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Apple iPad mini 2 unveiled: Retina display, A7 chip, 1GB RAM

Officially announced Tuesday in the US, the new iPad mini 2 offers a Retina display just like the concurrently launched iPad Air. While similar in outward appearance to the original mini, the 7.9-inch tablet refresh has increased the resolution to 2,048×1,536, up from 1,024×768, and touts a 64-bit A7 processor for faster performance.

Much of the external design of the original tablet still linger in the iPad mini 2. For one, the familiar square-ish style that fans have learned to love remains. Nevertheless, Apple has made this year’s model thinner and lighter. The major changes, instead, are found inside the tablet. Earlier rumors have turned out to be mostly accurate.

To start with, the dual core A7 processor has found its way in the iPad mini 2. Users can expect outstanding scores in benchmarks, just as the processor did when it powered the iPhone 5S. The M7 motion processor, which is used for dedicated handling of inputs from built-in motion sensors, is also present. The non-removable battery has been slightly increased in capacity by 40mAh to 2380mAh. Apple claims its small slate can still endure up to 10 hours of video playback, just as the first iPad mini did.

Apple iPad mini 2 Specs

  • iOS 7
  • 7.9-inch IPS LCD (2048×1536), ~324ppi
  • 1.3GHz dual core Apple A7 processor (64-bit architecture)
  • PowerVR G6430 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16/32/64/128GB internal storage
  • 5-megapixel main camera, with autofocus but no LED flash
  • 1.2-megapixel front camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 3G, HSPA, LTE
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Dimensions: 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm
  • Weight: 341g
  • 2380mAh battery

iPad mini with Retina display

Performance-wise, the iPad mini 2 is four times faster. The original mini slate may have had the occasional hiccups as it launched and ran apps, but the new mini should be able to handle things more smoothly. Graphics is eight times better and comparable to visuals found in game consoles thanks to the A7 CPU and its support for OpenGL ES v3.

People willing to splurge $399 for a tablet have the iPad mini 2 as one of their best options soon to become available. At such price, there’s the cheapest 16GB model to be had. The 128GB Wi-Fi version costs $699, while its LTE equivalent requires spending an extra $130. While several countries will have the device on November 1, there’s no official word as to when the device will be available in the Philippines, along with its exact local price. Interested buyers can only choose between space grey and silver/white.

Though an attractive upgrade for Apple fans, the iPad mini 2 faces a tough challenge from Android devices, such as the Nexus 7 (2013) and Kindle Fire HDX. Price is still important for many consumers, something that Google and Amazon have taken into consideration when launching new devices.

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