- Editor's Rating
- Excellent display quality
- Fast 64-bit Apple A7 processor
- Expensive even for basic version
- Can't expand on storage
Quick TakeThe iPad mini 2 will not disappoint when it comes to design, performance, and display quality, but users will want to consider their storage needs along with their budget because 16GB will disappear quickly.
The iPad mini 2 (originally called the iPad mini with Retina display) is the second 8-inch tablet from Apple, boasting improved specs and Apple’s signature Retina display. Unlike the original iPad mini, which was essentially a scaled down version of the iPad 2, the newest mini is just about on par with the full-size iPad Air.
Build and Design
The iPad mini 2 is, in Apple tradition, an attractive device; it’s slim, compact, and lightweight. It measures 7.87 x 5.3 x .29 inches and weighs a mere .73 pounds. Its weight bumps up a touch to .75 pounds on the cellular model, which lets users with a wireless contracts make use of 3G and 4G connections.
The bezel around the iPad mini 2 is thin, similar to the new iPad Air, and while it helps cut down on the size of the device, reviewers at TPCR found it somewhat difficult to hold the device in one hand. The tablet is small enough to rest on one palm, but it is more comfortable and feels more natural to hold with both hands. The display also does a decent job of determining when a thumb is resting on the edge of the screen, so users are free to use gestures with their other hand.
It is impossible to ignore the gorgeous 2048 x 1536 display on the newest iPad mini, which packs a whopping 326 ppi into its 7.9 inches; up from 163 ppi in the first-generation iPad mini. Competitors, such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, have slightly smaller screens, at 7 inches. Also, the iPad mini’s extra inch of screen space makes the device appear less oblong when compared side by side to its competitors.
The generous resolution on the iPad mini 2 display offers a great experience, and it has never been easier to read tiny text on websites not yet optimized for mobile. Opening the Kindle app is a delight; the crisp black text pops off the white page, and is comfortable to read. Streaming videos delivered excellent image quality, and even the small text displayed under each app on the home was so clear that it made the iPad 2 look blurry in comparison.
Buttons and Ports
The device features a front-facing 1.2 MP camera that can capture 720p HD video, and a rear-facing camera with 5MP that can record 1080p video.
On the bottom front of the device, users will find the familiar circlar Home button that is used to do so much on the tablet. The top right edge, along the bezel of the device features the wake, sleep, and power button with the headphone jack located to the left. The slide button on the right side of the bezel can be set to either lock the screen rotation or to mute/unmute the device. Right below the slider, are the volume buttons, and instead of the traditional rocker, the iPad mini features two separate buttons, the top one controls the up volume and the lower button controls the down volume. Finally, the 8-pin lightning port and speakers can be found at the very bottom of the device, along the bezel.