First-generation pencil and alternatives

If you already have the first-gen Apple Pencil and want to continue to use it, it is still officially supported by Apple's entry-level iPad line with the latest 2021 iPad having maintained support for it. It's still a good stylus for sketching, writing, or just tapping around the UI, but it has been relegated to just the base iPad with the mini, Air, and Pro lines now all adopting the Apple Pencil 2.

Of course, there are many Apple Pencil alternatives out there to work with whatever iPad you have. While these might not be as fancy and feature-packed as the first-party Apple offerings, they may do the job just fine for what you need and can cost a lot less. If you want the absolute best iPad stylus for your iPad mini 6, you're going to want to get the Apple Pencil 2.

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.