Apple has just unveiled the 2nd generation iPad mini at its media event. The new iPad mini includes a number of new features and improvements such the much requested Retina display, a faster 64-bit A7 chip, an improved camera system and new color options. Notably, Apple has increased the price of the iPad mini from $329 for the earlier generation to $399 for the Retina iPad mini.
Apple addressed one of the most common complaints about the original iPad mini by adding a Retina display to the second-generation iPad mini. The device sports a Retina display with resolution of 2048×1536 pixels at a pixel density of 326 ppi, as compared to the original iPad mini’s 1024 x 768 display with a pixel density of 136 ppi.
It’s worth noting that the iPad mini’s pixel density of 326ppi is much higher than the Retina iPad’s pixel density of 264ppi, which means images and text would look much sharper on the iPad mini 2 than the larger iPad if you hold them at the same distance.
Due to the addition of a Retina display, the new iPad mini is 8 percent thicker and 5 percent heavier than the original iPad mini.
Faster 64-bit A7 Chip
The second-generation iPad mini is powered by a faster A7 chip, the same chip found on the iPhone 5s. It supports 64-bit computing that will give a performance to most iOS apps, and a new GPU with OpenGL ES 3.0 support, which will enable detailed and complex graphics, previously seen only on PCs, Macs and consoles.
It also includes the new M7 motion coprocessor that lets apps access motion related data off the motion sensors on the device without draining out the battery or overloading the CPU.
Hopefully, with the bumped up hardware, iOS 7 would be able to run much faster on the iPad mini.
Expanded LTE support
The Retina iPad mini includes a much wider support for LTE bands all over the world, since it includes support for 14 LTE bands, up from the 5 LTE bands the iPad 4 supported. For more details on LTE support, head to this page on Apple’s website.
The Retina iPad mini is capable of delivering twice the Wi-Fi performance owing to to two antennas and MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. Apple says that with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and MIMO, the Retina iPad mini can get download speeds of up to 300Mbps, depending on your service provider. This’ll translate into faster AirDrop transfers, web browsing and other network related activites.
The Retina iPad Mini comes in two colors, silver and space gray.
Apple has added the 128GB storage configuration in addition to the existing 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options.
This one was quite a surprise. Apple has increased the price of the iPad mini, presumably to cover costs of the A7 chip, the Retina display while maintaining a good-enough margin. The Retina iPad mini Wi-Fi starts at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, $499 for 32GB, $599 for 64GB and $699 for 128GB. Wi+Fi + Cellular variants will be available for $529, $629, $729 and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions respectively.
Apple will still be selling the first-generation iPad mini at a reduced price, starting from $299 for the Wi-Fi version and $429 for the WiFi+Cellular version.
The Retina iPad mini will go on sale later in November.
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