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The new iPad Mini may be able to replace the laptop

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Photo: Caitlin McGarry / Gizmodo

A brand new look is not the only change we expect to see iPad mini this fall. According to one 9to5Mac report, the smallest iPad will get an A15 processor, USB-C and a magnetic Smart Connector. This would be a significant boost in its processing power, but also means that you possibly could use the youngest iPad as a replacement for a laptop.

Citing anonymous Apple sources, 9to5Mac claims that the A15 chip – which will also drive the iPhone 13 series – will have the same 5 nm process technology as the A14. Another interesting treat is that Apple is reportedly working on an even stiffer A15X variant. The fiveth-gen iPad mini is driven of an A12 chip, which also drives the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and eighteenth-gen iPad and thithird generation iPad Air. There have been several A-Series chips since the A12 Bionic was introduced in 2018 – A12X, A12Z, A13 and A14 to be exact – so this jump should be meaningful.

The movement from 7 nm to 5 nm may not be superdramatic. However, there is a hint that Apple has high hopes for the iPad mini redesign. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is it plans to only upgrade the A12 in the iPad at the entry level to an A13, which is not as big a boost.

Adding USB-C and a smart connector is further proof that Apple is trying to give people more reason to choose a smaller iPad. First, it opens the iPad mini up to a much wider range of external devices and brings it more in line with the iPad Pro and iPad Air. Smart Connector also suggests that we may see a small, tiny keyboard that fits the small iPad.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg also reported that the iPad Mini was due to a significant redesign that would nix the home button and have slimmer frames. Due to these changes, reliabel analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says he expects the iPad minis screen to jump from today’s 7.9 inches to between 8.5 and 9 inches.

Bigger screen, more compatibility with accessories and peripherals, a faster processor? These changes, plus the fact that iPadOS 15 will bring some smart multitasking and productivity features? Certainly it seems that Apple is trying really hard to sell us on the iPad mini as a work unit. This is hardly surprising. Apple has worked to make each iPad a more compelling purchase, admittedly with mixed results. Who knows? This may be exactly what Apple’s smallest tablet needs. After all, iPad mI entered hair been the difficult iPad of the gang. Whether these updates change remains to be seen.

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