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

The new iPad Mini gets a faster method of charging.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET
This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

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

Now playing: 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.