Every year Apple updates its range of tablets with new hardware and new functions. The full-size iPad got faster, lighter, slimmer, and even got a new name (iPad Air), while the second-generation Mini is more impressive than ever thanks to a major update.
Apple iPad mini (2nd Generation) – $ 399- $ 829
- 7.9 ”, 2048 x 1536 IPS LCD display (326 ppi)
- Apple A7 SoC
- 1.3 GHz dual core CPU, PowerVR G6430 GPU, 1 GB RAM
- Internal memory with 16, 32, 64 or 128 GB
- 5 MP camera, f / 2.4 lens, 1080p video
- 23.8 Wh battery
- Wi-Fi a / b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE optional
- iOS 7
- 331-341 grams, 7.5 mm thick
This new iPad mini has a retina display: a high-resolution 7.9-inch panel with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 which is on par with the air and has 326 pixels per inch. In addition, Apple's new A7 system is included on a chip, along with a larger battery pack in a case that is nearly identical in size to the original iPad mini. Some aspects of the device remain the same, such as: B. the camera and connectivity options, but it still has a lot of new features that hopefully will satisfy.
With the second-generation Retina display on the iPad mini, Apple raised the price of the base 16GB Wi-Fi model from $ 329 to $ 399, making it one of the most expensive tablets of its size. Previous iPads, however, have been of exceptional quality. Will this also be the case for the iPad mini? Is the Retina display and faster processor a worthy upgrade for first-generation owners?
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Unsurprisingly, the iPad mini with Retina display looks very similar to previous iPads and uses a standard tablet design. Compared to the first-generation iPad mini, the profile of the retina unit is identical with a height of 200 mm and a width of 134.7 mm and is available with a thickness of 7.5 mm. 0.3mm thicker than the original to accommodate the larger battery. It's a bit heavier – 331 grams versus 308 grams for the Wi-Fi models – yet remains extremely portable.
In fact, the iPad mini is a near-perfect size for anyone looking for a tablet with a smaller class (see unboxing here). It's easy to use in one or two hands, the shape is comfortable and ergonomic, and the display has a sufficient bezel to make it great for landscape or portrait orientation. While the front bezel makes the device easier to use, the display still covers roughly 72% of the faceplate, which is better than competing devices like the Nexus 7 (62% coverage) and the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX (60%). .
Apple's industrial yet minimalist design continues with the second generation iPad mini. The control panel is simple and contains only the display, the home button and the front-facing camera. However, it looks just as good as any previous iPad. Although this model was released after the iPhone 5s, it doesn't have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which means there isn't a quick and safe unlock method here.
On the back is a typical tablet design: camera on the upper left, glossy Apple logo in the middle, iPad branding on the bottom. Since the front is covered with protective glass, the back is just as robust thanks to its aluminum construction. Aluminum that not only feels good, but also gives the iPad that usual premium look.
For this test, I chose a "Space Gray" model, which is lighter and looks fantastic compared to the slate gray of the previous model. You get a black bezel around the display which is different from the silver model that is paired with a white bezel, but they both look great. I prefer the room gray design, but it really comes down to personal choice when choosing a color for your tablet.
At the edges is the usual arrangement of elements. The top edge has the power button and headphone jack, the bottom has the Lightning connector and speaker grilles, the left side is blank, and the right side has the volume buttons and hold switch. All buttons are accessible and solid to the touch, but it's disappointing that there are only speakers on the right when the device is in landscape mode. Stereo speakers are welcome on this media-centric device. However, at least the large double grille makes it difficult to muffle the speaker when mistaking it for gaming.
While there is the single speaker issue, I generally have nothing but praise for the iPad mini with the design of the Retina display. Thanks to its high quality aluminum construction, it's well built and almost the perfect size for a portable, smaller tablet. I really like the room gray color option with small but functional black bezels and a large display cover.
The biggest upgrade for the iPad mini is the display, now referred to as the “Retina”. In other words, the panel's pixel density has seen a significant increase from 163 pixels per inch (ppi) to 326 ppi thanks to an increase in resolution to 2048 x 1536. the same resolution as the iPad Air. With more than three times the original number of pixels, the display should be significantly improved.
Pretty much any display that is over 300 pixels per inch looks good, especially the ones included on tablets. In general, you see a tablet farther from your eyes than a smartphone, which gives tablets with lower pixel density more space to look amazing, and at 326 ppi the iPad mini definitely looks amazing. Text is razor sharp, images are razor sharp, videos are razor sharp, apps are razor sharp: Basically, the sharpness is as fantastic as you'd expect from previous Retina displays, and even better than the iPad Air.
The iPad mini display's aspect ratio remains 4: 3, which is good for watching most videos only if you have extensive letterboxing. However, a standard 16: 9 video is still 7.2 inches diagonal, making it slightly larger than the video on a standard 7 inch Android tablet like the Nexus 7 (which happens to be the same height like the iPad mini did). When the 4: 3 aspect ratio shines in applications and when surfing the Internet, more information is displayed on the screen and the tablet is still more comfortable to hold than an 8-inch 16: 9 tablet.
When it comes to the quality of the display, there are some color gamut issues (as some other publications have noted) that make images appear less saturated and vivid than competing devices. Essentially, like the first generation iPad mini, the Retina iPad mini cannot reproduce the entire sRGB color spectrum. Most other competing tablet displays, including the iPad Air, have near-sRGB color gamut, so the iPad mini is noticeably lacking in this area.
With a color measuring device it can be proven that the display of the iPad mini does not have a full sRGB color range. Will you notice this in everyday use? In my time with the new Retina display, I found that the moderate lack of saturation in images is reasonably noticeable on its own and when compared to other displays like full-size iPads, the Nexus 7 (2013), and my desktop PC -Monitors very noticeable. Fortunately, surfing the web and using apps is less of a problem, but people who demand quality will find the color quality of the iPad mini disappointing.
The good news is that color gamut is the only major issue with the iPad mini retina display. The black levels are very good, with all but two squares recognizable in a standard black level test pattern, as well as the white levels, which are very close to 6500 K. I did not notice any bleeding of light from the edges of the panel, indicating good quality backlighting, and there were no image retention issues on the model obtained either.
In terms of display brightness, the iPad mini with Retina display is quite bright, but not quite as bright as a typical smartphone. It is possible to read the iPad mini display outdoors and in strong lighting. However, in some situations it can be difficult. So I would recommend finding shade whenever possible. The panel's brightness range is decent and even, and the tablet has automatic brightness, but it only adjusts each time the display is turned on and not continuously.
The Mini's retina display uses IPS and IGZO technology, which means that the viewing angles are very good in almost all situations, with only minimal color and brightness deviations outside of the angles. Regardless of whether you are reading the device's display from the front in your hands or at an angle on a desk, you shouldn't have any problems in this area thanks to the display's powerful performance.
Aside from the disappointing color gamut of the Retina display used in the iPad mini, other areas do well. The panel is the sharpest that Apple has ever used in a tablet. This makes text and visuals generally look great, and the size is fantastic for almost anything you might want to do on a tablet. Unless you're particularly concerned with the saturation of the panel (chances are you won't even notice it), the second-generation iPad mini main attraction will suit you well.