2013 iPad family (Retina iPad mini 2, iPad Air)

We recently published the tech specs for the iPad mini with Retina display versus the original iPad mini. Many of you were curious to see how the new iPad mini with Retina display does when pitted against the iPad Air, in terms of tech specs.

What difference is there between the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display, besides the larger screen? You can find out about that, and many more tech specifications differences below…

iPad Air vs iPad mini with Retina display: the tech specs

iPad air vs mini retina

Capacity and Price

iPad air vs mini retina capacity and price

Dimensions and Weight

iPad air vs mini retina dimensions weight


iPad air vs mini retina display


iPad air vs mini retina chip


iPad air vs mini retina cameras

Video Recording

iPad air vs mini retina video recording


iPad air vs mini retina carriers

Cellular and Wireless

iPad air vs mini retina cellular wireless

SIM Card

iPad air vs mini retina sim card


iPad air vs mini retina connector

Battery Life

iPad air vs mini retina battery life

So what do you think? Which one do you think you’ll end up buying?

  • Bob

    I’m extremely disappointed that the new iPads don’t have Touch ID, I bet you the next ones will.

    • Christopher

      I guess, production issues. Touch ID’s Yield is not good.

      • troothseeker

        or… Apple needs to include at least some sort of “innovation” on the next-gen iPad for fanboys to justify their purchase, right?
        that’s why it wasn’t included 😉

      • Christopher

        Don’t be a typical delusional APPLE hater A.K.A fandroid. Use some brains.
        Grow up.

      • John Nolette

        Or don’t be a blind sheep and buy trash like this, when you can get a Nook or Nexus 7 that do the job that much better.. With existent battery life.

      • Christopher

        When you do not know technology you should not be telling people what to do and what not.

    • Gally Dikenson

      I totally share your disappointment… Touch ID should have been included. The biggest improvement is the new A7 Chip

      • 4pp1e

        very unhappy no touch id, i feel more confused ipad mini or ipad air ? upgrading from ipad 2 .wot you suggest guys ?

      • Donglemecurious

        The only preference you you should be looking to is storage vs screen size, apparently. Weight seems to not be too much of a factor.

        Which do you value more? Storage bump? Screen size?

        That is your big decision.

      • quitcherbichinn

        both offer a 128gb option so that’s irrelevant. the issue really is size and portability. i had an iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3 then got the iPad mini on launch day…turned around and got rid of the iPad 3. for ME the mini is better…it’s a lot easier to hold, more comfortable to hold because it weighs less…the only negative i have had with the mini is the screen…though not because the screen is bad. the screen is plenty clear with text and everything BUT there is a noticeable difference when you have a retina iPhone and a non-retina iPad and that just annoys me. with the retina screen….with higher ppi than the iPad air, i think the mini is going to be the real winner. i’m irritated they jumped the price of the mini by $70 and there is no touch id but in the end i’m still getting a retina mini the second it comes out.

      • Bob

        I originally wanted a mini because of the lightweight. But now that iPad Air is significantly lighter, I think I’m going for it. It doesn’t cost much more and I want the extra screen real estate.

        If they had touch ID, I’d probably get both, one for indoors and one for out. I have a 5S which has touch ID, so I feel like my new iPad will already be obsolete.

      • Donglemecurious

        Apologies, I assumed a position of getting more storage for the cost of upgrading to the larger screen if you were to be price conscious.

        You are right, of course.

      • quitcherbichinn

        sorry i was on a rant. lol

        i came off a little dickish but that wasn’t my intent.

      • Donglemecurious

        : ) You are OK man. No harm here. I’ve been in the comment wars on Politico as of late and didn’t even see you as coming off badly. I saw the flaw in what I wrote.

        Thanks for the civility! Truly appreciated.

      • troothseeker

        so why not edit the first comment now, so new people reading it see the logic in your suggestion?

      • Donglemecurious

        I’m an inclusionist, so the thread of the conversation is worth as much to me as the initial statement, if that makes sense.

        Plus, I cut my teeth on Slashdot from the early days and have learned to love the non-edit. True geeks don’t edit, they iterate! (Hope you take this as the humor that it is intended as.)

      • troothseeker

        see what i did there? 😉

      • Donglemecurious

        So cruel!!!! jejejeje

      • Christopher

        Go for iPad mini.

  • Matt Taylor

    Will the spec of the A7 in the new iPads be the same as in the iPhone 5s ? Or do you think it will be clocked higher etc… I know the answer already to be honest, they will be identical, or else it would be called an A7X…

    • Mohammed Sahib

      The ‘X’ chips had better GPUs. It is a bummer that they decided A7’s GPU is fast enough and didn’t upgrade it. Perhaps they are keeping it for the iPad pro. :S

      • Matt Taylor

        I guess it’s good because it unifies the all current iDevices and it’s still a fair bit faster than the A6X but it’s not so good in the fact you would expect more power in an iPad than in an iPhone… You know how people complain that iOS on iPad sucks because its just a stretched iPhone os and is not it’s own os, well I guess those people are going to be even more pissed now lol! The iPad now really is just a stretched iPhone lol!

      • quitcherbichinn

        and an android tablet is just a stretched android phone with, literally, stretched android phone apps. the difference is the iPad has apps that are build specifically for it. i imagine one day the iPad will be a true computer replacement but we aren’t anywhere near there yet.

      • Matt Taylor

        Not sure why android devices are always used as a comparison! Who gives a crap about android…!? I was comparing the iPad and the iPhone!

    • queen_ir3ne

      X was for quad-core GPU. Because the A7 already as a quad-core GPU, it’d be redundant to use the name A7X for the iPad.

      • coffee

        nope, A7 is a dual-core cpu

      • queen_ir3ne

        But I said GPU, not CPU. I know it has a dual-core CPU.

      • Bob

        I’m impressed, you’re a girl and you know about CPUs & GPUs lmao.

        You’re not the average girl are you.

      • queen_ir3ne

        I’m not the average girl, I’m way into tech, but don’t forget, girls can be just as knowledgeable as guys in this area.

      • Bob

        That’s true, but they rarely are. They usually care more about fashion, clothes and nails.

  • Linton Findlay

    basically the same, but depends on which pricepoint/size you want. im undecided which i want

  • czbird

    Will GPS be in Cellular version only, again?

    • Christopher

      Cellular version only? I don’t think so.

  • hkgsulphate

    can the old mini smartcover be used on the retina mini? 🙁

    • Jerod Guyer

      I don’t see why not. They are both the same on the outside.

    • Garrett Alkofer

      if this helps, the new mini is 0.01 inches thicker

  • Chuck Finley

    I won’t be buying either because tablets are still utterly useless when compared to an ultrabook.

    • Glorin

      …give me some examples.. I am looking for too.

    • felixtaf

      No tablet can replace an ultrabook, for now. both are two different devices for different purposes. Comparing them is not right..

  • SEAUte

    So basically the same except for screen size and price. It now come down to am I willing to sacrifice 2 inches of screen size for a larger hard drive for the same price.

    • Amr

      And better screen than iPad Air

  • Donglemecurious

    Looking on the Apple site to confirm if the Air now has stereo speakers? I see the 2 grills like everyone else, but the site only say “built in speaker”, as in singular.

    Do we have to wait for the iFixit teardown again to be sure? Strange they wouldn’t talk about that in the keynote.

    • Hmoob

      it has 2 Mic now. That’s why there is a second grill on the bottom

  • Umut Bilgiç

    I thought the defination of “Retina Display” was >300ppi , as Steve Jobs stated at the iphone 4 keynote. Can somebody correct me here, I am a tad bit confused 😀

    • troothseeker

      ppi means pixels per inch. so if the screen size (and therefore, number of inches) is more (in iPad vs. iPhone), the ppi decreases as it’s the same number of pixels covering more screen area.

  • blastingbigairs

    Sticking with my jailbroken iPad 3, not seeing anything here worth that price point. Maybe next time around they’ll convince me.

  • iPad
    iPad 2
    The New iPad
    iPad w/ Retina Display
    iPad Air
    iPad Air 2
    iPad Air w/ Retina(x4) Display
    iPad Water
    iPad Water 2
    The New iPad Water

    • Noah Mospan

      I think I’ll hold out for the iPad fire or earth. Depends on what one they release first.

      • Christopher


  • coffee

    how about the memory size? is it the same with mini and full-sized ipad? if so, i’m going for mini then… otherwise, i’ll get the full-sized ipad cause the memory DOES make a big difference when i have to wait for safari (chrome) reload EVERY TIME..

    • Hussain Al Lawati

      iPad Air memory size as Wikipedia 1024 MB DDR3 RAM and I am no sure about iPad mini because the all website specification not clear but I think It will be same as iPad Air.

      • coffee

        Oh is that so… Thanks!!

  • Osama Hamdy El-Sharnoby

    No touch ID in either?

  • ali

    اصلا حالم گرفته شد:
    1.کاشکی دوربین ایپد ایر 8 بود
    2.چرا چرا اثر انگشت نذاشته براش
    3.قاعدتا همیشه پردازشگر ایپد قوی ار بوده اینم قوی تره ولی a7x بود بهتر بود
    صفحه ی نمایش IGZO نداشت……اپل نا امیدم کردی کلی توقع میرفت از این کنفرانس بابا اندروید داره گوی سبقت رو میگیره….اخه چرا تاچ ای دی نذاشتی
    ایپد مینی قدرتش شده در حد ایپد بزرگ اینجوری که توجیحی جز بزرگی برای ایپد بزرگ نیست….آخه اپل چرا ارمان های منو نابود کردی حداقل یه تاچ ایدی میذاشتی ما رقبت کنیم بخریم 3 سال صبر این بود جواب زحمت ها و یخ حوض شکن های من
    3ساله خرید ایپد رو به تعویق میندازم امسال که دیگه حتما میخرمش این چیزی که معرفی شده فوقع العادس ولی اگه اون موارد به علاوه باتری بهتر بود خیلی بهتر میشد حالا اگه ندیدی توی نسل بعد این تغییرات داده بشه

  • H5ire

    Only difference -> $100 + free air.. 😉

  • infuriosa

    So basically they’re almost the same .

  • Svs

    So ipad mini 2 is
    1 cheaper by 100 $
    2 lighter by 128 gram
    3 more portable (smaller screen size)
    4 higher ppi 326 vs 264
    Ipad air is
    1 more expensive by 100$
    2 heavier by 128 gram
    3 have a larger screen
    4 lower ppi

    And everything else is exactly the same camera processor etc etc wowwww

  • 4pp1e

    i was going for i pad mini of light wight but now i pad air is the lighter tablet ever so i am going for IPAD AIR it makes sense as upgrading from iPad 2 will be pleased.