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Winners and Losers: iPad Mini 6 stuns, and Nintendo Switch’s Bluetooth fiasco

After another exciting week filled with tech launches and announcements, it’s time for Trusted Reviews’ Winners and Loser to recap the best and worst of it all.

So, how about that Apple event? There was a near endless amount of discussion in the Trusted Reviews office following Apple’s latest livestream. For both the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7, the new line-up feels like one of the most iterative updates we’ve seen, with the list of new features being smaller than we expected. The same could not be said for the new iPad Mini which absolutely stole the show as the most impressive product of the week.

While Apple gets to enjoy this week’s top-spot, it’s Nintendo that unfortunately finds itself once again in a less than preferable light after the company suddenly announced that the Nintendo Switch could support Bluetooth headphones… after four years on the market. It’s a move that has us scratching our heads, and it’s only gotten worse.

Winner: iPad Mini

The iPad range has come a long way in the last few years. Between the major redesign of the iPad Air 4, adding the illustrious M1 chipset to the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the increasingly good value of the iPad 9 – things have been good for iPad fans. The only device that’s lagged behind has been the iPad Mini 5, but Apple has rectified that too by unveiling a completely reimagined iPad Mini.

Ditching the numbered moniker, this iPad Mini is embracing the end-to-end display first brought in by the iPad Pro, while moving the touch ID sensor to the power button. Under the hood it’s packing the mighty A15 Bionic chipset which, compared to the A12 chip in the iPad Mini 5, will feel like a massive increase in both speed and processing power.

What may clinch the device as the ultimate digital notebook is the addition of Apple Pencil support (the second-gen version no less). Having a tablet that can easily be held in one-hand whilst also having the Apple Pencil immediately available thanks to the magnetic attachment on the side, it’s easy to see the iPad Mini taking off amongst students and casual artists.

What appeals to me however is that larger screen. If you can believe it, I spent most of my university years working off an iPad Mini (which also doubled well as an entertainment device), and the thought of having a larger 8.3-inch display within that same form-factor could be enough to reel me back in.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review

Loser: Nintendo

As great as the Nintendo Switch is, there’s a lot that the console simply cannot do. 4K output is out of the question and until this week, Bluetooth capabilities were non-existent. The desire for ease of use amongst gamers has even spawned a niche industry of Bluetooth dongles and receivers designed to give gamers a wireless experience with their Switch.

Almost as if waking up from a four-year coma, the good folks at Nintendo made the surprise announcement that Bluetooth functionality is now available for the Switch. Apparently, all it took was for someone at the company to flick a switch and voila, Bluetooth headphones can now be paired with the console.

It’s truly baffling that this feature wasn’t simply made available during the Nintendo Switch’s launch period which, let me remind readers again, was over four years ago. It’s becoming clearer from Nintendo’s blasé attitude to quality of life features that we’ll probably never see other requested items, like a UI update for the Switch.

To make matters worse, users are now reporting that the Nintendo Switch is struggling to maintain a solid Bluetooth connection – something that has been corroborated by several members of the Trusted Reviews team. One can only hope that the upcoming Nintendo Switch OLED is more up to the task, otherwise the Nintendo Switch 2 can’t come soon enough.

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