iPad Air vs. iPad Mini 2: Hardware, connectivity & reparability

In our iPad Air vs iPad Mini 2 review, we compare specs, battery life and pricing...

Hardware, connectivity & reparability

The fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad Mini are neck-and-neck in terms of hardware. Both use a dual-core A7 1.3 GHz chip, which supports 64-bit apps and is paired with 1GB of RAM.

The entry-level models start with 16GB of internal storage and both offer up to 128GB of internal storage.

The iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 also have the same connectivity options. Both ship with minimal ports, with a Lightning connector on the bottom of the device, to transfer media and charge the device and a headphone jack at the top. There's no way of expanding the physical storage, however, so you'll have to choose carefully when you're buying.

The iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina share the same 5-megapixel iSight rear cameras, with a front-facing 1.2-megapixel snapper for FaceTime calling.

Wireless connectivity is also identical, with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4 and 4G support included. Both iPads have the same sensors too a three-axis gyro, accelerometer and ambient light sensor.

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iPads are notoriously difficult when it comes to user repair. Both the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 received an abysmal reparability score of 2/10 from teardown site iFixit. That means that if you ever need to replace a damaged screen or ailing battery, then it's best to get it done professionally or risk damaging vital components and connectors.

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