Apple's iPad Mini sees a big upgrade: Support for USB-C charging

The new iPad Mini gets a faster method of charging.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
Ian Sherr Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
David Priest
Ian Sherr
2 min read
Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Apple on Tuesday announced a new iPad Mini, and with it comes support for USB-C charging -- a faster method of charging than the previously used Apple 12W USB power adapter.

USB-C charging is quickly becoming a standard for all sorts of devices, from tablets like the iPad Mini to gaming consoles and laptops. "The iPad Mini now has a USB-C port, so you get the same great USB-C functionality that we brought to iPad Air, which means it's up to 10 times faster than its predecessor," Katie McDonald, iPad product marketing manager, said at Apple's iPhone 13 event

Watch this: Revamped iPad Mini revealed

The port also allows the iPad Mini to connect to "a vast ecosystem of USB-C accessories," said McDonald.

While the iPad isn't nearly as popular as Apple's iPhone, it has become a more critical part of Apple's lineup during the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of customers upgrading their devices for work-from-home and remote learning setups. Showing that increased demand, Apple's posted dramatic growth for its tablet business, jumping nearly 40% so far this year. The PC market has experienced a similar boost, seemingly only limited by worldwide chip shortages that have slowed manufacturing of everything from video game consoles to Ford trucks.

The iPad Mini is a more mobile version of the popular tablet, and its smaller size and new access to 5G uniquely places it between a smartphone and larger tablet. iPads stand out through their thin design, optional keyboard cover and Apple Pencil, which is a favorite among digital artists. Apple's also pitched the iPad as a device for schools, designing apps for books and learning while also offering specialized discounts.