Yesterday we too a closer look at the new iPad Air. Well today its the turn of the new iPad mini with Retina display to undergo our scrutiny.
Well there isn’t much to say here as the design of the new iPad mini with Retina display is pretty much exactly the same as the previous iPad mini (sans Retina display). But as they say – don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Expand the box below to view a table that highlights the differences in the tech specs from the previous iPad mini model (without Retina display).
|iPad mini (1st Gen)||iPad mini with Retina display|
|Colour Options||Black and slate||Space Grey/Black|
|White and silver||Silver/White|
|WiFi + Cellular||WiFi + Cellular|
|Size and Weight||Height:200mm (7.87”)||Height:200mm (7.87”)|
|Width:134.7mm (5.3”)||Width:134.7mm (5.3”)|
|Depth:7.2mm (0.28”)||Depth:7.5mm (0.29”)|
|Weight:308g (WiFi Only)312g (WiFi + Cellular)||Weight:331g (WiFi Only)341g (WiFi + Cellular)|
|Wireless & Cellular||WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz)Bluetooth 4.0GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)*
UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)*
LTE (Bands 4 and 17)*
|Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and MIMOBluetooth 4.0GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz)
LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26)
|Display||7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch
display with IPS technology1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
|7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)|
|Processor||Dual-core A5||A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor|
|Cameras||Front facing FaceTime HD camera (1.2MP photos and 720p video)iSight camera (5MP photos and 1080p video)||Front facing FaceTime HD camera (1.2MP photos and 720p video)iSight camera (5MP photos and 1080p video)|
|Battery life||16.3-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer batteryUp to 10 hours||23.8-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer batteryUp to 10 hours|
|Sensors & Location||Three-axis gyroAccelerometerAmbient light sensorDigital compass
Assisted GPS and GLONASS*
*(WiFi + Cellular only)
|Three-axis gyroAccelerometerAmbient light sensorDigital compass
*(WiFi + Cellular only)
The biggest difference is right in the name – the Retina display. To be honest, it was a disappointment last year when the first gen iPad mini didn’t have the Retina display. Reports at the time seemed to point towards poor battery life and a few other possible reasons as to why the retina display wasn’t included. But Apple have worked on the battery and other aspects which mean that the Retina display can be included this time round, without impacting negatively on battery life. The iPad mini has the same number of pixels as the iPad Air (2048 x 1536) but manages to squeeze them all in by having 326 ppi (compared to 264 ppi on the iPad Air). The retina display is not a new thing, and anyone who has been able to experience one will know the huge difference it makes over one of the older regular screens. iOS 7 now really does look quite ugly on the older screens, and so the inclusion of the retina screen on the new iPad mini is a welcome upgrade.
As with the new iPad Air, the new A7 processor is built into the new iPad mini with Retina display. It brings all the same benefits that we already discussed in our previous post: i.e. faster running apps, and more responsive gaming. It also supports OpenGL ES version 3.0, enabling the same detailed graphics and visual effects that are coming to the iPad Air. The A7 chip features 64-bit architecture, leading the way for even more robust and powerful apps. In addition, a brand new chip, the M7 coprocessor is included which measures motion from your iPad Air by pulling data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. This means apps can give you a better experience based on the movement of your device. This activity is normally the job of the main processor, but by having a separate dedicated chip it makes the iPad mini with Retina display more efficient at it, and also saves on power.
Just as in the new iPad Air, there are now 2 WiFi antennas in the iPad mini with Retina display which use MIMO technology (multiple-input multiple-output). With dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11n Wi‑Fi and MIMO, Apple are reporting that download speeds can reach up to 300 Mbps — which is double the data rate of the first gen iPad mini.
The first gen iPad mini had support for two LTE bands, but that has been expanded to support for 14 bands in the iPad mini with Retina display. This is great news to anyone hoping to make use of the new LTE/4G services of Vodafone, O2 and 3 in the UK which all use LTE bands that were not covered by the previous iPad mini or iPhone 5.
The iPad mini with Retina display now also has two microphones. As with the iPad Air, these two microphones will work together to capture better sound by suppressing audio from background noise. This should help to improve FaceTime calls, and will help Siri to better recognise what you are saying.
Despite now having a retina display to power, Apple have managed to squeeze a more powerful battery into the iPad with Retina display. The more powerful battery plus the power efficiencies brought about thanks to the new A7 and M7 processors, the iPad mini with Retina display manages to get the same 10 hour battery life that the first gen iPad mini achieved.
Similarly with the iPad Air, there is some disappointment that Apple decided not to give the iPad mini with Retina display the new TouchID fingerprint reader that was included in the new iPhone 5s.
The new iPad mini with Retina display doesn’t bring about the same level of change as the iPad Air did from the previous iPad, but having said that we are very happy that the iPad mini screen will finally look as razor sharp as the rest of our iOS devices.