by Brent Dirks
November 12, 2013
Even though the iPad mini with Retina display shares the same A7 chip found in the iPad Air, Apple has decided to lower the clock speed just a bit. According to a recent benchmark test at Geekbench, the A7 chip in the iPad mini runs at 1.3 GHz, compared to the 1.4 GHz chip speed of the larger tablet. The other iOS device with an A7 chip, the iPhone 5s, also clocks in at a speed of 1.3 GHz. In real-world use, that small difference shouldn’t be noticeable at all. Apple probably lowered the clock speed in the new iPad mini to reduce the amount of heat in the smaller enclosure or improve the tablet’s battery life. But compared to the performance of the A5 chip found in the first-generation mini, the new tablet really shines. With a single-core mark of 1,390 and a multi-core score of 2,512, the second-generation’s A7 chip is roughly five times more powerful than the original. After saying the mini would only be available “later in November,” Apple pulled a surprise by offering the tablet for sale starting this morning. Along with being able to order directly from Apple’s site, buyers can also pick up the tablet at some Apple Stores via the Personal Pickup option. The mini is available in space gray and silver and starts at $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version. A 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular version starts at $529. While I was a little disappointed that Apple raised the price of the second-generation mini, I think the performance increases and Retina display make the new device a great choice.