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Apple iPad mini 2 review: Transferring up the ranks

         

GSMArena workforce, 22 November 2013.

Introduction

The iPad mini with Retina monitor is the whole thing the little tablet deserved to be – a extra compact equal of the larger iPad with out a compromises made. And sadly, it can be only one factor wanting what all of us concept a compact tablet will have to be – low-cost. Neatly, Apple is not precisely recognized for promoting low-cost, reasonably quite the opposite.

Final year’s iPad mini used to be extra of a byproduct of the iPad lineup – with a considerably more cost effective worth, a distinct design and fairly inferior hardware, the child iPad was once slightly totally different to its full dimension sibling. This year marks a shift in Apple’s product technique. Now, the 2 new iPads are equals – with the mini being only a scaled down model of the identical fantastic monitor tech and the identical excessive-efficiency internals.

There may be been no nook chopping this time and the brand new iPad mini is costlier in consequence. We bet the associated fee hike comes handiest to spotlight the iPad mini’s new standing within the pecking order – it can be not the funds possibility – it is the extra transportable model of the identical flagship product. A lower cost level would have additionally harm the large iPad gross sales since the two tablets aren’t that totally different, in spite of everything.

You can if truth be told be amazed how similar the 2 seem. However that is a excellent factor in a way. Customers now not have to select some of the two in keeping with function set or design, or bezel measurement for that subject. Now, that you could simply choose the scale which is best for you. The excessive-finish person expertise is all there with none supply or take.

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Apple iPad mini 2 press photos

Comparing it to its predecessor, the Apple iPad mini with Retina screen looks no different either, but that’s until you turn it on. The new screen is impressively sharp and the new chipset is blazing fast, meaning loading times in most apps are noticeably faster now. The Wi-Fi speeds have doubled, there is a seriously bigger battery inside, there is a second mic for noise cancellation and now you have a brand new 128GB version, if you’ve got the money to burn – the last generation iPad mini maxed out at 64GB.

Key features

  • 7.9″ LED-backlit IPS LCD touchscreen, 1536 x 2048 pixels, ~ 324 ppi, oleophobic coating
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity with MIMO dual antennas
  • Optional 2G/3G GSM, CDMA, LTE connectivity (data only, separate models)
  • Optional GPS with A-GPS support (for the Wi-Fi+Cellular model only)
  • Dual-core A7 64-bit 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based) chip with M7 motion coprocessor
  • PowerVR G6430 quad-core GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • iOS 7 with gesture support and a premium set of free Apple apps – iLife, iMovie, iPhoto, etc.
  • 16/32/64/128GB of inbuilt storage
  • Weight of 331g (341g for the Wi-Fi + Cellular option)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Lightning USB port
  • Stereo speakers
  • Accelerometer, compass and three-axis gyro-sensor
  • 5MP auto-focus camera
  • 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • 1.2MP 720p secondary camera capable of FaceTime calls
  • 23.8 Wh Li-Po battery
  • 1080p TV-output with the Apple Digital AV Adapter (purchased separately for $49), 1080p video streaming or separate audio streaming via AirPlay
  • Supports magnetic cases

Main disadvantages

  • Expensive for a compact tablet
  • Non expandable memory, extra storage is largely overpriced
  • Tied into iTunes for uploading most of the content
  • No standard USB port
  • No GPS receiver in the Wi-Fi-only version

The new iPad mini is exactly the same size like last year’s with a mere .3mm difference in thickness. You wouldn’t feel that sort of difference even if you had both in your hands. What you may notice is the difference in weight. The new iPad mini is 23g heavier to accommodate the larger battery, which delivers the same endurance despite the quadrupled resolution.

The new dual-core 64-bit A7 chipset inside the new mini jumps two generations ahead of the A5 processor in the original. It’s not that the older mini was sluggish, but the new device is notably faster and more responsive in almost all apps we tried.

Last season’s bigger iPad at least had the luxury of being more powerful but those days are gone. Now the two size of iPads have equally good specs, which kinda puts the iPad Air in a sticky position. The Air is easier to carry than any full-size iPad so far and the slimmer frame helps single-handed operation but there’s no avoiding the fact that the iPad mini is the friendlier form factor. The the iPad mini’s handling and portability could be the big decider for a lot of people who are eyeing a new iPad for Christmas. To be honest we don’t think Apple will mind no matter which one you pick.

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The Apple iPad mini 2 at HQ

But, it can be nonetheless as much as the mini to show itself as a real equal on the subject of efficiency.