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iPad mini 2 with Retina display review

A great tablet that still costs a little too much

Our Verdict

The iPad mini 2 is flawless in so many ways. From a rich app catalog to the best design on the market, the mini 2's only real downfall is its price. If your pockets are deep you'll simply love it.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 2048 x 1536
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel

View full specification

For

  • Amazing screen
  • Cutting edge CPU
  • Brilliant design

Against

  • Similar-spec rivals are much cheaper
  • 16GB too low storage

The internet browser on the iPad mini 2 needs to be impressive, as otherwise one of the key functions for this device is really negated thanks to the upgraded screen.

While you might not be seeing much of an upgrade over older iPads in terms of functionality, the speed in overall use of the device is definitely something to be lauded.

The main difference over last year's iPad mini (out of the box) is that iOS 7 makes everything a little cleaner and less obtrusive.

iPad Mini 2 review

The URL bar won't dynamically retreat like it does on the iPhone range, but with 7.9 inches of space to play with, we can't say that we blame it too much.

The bar is actually chock-full of functionality in the same way as its Android counterpart, although there's perhaps a spot more relevance to everything that's run with the mini 2.

For instance, the reading mode is just a simple icon of text lines in the URL bar, allowing you to easily switch to a more text-friendly mode.

iPad Mini 2 review

It's a little irritating that you can't sync this with Pocket, as although you might be fine using the "Saved for Later" function of Safari on the iPad, if you're not using an iPhone as your smartphone, there's no central repository for all the articles you want to read later.

At least if you copy the URL of the site you're reading the app can intelligently work out that you might want to save it to Pocket - but when you can share links over Facebook and Twitter with such ease then it doesn't seem fair that other popular apps aren't supported.

Of course this is completely subjective, and something we would have expected from Apple a few years ago. It's become more relaxed about working with partners recently, however, so perhaps the functionality will come.

In reality, all these reading modes don't mean much when you've got such a speedy and responsive browser.

iPad Mini 2 review

Apple is touting the fact the iPad mini 2 is one of the first tablets to use MIMO wireless connectivity, allowing for a stronger and faster Wi-Fi connection. In reality this means that you can wander further from the router and still get access to the internet when you've decided against shelling out for the cellular version of the iPad.

We've covered this in our Battery section in more depth, so check that out if you want to find out how the new mini compares to the original in terms of speed.

The Retina display, which has finally made its way to the iPad mini 2, is really bright and clear for reading stories on the go, and the 7.9-inch screen gives you so much more room to work with over the iPhone 5S.

It's no surprise that Apple would make strides in this area, although text wrapping when zoomed in could still do with some work.

However, the internet browser on the iPad mini 2 is one to be rather respected, as it does what it needs to do with considerable aplomb.

Whether you want to see a list of shared links from Twitter (which is a rather underrated feature, drawing only the tweets from your friends that contain links) or save articles to check out when you don't have connectivity, there's little the iPad can't do.

If you're in a family home with a number of Apple devices then you can easily share links using AirDrop, and this will be useful for those that hate doing the same over messaging or Facebook - although with iMessage, it's hardly a chore.

We would say that something like Google Chrome is a better bet if you're a fan of simplicity though, as over time we found that we never used things like the Reader mode or the integrated quick link.

Chrome, on the other hand, is simple and unobtrusive and connects to Google accounts well too. We're not saying that Safari is a bad browser or anything, but it's worth thinking about the options at times.

But Apple has kept things simple on both functionality and the interface on the iPad mini 2's internet browser, and that makes a lot of sense to us.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity128 GB
Processor ManufacturerApple
Graphics Controller ManufacturerImagination Technologies
Graphics Controller ModelPowerVR G6430
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time10 Hour
GPSYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyUMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A, EDGE
Product FamilyiPad mini
Cellular Network SupportedGSM, CDMA2000
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformiOS
ColourSilver
Operating SystemiOS 7
Brand NameApple
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.30 GHz
Processor TypeA7
Screen Size20.1 cm (7.9")
Screen Resolution2048 x 1536
Weight (Approximate)340.2 g
Cache4 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Retina Display
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Cellular Generation3G
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Height199.9 mm
Width134.6 mm
Depth7.4 mm
Screen ModeQXGA
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelME840B/A
Product NameiPad mini with Retina Display
Product LineiPad mini
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberME840B/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing InformationWe've expanded the definition of mini.

iPad mini was designed to give you nothing less than the full iPad experience. So when we thought about which enhancements to bring to the new iPad mini, there was only one answer:all of them. We packed a Retina display, the A7 chip, the M7 coprocessor, advanced wireless, and more into its small form. It has a huge amount of power and capability, but it's still nice and mini.

Package Contents
  • iPad mini with Retina Display
  • Lightning to USB Cable
  • 10W USB Power Adapter
  • Limited Warranty1 Year