Retina iPad Mini

Apple originally introduced the 7.9″-screened iPad mini in 2012 as a direct challenger to numerous 7″ tablets from rival manufacturers, describing it as “every inch an iPad” with an uncompromised ability to run full-sized iPad apps. Today, Apple sells three different iPad mini models, all almost identical from the outside. Each model is sold in basic Wi-Fi-only and premium Wi-Fi + Cellular versions.

The original iPad mini ($249 to $379 from the Apple Store) is offered solely in a 16GB capacity and is the only model with a 1024×768 screen. It has an Apple A5 processor inside and is virtually identical in performance to a fifth-generation iPod touch and the since-discontinued iPad 2. However, the very nice 7.9″ screen size and a 7.2mm thickness make it a much better compromise for kids; the storage capacity is, however, extremely limited.

Debuted in late 2013, Apple’s iPad mini 2 ($299 to $479 from the Apple Store) was originally called the iPad mini with Retina display. It is offered in 16GB or 32GB capacities and has a 2048×1536 display with four times the resolution of the original model. The A7 processor inside is virtually identical in performance to the first iPad Air, and the wireless performance has been improved for both Wi-Fi and LTE cellular. Except for adding a second microphone for echo-cancellation, it looks the same on the outside as its predecessor.

Released in October 2014, the iPad mini 3 ($399 to $729 from the Apple Store) is virtually identical to the iPad mini 2. Apart from adding a Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the Home button and adding a gold color option to the prior silver and space gray versions, the iPad mini 3 is internally unchanged from the iPad mini 2, with the same screen, A7 processor, wireless performance, and battery life. It is sold in 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB capacities.

The iPad mini 2 and 3 have 326PPI screens, which is the same as the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c, 5s, and 6, a major improvement over the non-Retina display on the previous model. You can choose the version that fits your needs; we find any mini to be a great pick for kids, with the mini 2 offering a great “sweet spot” of performance and pricing; the mini 3 is a better option if you need more storage capacity.

Read our full coverage for details.

All Retina iPad Mini Generations

Release Date Age
October 16, 2014 9 months, 16 days ago

Retina iPad Mini ▪ July 1

Back when white earbuds dominated the market, Beats by Dre proved that mainstream customers were willing to pay $300 for large wired headphones and nearly $400 for wireless versions — even plasticky, overly bassy ones. The subsequent shift towards big headphones nearly killed makers of premium in-ear models, leading many audio companies to mimic Beats’ formula. But there were holdouts: iconic audio companies including Bowers & Wilkins refused to compromise their materials or change their sonic signatures to match Beats. Instead, B&W offered premium-priced headphones made from premium-quality materials, and let customers pick between plastic Beats or metal and leather alternatives.

Today, Bowers & Wilkins is debuting P5 Wireless ($400), a Bluetooth version of last year’s luxurious P5 Series 2 (and the since-discontinued original P5). Mixing chrome, brushed aluminum, and ultra-soft sheep’s leather, P5 Wireless is virtually indistinguishable from P5 Series 2 apart from its ability to operate with or without a 3.5mm audio cable. Classy in ways that even the top-of-line Beats Pro can’t match, P5 Wireless is the first Bluetooth headphone I would recommend to fans of classic premium audio gear…

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Retina iPad Mini ▪ June 13

blueLounge isn’t a typical Apple accessory maker. If you look through its 15-year backcatalog of releases, you’ll notice that its products are markedly different from somewhat overlapping alternatives produced by rivals — intensely practical and cleanly-designed, yet sometimes so conceptually minor that they’re hard to review. Take CableDrop and CableDrop Mini, for instance, circular adhesive pads that each do nothing more than hold one cord in a fixed position wherever you want it. I use CableDrop Mini every day with my MacBook Pro’s power cable, but can’t justify a full review of something so utterly basic.

The simultaneous release of two new blueLounge accessories — Portiko ($25) and Pixi ($10) — gives me the rare opportunity to cover one of the company’s minor but practical items alongside one that’s more gadget-like. Portiko (shown above) is a wall- or table-mountable power source attractive enough to put on display between the four devices it can charge at once. It has enough USB and AC power outlets to handle a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch at the same time, or other combinations of devices. Pixi is blueLounge’s latest cable management solution, a set of elegantly-built elastic and plastic bands that wrap around bunches of cables, tidying up your desk. Read on for more details and pictures…

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Retina iPad Mini ▪ May 31

Retina iPad Mini ▪ April 23

Retina iPad Mini ▪ April 15

Mophie’s Juice Packs are unqualified success stories. After debuting the first Juice Pack in late 2007, Mophie became synonymous with “iPhone battery cases,” and enjoyed years of popularity despite increasing competition. But the company’s USB battery packs aren’t as well-known. Ranging from minimalist to ruggedized, Mophie’s Powerstations range from 3,000mAh to 12,000mAh in capacity, and carry hefty $80 to $150 MSRPs. Regardless of whether they’re judged by features or battery performance for the dollar, they’re hard to pick over rivals, since you can now get a high-quality 25,600mAh battery for the same price as a 3,000mAh PowerStation.

Based upon last year’s iPhone 5/5s-specific Space Packs, the brand new Spacestation is Mophie’s shot at differentiating its USB batteries from the masses. Offered in 32GB ($150), 64GB ($200) and 128GB ($300) capacities, Spacestation combines an app-managed USB flash drive with a 6,000mAh battery, which promises “3X extra battery” life. Realistically, that’s enough power for a full recharge of the original iPad mini or three recharges of older iPhones. But since 6,000mAh batteries are getting cheaper every week, Spacestation’s appeal is mostly in its ability to at least double the number of videos, music, photos, and documents that can be accessed by your iOS device on the road…

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Retina iPad Mini ▪ April 14

Last month, budget charging accessory maker Aukey released PB-N30, the first external battery with a female Lightning recharging port. For only $15, PB-N30 seemed like a steal given its 3,600mAh capacity — just right for use with any iPhone — but wasn’t capacious enough for power-hungrier iPads. So Aukey has released PB-N28 ($25) as a solution for tablet users, remarkably equipping it with over three times the power for only $10 more.

PB-N30 is an upgraded sequel to the company’s older PB-18, which stuffed a 12,000mAh battery into an iPhone 5-shaped enclosure. While the new model’s capacity is the same, PB-N30’s USB ports jump from 2.1-Amp/1-Amp charging to 2.4-Amp/1-Amp support, and it has a more neutral design that neither sticks out nor knocks off an Apple product. Not surprisingly, it cuts a corner or two to achieve its super-low price…

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