The addition of the Retina screen is a real boost to the 8in tablet range from Apple, and it’s impressive that battery life hasn’t been impacted. But the cost and lack of security features are a downside.
High-quality display; smooth, fast performance; thin and light; excellent build and design
Expensive for a small tablet; lacks Touch ID
From £319 for 16GB WiFi-only model
Processor: Apple A7 processor with 64-bit architecture and M7 coprocessor
Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB
Display: 7.9in 2048x1536 resolution, 326ppi display
Camera: 5MP rear and 1.2MP front; 720p HD video
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0; 3G or 4G mobile data
Operating system: iOS 7
Battery: 10 hours over WiFi; nine hours on 3G/4G
Weight: 331g WiFi-only; 341g WiFi plus 3G/4G
Apple revealed its second-generation 8in tablet last October, dubbing it the less-catchy iPad Mini with Retina display, rather than the iPad Mini 2, which is how everyone outside the Apple marketing department refers to the device.
Coming to market a year after the original iPad Mini, the new version adds Apple’s Retina screen and A7 processor with M7 coprocessor to the small form-factor tablet. However, it’s also added £50 to the price tag, so we’ve put the iPad Mini 2 4G version through its paces to see if the additions are worth the extra cost, and if Apple can retain its place at the top of the tablet tree.
The iPad Mini 2 has an aluminium case and glass screen. It’s very comfortable to hold for long periods, especially compared with full-size 10in tablets, as it’s very thin and light.
The iPad Mini 2 measures 200x135x7.5mm and weighs only 331g for the WiFi-only model, and 341g for the WiFi plus cellular model. The iPad Mini 2 certainly retains the premium Apple look and feel we’ve come to expect from the brand. It’s also worth noting that Apple has rounded off the back corners of the iPad Mini, making it more comfortable to hold than the iPhone 5 or 5S with their more angled and jagged edges.
Across the top of the iPad Mini 2, there’s a power button, dual mikes and a headphone jack. There’s a ringer on/off button, volume controls and SIM card slot on the right, and the Lightning charging port and speakers are on the bottom of the device. The iPad Mini 2 is available in two colour choices, Silver or Space Grey. The former has a light silver back with a white front; while the latter option has a darker silver back and a black front casing.
One missing feature is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that Apple introduced on the iPhone 5S via the home button for extra security. This would be a valuable feature for business users to protect sensitive corporate data, and we'd like to have seen this included on the iPad Mini 2.