iPad mini 2 review

Updated: Apple packs in Retina Display and a 64-bit processor into the 7.9in tablet.

Reviews
27 Mar, 2014
4
Price 
From £319 inc VAT
Pros 
Retina Display; Great battery life; Great app/multimedia repository; Swift performance
Cons 
Expensive; No expandable storage
Verdict 
The iPad mini 2 is a huge improvement over the original and has all the same premium components as the larger iPad Air. It's more expensive than Android sub-10in tablets, but you will get your monies worth.

Apple has given the public what they wanted by adding its dazzling Retina Display to the second generation iPad mini.

Little has changed on the design front as the iPad mini 2 retains the 7.9in form factor and metallic chassis of the original. With a weight of 331g and a thickness of 7.5mm, you’ll be able to carry this around comfortably all day too. 

Don't let the similar design fool you, Apple has made significant upgrades to core components.

The Upgrades

The 7.9in display now packs a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. This means the iPad mini 2 has 4x as many pixels as its predecessor - a leap in quality and good news for everyone. 

The iPad mini 2  clocked a brightness of 396cd/m2 and contrast ratio of 792:1. Not quite as brightn as the Air (400 cd/m2).

All iPads now have the same number of pixels, so end-users can choose a device based on the size and not worry about a difference in display quality. Life is also made easier for developers, as they only have to code for one resolution.

Output of the Retina Display is outstanding – images and text are pin-sharp and colours are vibrant. 

It’s not just the display, which Apple has beefed up. The iPad mini 2 is powered by the firm’s flagship 64-bit A7 processor. This is the same chipset found in the iPhone 5s and iPad Air, and cements the iPad mini 2’s position as a flagship product.

The M7 motion co-processor is included – this is responsible for processing all the information from the sensors and we expect this to become more useful as apps are launched to crunch this data.

A couple of key features are missing in the mini 2. There’s no Slow Motion mode on the 5-megapixel camera and the Touch ID fingerprint reader is not built into the home button.

Battery life

Apple touts 10 hours of usage, despite adding the power hungry display.

We ran the device through our Iron Man video playback test, with the Wi-Fi turned off and the brightness set to 75 per cent and it managed to surpass this claim.


Price & Release date

The inclusion of the Retina Display comes at a price. The iPad mini 2 has a starting price of £319 for the 16GB model – an increase of £50 compared to the 2012 model.

This creeps up to £399 for the 32GB model, £479 for the 64GB edition and £559 if you need 128GB of on-board storage. If you want 4G connectivity – the cost increases by £100 per model.

Overall, the iPad mini 2 represents a huge improvement over the original. The increase in price is just about justified as everything about the iPad mini 2 from the build quality to display oozes quality. It's not as good valaue for money as the Nexus 7 (2013) or as versatile as the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4in, but the mini 2 is a fantastic tablet.

Specifications 

Screen: 7.9in, 2048 x 1536 Retina Display (326ppi)
OS: iOS 7
Processor: Apple A7 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor
Memory: 1GB RAM
Storage: 16/32/54/128GB 
Connectivity: Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and MIMO, Bluetooth 4
Other: Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
Camera: 5-megapixel rear, 1.2-megapixel front 
Battery: 6,471mAh
Size: 200 x 135 x 7.5mm
Weight: 331g

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