Apple's iPad Mini: A Closer Look

It's 'Later'

On Oct. 22, Apple told the world the iPad Air would be available for purchase on Nov. 1, only 10 days after its unveiling. Though the new iPad mini debuted on the same day, Apple told customers the smaller tablet would not be available until "later in November." Well, it looks like "later in November" actually meant Nov. 12, as Apple quietly began iPad mini sales via its online store early on Tuesday. Here are the nuts and bolts on Apple's latest tablet release, the new iPad mini.

Measuring Up

The new iPad mini is a shrunken iPad Air, identical to the full-sized tablet with the only exception being size. With a 7.9-inch display, the mini tablet is just less than 2 inches shy of the display real estate found on the iPad Air. Despite the smaller size, the resolution remains the same. The mini's retina display packs over 3.1 million pixels into its display space and boasts a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536. Apple claims the retina display is not just a step up from the last iPad mini generation; it's a full four-fold improvement. In case the single-pound iPad Air is still a little hefty for a user's liking, the iPad mini weighs in at close to three-quarters of a pound.

Computing Power

When Apple first launched the iPhone 5S, it was the first mobile device with a 64-bit chip. Now, rounding out Apple's new device line-up, the iPad mini joins the iPhone 5S and iPad Air with Apple's own super-fast, 64-bit A7 chip. Whereas the A7 chip doubled the iPad Air's processing ability from the previous generation iPad, the chip quadrupled the mini's processing power.


Wi-Fi connectivity is twice as fast and reliable as the previous generation iPad mini, with an extra antenna and more LTE bands than before. The mini is loaded with a 5MP iSight camera as well as a FaceTime HD camera with a backside illumination sensor to bring a little light in on its subjects. When it comes to battery, the iPad mini boasts the same 10-hour life as the rest of Apple's iOS 7 devices.


Though productivity may not be the draw for iPad mini users, the apps are available nonetheless. With the Oct. 22 unveiling of several new Apple products also came Apple's new pricing policy. In the case of apps, Apple's iWork suite including Pages, Keynote and Numbers is free on any new iOS 7 or Mavericks device, including the iPad mini. Additionally, Apple's iLife suite, which includes GarageBand, iPhoto and iMovie, also comes included with the device.

Price And Availability

The iPad mini comes in two models, Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi plus cellular. The iPad mini with Wi-Fi capability comes in 16-, 32-, 64- and 128-GB options priced at $399, $499, $599 and $699 respectively. The iPad mini with Wi-Fi and cellular capability also comes in 16-, 32-, 64- and 128-GB options and is priced at $529, $629, $729 and $829 respectively. Overall, the iPad mini is priced $100 cheaper than an iPad Air and became available for purchase via Apple's website Tuesday.