Apple’s smallest tablet is allegedly about to get the redesign so many people have hoped for. The screen bezels in the 2021 iPad mini will shrink significantly, supposedly allowing the display to increase to over 9 inches and become nearly edge-to-edge.
The computer will also reportedly get in-screen Touch ID and a hole-punch camera.
Bigger screen but not larger chassis
“The overall design remains identical, which suggests that the company will increase the screen size while only keeping the overall footprint the same as before,” reports the Italian-language site Pigtou in a machine translation. Leaker xleaks7 (aka David Kowalski) shared CAD drawings of the 2021 iPad mini with the site. These were made into renders.
The screen is reportedly 7.7 inches by 5.0 in. (195mm by 126.6mm), which works out be about 9.15 in. diagonally. That’s a significant increase from the current 7.9 in. That fits an earlier report. Last year, reliable Apple prognosticator Ming-Chi Kuo said the company is prepping a tablet between 8.5- and 9-inches to be released during the first half of 2021.
Wednesday’s report indicates the whole device is 8.0 inches tall 5.3 in. wide by 0.24 in. thick (203.2mm x 134.8mm x 6.25mm), according to xleaks7. That’s almost exactly the same size as the current iPad mini, just a hair thicker. And it won’t have flat edges like the Pro, but will retain curved ones.
If this unconfirmed report is true, then Apple’s fun-size tablet is going through something of the same process many of the larger ones already have. The 2020 iPad Air shrank its bezels to increase the screen size. Back in 2018, the bezels on the iPad Pro series shrank to reduce the size of entire device, leaving the screen size unchanged.
2021 iPad Pro with a hole-punch camera?
The edge-to-edge screen in the 2021 iPad mini leaves no room for a Home button. Apple is allegedly replacing this with an in-screen fingerprint scanner, something the company is also supposedly considering for the iPhone 13.
In another first for the company, this small tablet also supposedly has a hole-punch camera. Until now, Apple went with a “notch” design when necessary.
The leaked CAD drawing can’t reveal internal details. They don’t what processor the computer will use. Or whether the camera resolution will change.
It’s also not known exactly when the 2021 iPad mini will debut, though it might happen along with a refreshed version of the iPad Pro, expected in March. Another mystery is whether the larger display will affect the price. The current version starts at $499.