iPad Mini with Retina vs. iPad Mini: Spec Showdown

ipad mini retina vs ipadminibanner

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

iPadMini

iPad Mini 2 

iPadAir
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

Display

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.

Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Deals

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.