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Apple iPad Air and Apple iPad mini 2: First Impressions

|October 22 2013 |Tablets, Apple iPad, iOS


Apple iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display

Three and half years ago, Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs redefined the meaning and usage of tablets with the launch of iPad. Even now, when there are countless number of Android based tablets, the iPad remains the hitherto leader in the category of tablets. The success of iPad also spawned its shrunk version called as iPad Mini, which debuted just last year. Falling into the yearly update cycle, Apple has announced successor to iPad 4 and 2nd iteration of iPad mini. Let’s see the highlights of the both-

Retina Display


The first iPad mini had just one bad point- 7.9” display with paltry resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels (~163 ppi). But Apple has finally listened to users’ prayers and fitted the new iPad mini with Retina Display, i.e., resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. This results in impressive pixel density of 326 ppi, exactly same as of iPhones.

The bigger sibling- iPad Air has exactly same pixel resolution as of its predecessor, which is 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution on 9.7 inches display, thus equaling to pixel density of 264 ppi.

Thinner and Lighter Design


The 5th iteration of the iPad has been renamed to iPad Air thanks to its thinner and lighter design. It weighs just less than a pound (469 grams), which makes it one of the lightest tablets in full-size category. It’s super slim with the thickness of 7.5 mm. The article can’t explain how much difference it would make in usage, but such light-weight and thinner build will certainly make it more convenient to handle or carry.

iPad mini 2 is although lighter than the iPad Air at 331 grams, it’s actually little more than 308 grams weight of iPad mini. The thickness has also been slightly increased to 7.5 mm from 7.2 mm.

Better Performance


Bringing the iPads at par with the iPhone 5S, they will be powered by Apple’s latest A7 chip. It also brings the 64-bit computing power to the devices. The processor will be accompanied by M7 motion tracking co-processor and thus freeing the processor for other tasks.

More connectivity options


For Wi-Fi connectivity, the iPads have two antennas instead of one and thus allowing faster and robust connectivity along with next generation MIMO technology. Similar to iPhones, the Wi-Fi+Cellular model of the iPads will support most of the LTE bands in the world.

Improved Battery Life


Since the M7 co-processor takes the burden from A7 chip, the devices are able to boast better battery life. Thus, the iPad Air and iPad mini 2 are claiming backup of up to 10 hours, even though the battery is actually thinner.

Others


All the other features of the devices, namely camera, memory, etc. remains the same as of their predecessors. That is, a 5 MP iSight camera at the back and a 1.2 MP front-facing camera for video calling purposes. They come in varying storage options from 16 GB to all the way to 128 GB, though 128 GB variant is a new addition to the iPad mini 2.

Protective Covers


Apple Smart Cover and Smart Case

Apple has also launched covers for the new iPads dubbed as Smart Cover and Smart Case. While the Smart Cover only adds a cover at the front panel of the iPad, the Smart Case protects them from both front and back. The covers also double up as a stand by folding them up or intelligently wakes up the device, when they are opened. They are also available in multiple colors choices, thus appealing to everyone’s taste.

Verdict


While many had high expectations from the iPad such as introduction to Touch ID fingerprint sensor, new design, etc., Apple has focused on making its offerings better. Both the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 feature impressive set of hardware along with recently launched iOS 7, though nothing radically different from the previous iPads..

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