It has become so confusing when comparing iPad models. It is really hard to determine if you need the iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display or iPad mini. In this article, we’re going to try to make some sense of it by comparing the iPad Air and iPad mini (non-Retina older version).

iPad Air vs iPad mini Size, Color and Weight

The iPad Air has a dimension of 9.4 x 6.6 x .29 inches and weighs 1 pound (469 g), while the iPad mini has a dimension of 7.87 x 5.3 x .28 and weighs .69 pounds (312 g). Whereas the iPad mini comes in black and white, the iPad Air comes in space gray or silver.

Photo from knowyourmobile.com

Photo from knowyourmobile.com

If you’re interested in portability, and using your iPad with one hand, then the iPad mini is a winner when it comes to size and weight. However, if you plan on using your iPad as a mini media center, than the larger screen of the iPad Air will accommodate you better.

Display

The iPad Air has a 9.7 inch screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. In addition to this high resolution, the iPad Air has a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch. In comparison, the iPad mini has a 7.9 inch screen, with a resolution of 1024 x 768 and a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch.

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The huge display difference between the iPad Air and iPad mini, means the iPad Air’s display is effectively twice as good as the iPad mini’s.

Processors and RAM

The iPad Air will have 1GB of RAM (or possibly 4GB according to some rumors). Most likely though, the iPad Air is expected to have 2GB of RAM. The iPad mini on the other hand only has half a gig of RAM.

 

Whereas the iPad Air runs on a dual-core A7 64-bit processor, the iPad mini runs on a dual-core A5 32-bit processor. The iPad Air therefore is expected to be twice as fast as the iPad mini.

M7 Motion Coprocessor

The iPad Air has a special motion coprocessor that the iPad mini does not. This coprocessor allows the iPad Air to offload some work from the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass, to improve battery efficiency. If you are the one rare person that uses their iPad with fitness or sleep pattern tracking apps, then you will notice a huge battery boost with the iPad Air.

Cameras

On paper, the iPad Air has a rear 5MP camera and a front 1.2MP camera, the same as the iPad mini. However, it’s expected that the iPad Air’s cameras will be better than the iPad mini’s. When the iPad Air comes out, we can finally confirm these speculations.

Photo from 9to5mac.com

Photo from 9to5mac.com

The iPad Air will have the ability to zoom in three times as much as normal during video recording, while the iPad mini has no zoom ability.

Battery

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The iPad Air and iPad mini both get up to 10 hours of normal usage and up to 9 hours of cellular web surfing.

Price

The iPad mini is only available in 16GB for $299, while the iPad Air is available in 16GB for $499, 32GB for $599, 64GB for $699 and 128GB for $799.

Conclusion

The iPad mini will not be outdated for another 1-2 years, while the iPad Air will not be outdated for another 2-3 years. Considering the $200 price difference, it’s easy for consumers to make a choice between these two devices.

If shear processing power and a bigger Retina display is important to you, then the iPad Air is the right choice for you. However, if you like the portability and affordability of the iPad mini, then it would make more sense to get the mini.

As of now, the iPad mini can run just about every app on the app store. It’s not a question of which device is advanced now, but rather, which device will be outdated first. Obviously the iPad mini will become outdated a year earlier than the iPad Air. But for a $200 price difference, will you really care if you can’t play the most graphic-intensive game in 2 years from now?

In two years from now the iPad mini will still be able to surf the web, play normal games, take pictures and so forth. Unless you need cutting-edge technology and display quality, the iPad mini is perfect for most.

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