Apple iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display – Specs, Features, and everything you need to know (Detailed Review)

Heidi Speare December 29, 2013 7

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Today we check out two of the most innovative and highly appreciated portable tablets from Apple – the Apple iPad Air and the Apple iPad Mini with retina display. Apple officially announced these two tablets at the Apple WWDC event this year and they are no available in the market.

So if you are planning to buy any of these tablets for yourself or want to gift it to your near and dear ones, or if you simply want to know about these next-gen Apple iPads, then this is the review for you!

1. DESIGN
The Apple iPad Air and Apple iPad Mini are two of the latest products from Apple. The iPad Air is the successor to the New iPad whereas the iPad Mini with retina display (often referred to as iPad Mini 2) is the successor to the original iPad Mini. Keep in mind that Apple iPad Mini 2 is not the official name that has been given by Apple, so if you want to act smart be sure to mention this point at the right time!

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 9.37.26 pm

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If you already have an iPad and are looking out for reasons as to why you should get any of these new iPads, we are here to help you with that as well. The older versions of Apple iPad and iPad Mini are more than good enough to get the job done, so you don’t really have to sell them off. Simply give it to your friends or family members and then get a new one for yourself!

Now coming to the point, we will tell you a few reasons why you should get the Apple iPad Air or the Apple iPad Mini with retina display. Most importantly, both these tablets have retina display screen resolution and support 64-bit processing. So you are sure to get crisp clear display and the out of the charts speed and performance.

You won’t get the awesome fingerprint sensor equipped home button, but apart from that there’s a lot that has been borrowed from the iPhone 5S. The new iPads have a similar color scheme and use the new advanced Apple A7 chipset.

As far as the overall build quality is concerned, there is really no place for errors or complains! The iPad Air and iPad Mini are both wonderful on the outside just like the way they are powerful on the inside. The volume buttons are smooth, the physical toggle button works perfect, and the other two buttons (home and lock) are designed as good as they could have been.

2. KEY SPECIFICATIONS
The Apple iPad Air and the Apple iPad Mini are both fabulous devices. It is very important that you know all the details about these new tablets. Many of these points might not make a difference to you because you might already have decided to get an iPad anyways.

So for those interested in checking out all the details about the iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display, we have the list here for you. Go ahead and check it out. There are hardly any differences between the Wi-Fi only model and the Wi-Fi + 3G model. And if you are looking out for technical differences between the iPad Air and the iPad Mini, just stop looking because there aren’t any.

ipad air models

Apple iPad Air (Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular model)
DISPLAY

  • 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2048 x 1536 pixels screen resolution
  • 264 ppi pixel density
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

PROCESSING SYSTEM

  • Apple A7 chipset with 64-bit architecture
  • M7 motion coprocessor
  • 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
  • Dedicated GPU
  • 1 GB of RAM

STORAGE

  • 16 / 32 / 64 / 128 GB of internal storage

CAMERA

  • 5 MP iSight primary camera with autofocus
  • 1080p video recording
  • 1.2 MP front facing camera
  • 720p video recording

CONNECTIVITY

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a / b / g / n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0

OS

  • Apple iOS 7
  • Eligible for all future updates

BATTERY

  • 32.4 watt-hour rechargeable Li-Po battery
  • Up to 10 hours of mixed usage

WEIGHT

  • 469 grams (W-Fi model)
  • 478 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

DIMENSIONS

  • 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm

COLOR OPTIONS

  • Space Gray, Silver

ipad mini models

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display (Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular model)
DISPLAY

  • 7.9-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2048 x 1536 pixels screen resolution
  • 326 ppi pixel density
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

PROCESSING SYSTEM

  • Apple A7 chipset with 64-bit architecture
  • M7 motion coprocessor
  • 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
  • Dedicated GPU
  • 1 GB of RAM

STORAGE

  • 16 / 32 / 64 / 128 GB of internal storage

CAMERA

  • 5 MP iSight primary camera with autofocus
  • 1080p video recording
  • 1.2 MP front facing camera
  • 720p video recording

CONNECTIVITY

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a / b / g / n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0

OS

  • Apple iOS 7
  • Eligible for all future updates

BATTERY

  • 23.8 watt-hour rechargeable Li-Po battery
  • Up to 10 hours of mixed usage

WEIGHT

  • 331 grams (W-Fi model)
  • 341 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

DIMENSIONS

  • 200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm

COLOR OPTIONS

  • Space Gray, Silver

3. BUILT-IN APPS and FREE APPS
With any of these new Apple iPad devices that you buy, you will get a bunch of apps that will already be built-in to the system. Most of them will help you get through your daily work and many of them will keep you entertained as well.

The good part is that the number of in-built apps have been reduced, and you now get only about 20 apps that you have to deal with (i.e. if you are not going to use any of them). On the bright side, Apple will be offering a number of apps that can be downloaded free of cost from the App Store. Let me tell you that these apps also include Pages, Number and Keynote that would otherwise be available for $9.99 each.

apps 1

Now we have listed out all the important apps that you get with the Apple iPad Air and the Apple iPad Mini with retina display. If you are already a part of the Apple eco-system and have used the iOS device before, then these shouldn’t be new to you. But if you are buying your first ever iOS device, then this list will definitely help you a lot. Go ahead and check it out.

Safari
This is browsing at its most beautiful. Pages look crisp and sharp, and they load almost instantly. Type anything in the unified smart search field, and Safari automatically suggests matches. And you can add web pages to your Reading List so you can read them later, even when you’re offline.

Mail
Mail makes it easy to scan your inbox and open attachments. You can send, receive, and reply across all your accounts. Keep track of email conversations by thread. Or turn iPad from portrait to landscape to change your view. Everything is razor sharp and easy to read on the Retina display.

iBooks
Download and read everything from classic novels to the latest page-turners. You can even add bookmarks and notes and adjust the font size and background color for easier reading. And with iCloud, you can start reading a book on your iPad and pick up right where you left off on your iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac.

Photos
Photos on iPad have never looked better. Swipe through images grouped into Moments and Collections, or view them as a slideshow. And there are so many easy ways to share. Post to Facebook or Twitter with a tap, use AirDrop to share with someone nearby, or share with a group of friends using iCloud Photo Sharing.

Maps
Get spoken turn by turn directions. Real time traffic conditions. And photo realistic, interactive 3D views with Flyover mode. Images and text look sharp even when you zoom in. The Maps app is a destination unto itself.

FaceTime
With FaceTime you can make video – or audio only – calls over Wi Fi or cellular to an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac. Use the FaceTime camera in front for chatting. Then switch to the iSight camera on the back to share the view from your end.

Newsstand
With Newsstand, your magazine and newspaper subscriptions are delivered right to your iPad. And new issues download automatically in the background. Many publications are designed for iPad, so you can interact with elements on the page. To search for new titles, just tap the Store button.

Messages
Send free messages to anyone on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Attach a photo or a video. Share locations, links, and contacts. Or just send someone a smiley. You can send to one person at a time or to an entire group at once.

iTunes Store
Browsing the millions of songs and thousands of HD movies and TV shows on the iTunes Store is fluid and fun on iPad. Like your favorites on Facebook and see what your friends Like. Download purchases directly to your iPad. And everything you buy is available through iCloud, so you can access your songs, movies, and shows on all your devices.

App Store
iPad apps were designed just for iPad – to take advantage of every pixel on the beautiful Retina display and all the power and advanced technology inside. The App Store has over 475,000 iPad apps, and many of them are free. So no matter what you want to do, there’s probably an app to help you do it.

iPhoto
It’s everything you love about viewing, editing, and sharing photos — with the power and simplicity of Multi-Touch. You can quickly organize and compare photos. Apply professional-quality effects in a single tap. And create beautiful photo books, prints, slideshows, and web journals to share with family and friends.

iMovie
Quickly and easily turn your home videos into beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-style trailers with graphics and cinematic soundtracks. And with iMovie Theater, you can screen them on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac – even your HDTV via Apple TV. Share on YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, and it’s your instant world premiere.

Garageband
Touch Instruments and Smart Instruments make it easy and fun to create music on your iPad. You can record, edit, and mix up to 32 tracks and share them right from iPad to your fans across the room or around the globe.

apps 2

Pages
Pages is a powerful word processor that lets you effortlessly create reports, resumes, and documents. It takes only a few taps to choose a template, customize your layout, make it read beautifully, and share your work. Writing has never been easier. Period.

Numbers
Spreadsheets have never brought so much to the table. You start off with a blank canvas. Tap to choose a handsome template. Then add multiple tables, which are prebuilt with formulas. Or build stunning interactive charts with a touch. The power of numbers has never been so beautiful to behold.

Keynote
Wherever you go, the power to create a compelling presentation is right at your fingertips. Tap one of 30 elegant Apple-designed themes to start. Add photos, interactive charts, and cinematic transitions. And use AirPlay to wirelessly present on an HDTV right from your iPad.

Calendar
Manage your busy schedule with the Calendar app. You can view events by day, week, month, or year. And switch from portrait to landscape to get a broader view. Even your Facebook events are integrated into Calendar, so you can see what your friends are up to.

Music
Build an iTunes library full of your favorite songs, artists, and albums. Create custom playlists. Tap Shuffle to mix things up, or let Siri choose the order. Stream music from more than 250 DJ-curated and genre-focused stations with iTunes Radio.

Videos
Check out the latest episode of your favorite TV show over breakfast. Or watch an HD movie on the bus. With the stunning Retina display, you can enjoy everything as it was meant to be – in full widescreen.

Siri
Just ask a question (“Who does San Francisco play on Sunday?”) and Siri provides the answer. Just make a request (“Find me a table for two at Seven Hills tomorrow around 7 pm”) and Siri makes it happen. Say it in any of eight languages and Siri understands.

Reminders
iPad never forgets, so you won’t, either. The Reminders app lets you set location- or time based alerts for all the things you need to get done — even recurring ones. And iCloud keeps Reminders in sync on all your devices, so you can make a list on your iPad and be alerted on your iPhone.

Contacts
Use the Contacts app to store names, numbers, email addresses, Twitter handles, and more. The profile information of all your Facebook friends is integrated into Contacts, too, so whenever they make a change, you automatically stay up to date.

Camera
The 5MP iSight camera on iPad lets you take beautiful photos. The large Retina display makes a picture-perfect viewfinder. Snap a square-format pic. Quickly switch to shooting video. Hold the shutter button down and get rapid-fire shooting to capture life’s fleeting moments.

Notes
Whether it’s a weekly shopping list or your top ten favorite bands (for today, anyway), Notes keeps important information close at hand. There’s a Dictation feature for when you’re too busy to type. And Notes stays up to date on all your devices thanks to iCloud. You can even share notes using AirDrop – instead of on the refrigerator.

Photo Booth
Make a face and it’ll stay that way, courtesy of Photo Booth on iPad. Take some nutty pictures of yourself. Or of you and your friends. Pose for the camera, apply an effect, and share away.

Clock
Check the current time in cities around the globe with the world clock. Set the alarm for five minutes before kickoff on Sunday. Time your morning yoga session with the stopwatch. Even use the timer to ensure perfectly baked cookies.

Game Center
The world is your arcade with Game Center. Challenge your friends or take on an opponent six time zones away. When you’re done schooling them, check the leaderboards for scores.

ipad air new

4. PRICE TAGS
We already know that consumers all around the world have been impressed by these new Apple iPad tablets. So we are quite sure that you must already be looking out for great offers that will allow you to save some money on the deal.

As of now, we do not have any specific deal we can tell you about, but we do have the standard prices for the Apple iPad Air and the Apple iPad Min 2. We have properly listed them out for you below. First it’s the iPad Air models (Wi-Fi only first and then the Wi-Fi + Cellular model) and then the iPad Mini 2.

One you know the base price, you can go check out some deals that will help you save money. Also, as you can see in the list below, there is a difference of $100 between the Apple iPad Air and its exact similar Apple iPad Mini 2 model. But even though you save $100 if you buy the Apple iPad Mini 2, don’t just think that you are saving money. There’s a lot more that you get apart from saving money because the iPad Mini 2 is equally powerful. You get a smaller screen, but then there is a lot of difference in the overall weight and the iPad Mini 2 will feel like paper in your hands.

This is more of a personal preference, but all we are trying to say is that it would simply be a choice between weight and size. You do not have to worry about the power, performance or battery life on either of the devices.

Apple iPad Air (Wi-Fi)

  • 16 GB – $499
  • 32 GB – $599
  • 64 GB – $699
  • 128 GB – $799

Apple iPad Air (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

  • 16 GB – $629
  • 32 GB – $729
  • 64 GB – $829
  • 128 GB – $929

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display (Wi-Fi)

  • 16 GB – $399
  • 32 GB – $499
  • 64 GB – $599
  • 128 GB – $699

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display  (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

  • 16 GB – $529
  • 32 GB – $629
  • 64 GB – $729
  • 128 GB – $829

5. CONCLUSION
The Apple iPad Air and the iPad Mini with retina display are two of the best iPads that have ever been made. Not only do they both have state of the art hardware and features, but at the same time are extremely light in weight and sleek.

Technically speaking, we really do not see any kind of problem or drawback that a consumer might have to face with the purchase of the iPad Air or iPad Mini. So if you are planning to get one or want to gift it to your near and dear ones, this will definitely be one of the best options you have.

ipad mini 2

We want to keep the conclusion short and sweet, so our bottom line is that you should get the Apple iPad Air or the iPad Mini with retina display without having to worry about anything. Of course, if you want to save some money, you can even check out the older versions but remember that they won’t have 64-bit processing capabilities!

PROS

  • Retina display
  • Light in weight
  • 64-bit processing
  • Great battery backup
  • High-performance hardware
  • Wide range of games and apps

CONS

  • No expandable storage
  • Costlier than other tablets
  • Very few customization options

Recommended Products

 

7 Comments »

  1. tam  December 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    where is the comparison????

  2. Mike  December 30, 2013 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    D o I need the Mini with cellular? Is ti worth the additional cost?

    • Xavier Kade
      Xavier Kade  December 31, 2013 at 11:19 pm - Reply

      Hey Mike, If you don’t want to share the data with your phone then you can get one. And if you use T-Mobile (if you’re in the US), I think they have free 200Mb for iPad every month. But personally, I’d prefer not to spend money on that.

  3. rogue  January 2, 2014 at 12:34 am - Reply

    dude.. lol..
    this isnt a comparison
    its a review.. it says that in the title

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