Space Gray iPad mini 2 casing (via Sonny Dickson)

Space Gray iPad mini 2 casing (via Sonny Dickson)

One of the most exciting new features of the upcoming iPad mini successor is perhaps the long-rumored Retina display. Apple has been developing a Retina-version (Apple’s term for the crisper display found on iPhones, the larger iPads, and some MacBook Pros), but the company has been reluctant to ship it due to cost, hardware size, and battery-life concerns. Though for October 22nd, it sounds like Apple has an iPad mini with Retina display ready to go.

But, it could potentially have a very minor trade-off: some extra thickness and width that will likely not be noticeable to the human eye. Just like the the full-sized iPad went thicker (and heavier in that case) to accommodate the much higher-resolution Retina display, the iPad mini could slightly bulk up to fit the new display, according to Macotakara. At a conference in China, the website went hands-on with some purported cases for the next-generation iPad mini. These cases fit a device with a thickness of 7.5mm and width of of about 0.2mm wider than the current iPad mini…

The current iPad mini is 7.2mm thin and 134.7 mm wide, making the new dimensional increase hardly noticeable. In comparison, the third-generation iPad grew 0.6mm in thickness over the preceding iPad 2. Of course, it is highly possible that these variances could be due to imperfect information from the case-makers (which would not be unprecedented) or just due to the extra proportions needed to fit a device in a hardshell case. It is likely that the nearly-identical (but larger) fifth-generation iPad design will feature similar dimensions.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 9.26.32 AM

The reason that the Retina iPads require extra thickness is in order to fit a larger battery. Higher-resolution displays are more power-intensive, so Apple has to beef up their batteries in order to retain the same battery life as the preceding non-Retina versions.

The cases from the aforementioned conference also indicate that the new iPad mini will feature a re-located microphone on the rear of the device. Besides the new display, we understand that the iPad mini 2 will feature a faster chip (likely a 64-bit A7 variant) and that Touch ID has not been present on recent internal test models.

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18 Responses to “Like iPad 3, new iPad mini could be technically thicker to fit Retina Display”

  1. That’s fine. The iPad mini is thin enough and many people put them in cases (like I have) so thickness isn’t a big issue. Sharp text however is a big deal and no more non Retina iPad mini will be purchased by this consumer.

  2. And then the next one will be released 6 months later, much thinner and with better specs.

    • Heh, yeahp…that’s how it goes. :( I shat bricks when I bought my mom the iPad 3 right when it came out, then a very short time later the iPad 4 came out and basically fixed everything that was wrong with the 3. Oh well, what can you do…

  3. It’s a chain reaction. A Retina screen will require a more powerful CPU, which will create more heat while it’s requiring a larger battery that needs more charging time. The trick is to keep all of these items in check while maintaining the Starting price of $329.

  4. matt byers says:

    I think the speed and ram are a bigger deal than the display on the mini…I got rid of my mini because my iPhone 5 was snappier. My iPad 3 was the same speed as my iPad 2 but had retina. If they have enough of the better chips I hope they actually use them but I doubt they will put A7 chips in both the mini and the full-sized iPads.

  5. fanfoot says:

    For me, I haven’t bought a full-sized iPad since the iPad 2 because of the extra weight. The iPad was already heavy enough. I’ve been waiting for a new IGZO or whatever panel that reduced this before upgrading and MAYBE the new one will convince me. That said, the iPad Mini is our primary driver now, and a retina upgrade would certainly be welcome. Its light enough that a MINOR increase in weight is okay. Don’t care about the thickness honestly, it’ll just make it a little easier to get the damn lightning connector in.

  6. rettun1 says:

    I think iPad mini will have A6X chip, because I have an iPad 3 and the A5X can just barely power that retina display. They should be careful and make sure they don’t make it too heavy.

    On another note, I think they will keep the current mini for sale. I know that’s not unthinkable, but it’s like what they did with iPad 2, and that had a lot of success in places like schools. Mini will be even cheaper

  7. I love when they reduce thickness its like they perfected cold fusion. However when they make it fatter and heavier they dont even mention it.

  8. For a new ipad mini with retina display it is worth it thetechtidbit.wordpress.com

  9. William says:

    Reblogged this on William's iBlog and commented:
    A little more thickness = Better display? I’ll buy it.

  10. Bob Black says:

    What is the difference between TECHNICALLY thicker and just thicker…??

    • Jim Roxton says:

      Technically thicker is when you can’t easily perceive the difference, so it doesn’t affect the user experience in a noticeable way…but it is “technically” thicker, on paper. Just thicker means it’s thick enough to notice and it’s just plain old thicker and will affect your experience with the device, you will feel and see that it is thicker. It’s like saying all Big Macs are identical, but technically, they vary in weight from each other by tiny margins, so technically, someone might get a tiny bit of meat more than you or a drop more special sauce. Would anyone notice? Nope.

  11. tagbert says:

    “Touch ID has not been present on recent internal test models”

    This is worrying. I’m really sick of having to type my access code all the time. Just got my 5s and the Touch ID is the best feature of that phone (over a 5). Please don’t let this be true.

  12. If your counting on the mini to get the new M7 chip, your going to be very upset. Thats for the big boy iPad. The mini will most likely have the same processor as the iPad 3 or maybe, and its a big maybe, the iPad4. Its Apples way of keeping the adult iPad able to sell. If the mini was the same, the only reason to buy the bigger one would be just for screen size. The full size iPad will always have the better chip and features. Consider the mini lucky to even get retina.