iPad Mini with Retina vs. iPad Mini: Spec Showdown

When Apple announced the iPad Mini, it didn’t feel like all that major of a launch. At the time, the Mini was a generation behind the iPad in terms of internal specs and display. It lacked the Retina display and a decent processor. It just didn’t feel all that ground breaking, even though it was Apple’s first entry into the territory of smaller tablets. It was more of a placeholder. Today, Apple unveiled the second iPad Mini and it feels much more capable of competing in the increasingly competitive tablet market. How does it compare to its processor? Let’s take a look.


iPad Mini


iPad Mini 2 


Size 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 (in) 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 (in)
Weight 11 oz 11 oz
Screen 7.9-inch LCD 7.9-inch LCD 
Resolution 1024 x 768 pixels 2048 x 1536 pixels
OS iOS 6 iOS 7
Storage 16GB 16GB
SD Card Slot No No
Processor Dual-core A5 Dual-core A7 (64-bit)
RAM 512MB  
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 4G LTE Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 4G LTE
Camera Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Battery 4,440mAh (10 hours of use) 10 hours of use
Charger Lightning connector Lightning connector
Marketplace Apple App Store Apple App Store
Price $300+ $400+
Availability Verizon, AT&T, Sprint November 2013


The biggest complaint about the iPad Mini was its lack of the crisp clarity of the Retina display despite being announced in the midst of Apple installing its Retina display on every device it could. That problem has been solved with the new iPad Mini. It has the sharp screen Apple users have grown so accustom to adoring. Apple doubled the resolution from 1024 x 768 to 2048 x 1536 pixels, the same as is present on the full-size iPad. This gives the iPad Mini a dense pixel count that’s sure to impress.

Processor and Chipset

The other big change present in the iPad Mini is the chipset. It’s not something that will show up as clearly as the display will, but the addition of the A7 processing chip moves the iPad Mini to 64-bit architecture. This is the same jump Apple made with the iPhone 5S and the latest version of the iPad. Moving all of its mobile devices up to 64-bit processors is a big development for Apple, almost more so than for consumers at the moment. But you’ll likely appreciate the fact that your new iPad Mini runs smoother and more efficiently than ever before. Plus, you’ll have a device that is ready for the future. It’s more of a long-term investment, but the immediate benefit of improved performance – 4 times faster from the CPU and 8 times faster graphical processing – is already welcome.

The original iPad Mini didn’t give us a whole lot of incentive to buy other than its size. It was a smaller version of an older iPad. With the A7 chipset and the Retina display, it is now equipped with all of the Apple trademarks that users expect out of the products. It starts at $400, not exactly a cheap price point but one that is in line with how Apple has been marking its tablets. It’s the same price as the iPad 2, and there’s no reason not to choose the new Mini over the iPad 2, even with a couple fewer inches of real estate. If you can’t afford the $400 investment, then go try out the cheaper iPad Mini. Or try your luck with an Android tablet.

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