One of the best tablets in the market, and like any other Apple product, game changing. These are the words that perfectly describe the iPad mini, which got a refresh this year. The device which revolutionized tablet dimensions, including thickness and screen size, now comes with one of Apple’s most famous terms for tech – the Retina Display. The second instalment of the iPad mini was showcased to the world yesterday.

Let us go ahead and talk about what’s good and what’s not.

Camera and Internal Storage

The first iteration came with a 5MP main shooter at the rear, and won a lot of accolades and was even tagged ‘the best tablet camera’ by some. The mini 2 again gets a 5MP unit, which is now an iSight unit capable of 1080p video. The device also comes with an improved FaceTime HD webcam on the front for video calls and self-portraits.

The device comes with tradition iPad storage options, i.e., 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and the mighty 128GB. With these many variants on sale, your plea of Apple devices not having an expansion slot might fall to deaf ears! Although it definitely is a problem to not have an expansion slot, it is a part of the Apple strategy that makes their devices optimized to the core.

Processor and Battery

The highlight of the iPad mini 2 is the A7 processor. Yes, this is the same processor that constitutes the heart of the iPhone 5S. You probably already know about the potential of the 64-bit A7 processor. The A7 is the world’s first chipset to offer 64-bit computing on a mobile level, and such cutting-edge technology can only be expected from Apple. It is not clear how much RAM the iPad mini 2 has, but we would advice you to not worry about the amount, since Apple’s products sell on the experience and not amount.

There’s again no mention of the battery capacity in mAh, we have only been told that the iPad mini 2 will have the same 10 hour battery life, which is quite a bit better than other Android tablets lurking around.

Display and Features

Apart from the A7 chip, the Retina Display on the device is another highlight. The 7.9 inch display panel comes with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels, which according to Apple is so high that the human eye cannot differentiate between pixels, thus making the screen seem very fluid. The 7.9 inch form factor is a favourite among many (including me), and that was with the first gen iPad mini which had a 1024x768p resolution; it can be imagines how much more this Retina Display will pack.

The device will come with Apple’s iOS 7 so you can lay back and enjoy the device without having to worry about updating the firmware and other things, which invariably, users dread.

Looks and Connectivity

The device carries the trademark Apple look, and will come in 4 colours, namely – Silver, White, Space Gray and Black.

Connectivity includes WiFi, expanded LTE support and Bluetooth. Of course, the device will have a non-LTE version too, which will sell for less.

Comparison

There won’t be many competitors in the market to the iPad mini 2, since most tablets come in the 10’’ and around form factor, and those which do come in smaller sizes do not offer anything like a 64 bit processor or Retina Display. In Indian Market this tab will compete with up coming tablets like Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, LG GPAD 8.3, Nexus 7 second generation and Xolo Tegra Note, which Nvidia claims will be the fastest 7 inch tablet.

Key Specs

Model Apple iPad mini 2
Display 7.9 inches, 2048x1536p
Processor Apple A7
RAM Not known
Internal Storage 16/32/64/128GB
OS iOS 7
Cameras 5MP rear, HD front
Battery 10 hours (claimed)
Price Starting $399

Conclusion

Having used the first gen iPad mini, I can say that the device is among the best tablets I’ve used. It is surprisingly easy to hold the device in one hand, and the screen real estate strikes a wonderful balance. Now with the updated internals and screen, the experience of using the device will surely end up being better; so the device is recommended to anyone who’s looking for a powerful tablet with good battery life. However, you will have to give up on the customizability of Android.

The iPad mini 2 has been launched starting $399, which means the device will be available for upwards of 20k INR.