iPad Mini with Retina display specs, features, release date, price & news
Posted on 24 Oct 2013 at 11:06, by David Ludlow
Apple has unveiled the iPad Mini with Retina Display and here's all of the specs
The iPad Mini 2 has launched, although Apple has decided to call it the iPad Mini with Retina Display. Read the official news here, then see whether the new model is worth the upgrade over the original iPad Mini and see what is the best small tablet: the iPad Mini with Retina display or the Nexus 7. You can also read our full hands-on iPad Mini with Retina Display review.
Even with the rumour mill grinding into overdrive in the last few days, Apple is going to make us wait right up until the reveal to find out the facts. In the meantime, we've got an overview of all the rumours, leaks and updates that led up to the launch.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY DESIGN
Apple didn't change the design of the iPad Mini with Retina Display from the existing iPad Mini. To be honest, it didn't need to. The slim bezel, tough aluminium construction still looks great and it's still arguably the best made small-screen tablet. In fact, Apple's so pleased with the design that it's used this for the iPad Air
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY SCREEN
The biggest expectation for the iPad Mini with Retina Display was that Apple was looking for a way to squeeze in a Retina display. The lowly 1,024x768 resolution of the iPad Mini now pales in comparison to the new Nexus 7, even though the clever use of screen space in iOS often means it actually feels more spacious than Android.
That's exactly what Apple managed, with a 7.9in screen with a resolution of 2,048x1,536 (326ppi), the same as the iPad Air. Apple's definition of Retina is a screen where the pixels are too small to see when used at a normal viewing distance. Technically, then, having the same resolution on a 7.9in screen as a 9.7in screen means that the iPad Mini with Retina Display has more pixels than it needs.
However, moving to this resolution makes a lot of sense. For starters, it's four times the resolution of the iPad Mini's (double the horizontal and double the vertical), so it's easy for apps to be scaled up or down. Secondly, it means that Apple only has two resolutions for its iPad range, making it easy for developers to work with.
iPAD MINI 2 TOUCH ID
Apple introduced the Touch ID fingerprint scanner with its iPhone 5S smartphone. It's designed to make the device more secure, and can be used to unlock the handset or make purchases through the app store and iTunes.
We thought that Apple may be keen to get this technology into as many devices as possible to grow adoption of the technology, with a later aim of opening the system up to other apps, such as for banking. However, the company surprised us by not using Touch ID in either of its new products.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY PROCESSOR
As well as having the same resolution as the iPad 2, the iPad Mini had the same processor, a dual-core Apple A5. This is now looking quite slow and a much higher resolution screen demanded a faster processor.
We're pleased to say that Apple has used the same A7 chip, as used in the iPhone 5S and iPad Air. This dual-core chip is the fastest smartphone processor that we have ever seen, so the iPad Mini is going to be extremely fast.
It's also the first 64-bit processor to hit a mobile platform. For apps that support 64-bit there are some optimisations and efficiencies that will improve speed. However, the 64-bit A7 also has larger and a larger number of general-purpose registers. This means that the CPU has to spend less time accessing comparatively slow system memory, speeding up apps whether they're 32-bit or 64-bit. Improved graphics on the chip means that there's more than enough power to run the high-resolution screen, too.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY STORAGE
Although the iPad 4 had a top 128GB model, the same wasn't the case for the iPad Mini. However, with the iPad Mini with Retina Display, Apple has introduced parity in its models. So, you can now buy the iPad Mini with Retina Display with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY CAMERA
The camera is the one part of the system that hasn't been updated, with the same 5-megapixel iSight model used again. It's not a bad camera, although it is starting to show its age a little. Most people will use their smartphone for taking photos, but we would have liked to have seen at least the 8-megapixel camera from the iPhone 5.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY WIRELESS AND 4G
Apple has bumped up the wireless capabilities of the iPad Mini. Now, it has MIMO wireless technology, which uses multiple antennas to improve Wi-Fi range and throughput. It's still using the older 802.11n standard, rather than the newer 802.11ac standard, but it should still make a noticeable improvement.
On the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, there's now improved 4G, so the iPad Mini with Retina Display will work on all LTE networks in the UK.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY RELEASE DATE
Available in Space Grey and Silver, the iPad Mini with Retina Display will go on sale later in November. Unlike the iPad Air, which has a launch date of 1st November, the new iPad Mini has no confirmed release date.
iPAD MINI WITH RETINA DISPLAY PRICE
The iPad Mini with Retina Display costs £319 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, £399 for the 32GB model, £479 for the 64GB version and £559 for the 64GB version. The Wi-Fi + Cellular versions will cost £100 more.
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