Apple's 2nd generation iPad Mini

Rick Otto

We recently wrote about the just released iPad Air.  Although it's a nice update, before making a decision on a purchase it's important to also look at the iPad Mini.  Being that it's the 2nd generation it's important to look at what Apple is offering.

We'll start with the best part.  When the iPad Mini was first introduced one thing Apple left out was a Retina display.  With the introduction of the 2nd generation iPad Mini, a 7.9 inch Retina display has arrived.  This new display has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 and 326 ppi.  The processor was also updated to the new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture.  This results in a processing jump of 4x and the graphics performance is now 8x faster.  The battery life was not sacrificed giving the 2nd generation iPad Mini the same 10 hour battery life as the previous generation.  It also has the M7 motion coprocessor that was added to the iPad Air.  The Wi-Fi was updated with a 2nd antenna and MIMO technology giving Wi-Fi performance a 2x speed increase over the previous generation iPad Mini.  The Wi-Fi + LTE version also has more LTE bands allowing it to work in even more locations around the world.  It also comes with Apple's new iOS 7. Both Apple's Smart Cover and Smart Case have been updated for the 2nd generation iPad Mini.  The new iPad Mini is also thin, having the same .29 inch thickness as the new iPad Air.  It has a height of 7.87 inches and a width of 5.3 inches.  

The 2nd generation iPad Mini is available in both silver and Apple's new Space Gray option.  What's changed with this generation is pricing.  The iPad Mini now starts at $399.  It's also now available in a 128GB version.  The price for the iPad Mini Wi-Fi only is $399, $499, $599, and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB versions respectively.  The Wi-Fi + LTE version is $529, $629, $729, and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB versions.  

Should you buy the 2nd generation iPad Mini?  The difference between the previous generation iPad Mini and the new iPad Mini is larger than the difference between the 4th generation iPad and the 5th generation iPad, the iPad Air.  Since the iPad Mini is only a year old though, most people who already have an iPad Mini may find they want to wait at least another year or two before upgrading their iPad Mini.  Yet some current iPad users may find that the screen size of the iPad Mini is all they need and may choose to upgrade to the iPad Mini instead of the iPad Air.  Yet at the same time since the price difference is only $100 between the iPad Mini and the iPad Air, many users who previously preferred the iPad Mini for it's lower price may find that it's worth paying $100 more to get the additional screen real estate.  Also, just like we feel with the iPad Air, the next generation could see the addition of the TouchID Fingerprint Sensor and possibly the introduction of Wi-Fi 802.11 ac.

What is your opinion?  The iPad Mini will be coming out later this month.  Will you be purchasing it?  If so, what device did you use previously?  We look forward to hearing from you.

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