The Apple iPad mini 6 came out and I couldn’t resist getting one. In fact, I sold my 12.9-inch iPad Pro and my iPad mini 5 so I could get the 256GB model. Here’s my iPad mini 6 review for ministers and everyone else.
Let’s start with how the iPad mini 6 ($499 for base, $649 as reviewed) fits in my life. I use it as my primary tablet and, for a little while, my only iOS device because a couple of months ago I switched from using an iPhone 12 Pro Max to a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. I moved back to the iPhone after that failed experiment. I shared thoughts on that transition in another post. The iPad mini 6 handles…
- Reading my Bible and others books in Bible apps and the Kindle app.
- A complement to my phone for checking email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Watching videos or listening to podcasts using YouTube, YouTube TV, Pocket Casts, and other streaming video services.
- Playing casual games.
- Quick photo editing for posting online.
- Quick video editing – mostly trimming videos, combining clips, color correcting, adding titles, and music but not complex edits.
- Flying my DJI Mini 2 drone.
- Taking notes in meetings with Notability and the Apple Pencil.
- Preaching from my tablet with Word or using Keynote for presentations.
We’ll look at the uses listed above and then the hardware. If you just want to see what I think without the detailed iPad mini 6 Review, then jump to the bottom to get my recommendation.
iPad mini 6 Review: Bible Study and Reading Books
The screen on the iPad mini 6 looks pretty nice while reading books. The iPad mini 6 works well for studying the Bible in several Bible study apps and the Kindle app for reading books. Read magazines using the Apple News app.
I like reading on a screen. My wife prefers the Kindle Paperwhite and won’t read books on a tablet, but I love using the iPad mini thanks to the sharp and clear display. If you hate reading on a screen and prefer e-ink or real paper, then don’t buy the iPad mini 6 for reading. You won’t enjoy it. However, I would recommend trying it out. Borrow a friend’s mini or spend some time at an Apple Store or Best Buy reading to see if you could use it. It’s nice caring only one tablet for reading.
All the Bible apps that run nicely on an iPhone look great on the mini 6. The screen’s just big enough to open 2 books at once time or open a book and a note screen. The new window management in the iPad mini 6 or any of Apple’s iPad thanks to iPadOS 15 makes it easier than ever to open two apps at once. You can…
- Open one Bible app and take notes in another
- Open your Bible app and a word processor like Word, Pages, or Notes
- Use your inking app, like Notability, and take handwritten notes while also studying the Bible in your favorite Bible app.
- Research topics on the Internet while and studying the Bible in your chosen Bible app.
The Kindle app and Apple News app look great. Reading other text in a browser, email, or social media also looks sharp and crisp.
Margins Notes or Highlighting like a Paper Book
Most of the Bible apps and the Kindle app won’t let you take handwritten notes inside the app. iPadOS 15 added a new feature where you can grab your Apple Pencil 2 (sorry, but the first-gen Pencil doesn’t work) and swipe from the lower right corner. Apple Notes opens a note and you can take what they call Quick Notes. These Quick Notes are attached to the content on screen. You can type or draw and write in your own penmanship.
While I would not use this for really important Bible study and research notes, it’s great for a quick note that you can save and later add to the notes feature. I type faster than I can write with the Pencil, but Quick Notes works great for those instant observations in another app outside your main Bible app, hence the name Apple gave the feature.
If you love to write in the margins of your books, then convert them to PDF and get an app like Notability, Liquid Text, or Good Notes. You can find others, but make sure they support importing PDF files. I use Liquid Text for this. It supports PDFs and Word docs. By the way, the OneNote app also supports handwriting with the Apple Pencil.
You could always highlight the Bible in the best Bible apps. This also works great on the iPad mini 6.
iPad mini 6 Review: Preaching from Digital Notes
When I preach, I always bring my iPad into the pulpit and view my sermon notes in Microsoft Word. It worked great on my 12.9 iPad Pro. Young people or those with great eyesight will love using the iPad mini 6, but it’s a little too small to lay down on the pulpit. Word will enlarge the text, but then you don’t see enough of the outline at one time. So, going forward I will not use my iPad mini 6. However, if you want to, open the document, put it in reader mode by tapping the icon on the toolbar (see the GIF above), and then pinch to zoom text.
You’ll need to decide if your eyes see well enough to use the smaller iPad mini 6 for preaching notes. If you used an older iPad mini, then you’ll like the new one. The screen measures slightly larger than the old version with an 8.3-inch display versus the older 7.9-inch on the 5.
Presenting Using the iPad mini 6
Presenting suffers the same problem for my older eyes as reading my preaching notes. However, I can use it and if you’ve used a small display for presentations before, then the iPad mini 6 will work for you.
If you simply plug in and swipe or tap to advance slides, the iPad mini 6 will work great. If you like to write or draw on the screen as I do (see above GIF), then the size might limit you. It’s harder to present on the smaller screen compared to the 12.9-inch Pro display or the 10-11-inch display on the basic iPad, iPad Air, or smaller iPad pro.
With iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey on a Mac, you can send the display of your iPad to the Mac using screen sharing (see GIF above). This would let you connect to a Mac hooked up to a projector or TV. Then screen share your iPad screen to the Mac.
iPad mini 6 Review: Screen and Input
Pick up the small and light iPad mini 6 and type on the screen with your fingers or write using Scribble, the new Pencil-based input system in iPadOS 15. The mini 6 handles this kind of input. However, I don’t really like Scribble, so I’ve installed a keyboard that lets me draw text and it converts it to printed text on the screen. It’s called Handwriting and handles handwritten text input better than Scribble.
iPad mini 6 Review: Performance
I’m not going to run benchmarks or battery tests. You can find those on more technical reviews elsewhere. Rene Ritchie does a great job of these kinds of reviews on his YouTube channel.
If you plan to use the iPad mini 6 as a tool in ministry, it performs efficiently and offers a nice improvement over the 5. It’s snappier, scrolls through websites and books faster, and the inking smoothly displays your handwriting and drawing.
Some people report seeing a strange effect while scrolling. It’s the great “Jelly Scrolling” controversy of 2021. See the effect in the video below.
The jelly scrolling issue clearly shows up in the video above. But, I don’t see it on mine. It seems like you have to really look for it to see it. And if you do, then you may not see it again. If you get one that looks more noticeable, then get return it and get a replacement.
Since I don’t notice the problem, I can’t complain about it here.
Other than the Jelly Scroll issue, the iPad mini 6 performs well. I played videos, games, and read on it a lot over the first couple of weeks, and loved the experience. It feels like a good improvement over the 5, which I owned.
iPad mini 6: Video and Photo Samples
Most people will still use their phone or a dedicated camera to take pictures or shoot videos. However, I use my iPad mini to scan documents and the rear-facing camera works great. I import documents into my note-taking apps or scan them for storage in my OneDrive folder. After worship, I scan all the guest cards to contact them. I also scan new member cards to add them to our church role.
More people will use the front-facing camera to stream themselves on social media or for FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom calls. The camera works fine for these situations.
A new feature on the iPad mini 6 enables ultra-wide video so that the camera will follow you around your room even if the iPad remains stationary. The software will zoom in and focus on your face so you can get up and move left or right and then back to the center frame.
In a pinch, the camera does a nice job of taking photos and videos. Here’s a sample of photos taken on the iPad mini 6 camera. They are all without edits and exported from Photos to JPG. The one of me in my orange shirt is taken with the front-facing camera. The other four are taken with the rear camera.
The colors look nice. Each photo seems sharp enough for snapshots. I wouldn’t try to get high-art photographs with the camera. All of that said, the camera impressed me. Until this model, I wouldn’t even consider taking this much time in a review to discuss the quality. But this camera works better than any previous iPad camera.
iPad mini 6 Review: Flying My DJI Mini 2 Drone
Flying a drone usually starts with connecting a phone to the drone controller. However, I never really liked using the small screen of the flown. There’s too much on the screen for even a large screen like the one you get with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. So, flying a drone with an iPad mini 6 makes drone pilots happy.
The above set of screenshots shows the interface of the DJI Fly app, used to control the DJI Mini 2 drone. All the controls show up with plenty of room to see the images from the drone’s camera.
To fly a DJI drone with the iPad mini 6, you’ll need a special attachment like the Drone Valley Gear Tablet Mount ($18.95) that I bought on Amazon. It fits an iPhone, iPad mini 6, or another tablet of similar or even larger size.
If you want to learn more about the mount, see Drone Valley’s video below.
iPad mini 6 Accessories
I bought the official Apple Smart Folio in Electric Orange for $59. I also accidentally got the Dark Cherry, but it showed smudges too much, so I stuck with the bright orange Smart Folio and I’m glad I did.
The case covers the back of the iPad mini 6 then wraps around the left side of the device to cover the front. The back snaps into place thanks to magnets that reliably hold it on the iPad.
The front part of the Smart Folio folds up into a triangle to turn into a stand. It will hold the iPad up in an angle best for watching a video and a lower angle for drawing.
The magnets in the front part of the Smart Folio snap onto the front part of the iPad and this turns the screen off until you open the case and it turns the screen back on. It also folds onto the back and snaps into place so you can hold it and read or do other things.
The Apple Smart Folio case feels like it will hold up, but for $59 it seems like it should feel more premium. It has a bit of a cheap feel to it. You can find cheaper cases, but I like Apple’s because they’re designed better even if the raw materials aren’t as premium.
The Folio also comes off easily making the iPad mini 6 lighter and therefore easier to read on it.
The Apple Pencil 2 snaps onto the right side (in portrait orientation) and automatically pairs with the iPad. It also charges while connected. The magnets seem stronger this time than my old 2020 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The Apple Pencil costs $129, a little steep for a stylus. However, it’s one of the best you can get especially for artists.
I don’t use the iPad mini for typing very often, but Logitech makes the best keyboard you can pair with the iPad mini 6 or any tablet. The new Logitech Mx Keys Mini costs $99, a lot for an iPad mini keyboard. I use it with other devices so it’s worth the price. You get a great keyboard that’s small enough to carry in a bag but small enough that it doesn’t take up too much space.
Add to the Mx Keys Mini, Logitech’s great MX Anywhere 3 mouse, also pricey at $79.99, and you get a mini-computer on the go.
The above image shows a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, but the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds are the Apple Airpods Pro. They automatically switch to the iPad mini 6 when you put them in your ears and start playing media.
iPad mini 6 Review: Specs
- 8.3-inch display with 2266×1488 pixels and 327 pixels per inch
- IPS LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
- 500 nits brightness
- System Hardware
- Apple’s A15 Bionic processor
- Hexa-core 64-big
- 64 or 256GB storage
- 5078 mAh LI-Polymer battery
- Runs over 10 hours in most tests
- Rear camera – single 12MP with F1.8 aperture
- Video recording at 4K 60fps and 1080P at 240fps
- Front camera – single 12MP with 1080P video
- 5G, LTE Celular with dual sim support
- Wi-Fi 6
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Physical Size and Details
- 7.69 x 5.31 x .25 inches
- 10.34 ounces
- Volume up/down and power button with integrated fingerprint reader
- USB-C charging port with cable and brink included
- Comes in Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Startlight
I love my iPad mini 6. It was nearly the perfect update over the 5 with a better camera, USB-C, faster processor, and just an overall better experience. If you own an old iPad mini, then seriously consider upgrading, especially if it’s a 4 or older. If you own an Android tablet or. Kindle, then the iPad mini 6 will cost more, but it’s worth it. Android phones might compete well with the iPhone, but I’ve never used an Android tablet that meets my needs as well as the iPad.