Is the new iPad Mini with Retina Display more than just a pint-sized iPad?
The original iPad Mini never seem to step out of the shadow of the company’s full-sized iPad when it was released last year.
The tablet was a strong seller, but it was essentially a shrunken iPad 2, complete with the same 1024 x 768 resolution, and its specifications trailed behind the power powerful fourth-generation iPad and its pixel-packed Retina touchscreen from the get-go.
The Mini was a compromise in every sense of the word, but its saving grace was that it could be used with just one hand.
Things are a little bit different this year as the new iPad Mini boasts the same technology as its big brother and presents sceptics (this author included) with plenty of reasons not to sit on the fence. That is, if they can find one of the new tablets, which has been no easy task in the US.
The iPad Mini with Retina Display is available in silver and space grey, with the entry level 16GB Wi-Fi model costing £319, with prices rising to a hefty £659 for the 12GB version with cellular connectivity that allows it to be used with all major UK operators’ 3G and 4G networks.
When first unboxed, it makes a good first impression. It’s a hefty handful, signalling that Apple is making the most out of every millimetre of the tablet’s slim enclosure. It’s a solid little slate with none of the flex that often accompanies most Android tablets with plastic cases.
The device measures 5.3 inches by 7.87 inches and is slightly thicker than last year’s model at 0.29 inches (a difference of 0.01 inches). The Wi-Fi Mini weighs 0.73lbs while the Wi-Fi + Cellular model is slightly heavier at 0.75 lbs. As before, the touch screen measures 7.9 inches diagonally, but that’s where the similarity ends.
The LED-backlit, IPS display has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, resulting in an eye-popping 326 pixels per inch. By comparison, the iPad Air’s Retina display, which is no slouch, is rated at 264 pixels per inch.
These specifications translate into impeccably crisp text and images with sharp detail, meaning users will need to hold the iPad very close, and risk eye strain, to discern individual pixels. Typical of Apple displays, the Mini’s touchscreen can get blindingly bright, especially when you turn it on in the dark, while still delivering vibrant and saturated colours.
The new A7 processor is a big step up from the previous A5 chip and provides snappy performance. The 64-bit chip, the same as in the iPad Air, delivers a lag-free experience in most apps.
Netflix delivers silky smooth video and Safari renders web pages quickly, provided there is a good network connection. Gestures register instantly and apps generally launch within a second or two, although it can take longer depending on the size of the app.
The iPad Mini with Retina Display is an eye-opener – in more ways than one. The screen is a stunner, certainly, but the tablet also breezes through every iOS app that it has been subjected to thus far. In the white-hot market for sub-8-inch tablets, the new iPad Mini is the new champ.
What do you know about the new iPad? Find our with our iPad quiz!
Originally published on eWeek.