To bring the Retina display to iPad mini, we had to find a way to pack every one of the 3.1 million pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad into a 7.9-inch display. Every pixel in a display has multiple signals telling it when to light up. And with a 2048-by-1536 resolution display, more pixels and more signals are placed closer together on the same plane, so signals can get crossed and image quality can suffer. To make sure everything on iPad mini looks crystal clear, Apple engineers elevated the pixels onto a different plane — separating them from the signals. In the end, the pixel density jumped to 326 pixels per inch — so dense the human eye can’t distinguish individual pixels — making everything look incredibly detailed, vibrant and razor sharp.
iPad mini was designed to be a concentration, rather than a reduction, of iPad. It’s small. But when you use it, it doesn’t feel small. In addition to the Retina display, we packed in a tremendous amount of power and capability. And yet iPad mini remains the perfect mini size. That’s because we re-engineered nearly every component. And shaved off fractions of millimetres everywhere to keep iPad mini thin and light. It feels like an iPad in every way — only it’s mini.
iPad mini is small enough to fit in one hand, yet it has a 35 per cent larger screen area than a 7‑inch tablet.
The way iPad mini feels in your hand is remarkable. But just as remarkable is the way it performs. Even though iPad mini is so thin and light, we managed to pack an incredible amount of power and advanced technology inside it.
The new A7 chip rips. It’s the most powerful chip we’ve built to date — and the most efficient. A7 brings 64-bit desktop-class architecture to iPad, which means iPad mini speaks the language of the most advanced computing designs available. The A7 chip gives iPad mini up to four times faster CPU performance and up to eight times faster graphics performance than the previous generation. So it delivers incredible power and performance in a 331-gram device that fits in one hand.
There’s a reason we design our own chips. We can decide which functions we want a chip to perform and build them into the individual circuits and components. This creates more efficient power usage, which allows our devices to be so thin and light, yet have such great battery life. It’s one of the advantages of designing both the hardware and the software. Because the only way you can build a product this thin and powerful is by investing in and caring about the primary components used to make it.
The M7 motion coprocessor is another reason why iPad mini can be so powerful yet power-efficient. We designed M7 to measure the motion of iPad mini by collecting data from the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass. It offloads work from the A7 chip, gathering motion information from iPad mini so apps can adapt their functions. Because M7 was engineered for this specific task, it uses less power than A7 would require. And it frees up A7 to focus on other tasks. The result is not only a better iPad experience, but a great battery life.
The 7.5-millimetre-thin enclosure of iPad mini is filled to the brim with advanced technologies that help give you an even better experience. iPad mini is designed to be on the go, so it has two antennas to support MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) for up to twice as fast 802.11n Wi-Fi. And the Wi-Fi + Cellular model has more 4G LTE bands to support more networks around the world — so iPad mini can keep you connected in more places.1 It also features a 5-megapixel iSight camera and a FaceTime HD camera with an improved sensor for better video calls.2 And dual microphones improve audio and filter background noise for video recording and FaceTime calls. All this technology fits within a sleek frame that’s light and easy to hold.
iOS 7 and iPad mini weren’t just designed to work well, they were designed to work well together. So the experience of using them together is seamless. Like iPad mini, everything about iOS 7 is simple and incredibly intuitive.
And iOS 7 on iPad mini was optimised to include thoughtful choices that take advantage of the iPad experience. For example, the Control Centre panel is in an easy-to-read horizontal orientation. In the Camera app, the shutter button appears on the side of the screen rather than at the bottom — because that’s where your thumb is when you’re holding iPad mini. All these small considerations make iOS 7 not just beautiful to see, but beautiful to experience.
When you have a device as small and light as iPad mini, you don’t want to put something on it that adds bulk. So we designed the iPad mini Smart Cover and Smart Case to fit and protect iPad mini perfectly. They’re crafted with as much precision and care as iPad mini itself.
The Smart Cover is constructed from a single piece of polyurethane and features a sleek covered hinge that custom fits the thin profile of iPad mini. It comes in six vibrant colours. And it doesn’t just protect iPad mini. The Smart Cover actually wakes iPad mini when opened and sends it to sleep on close. The Smart Cover also folds into different positions to create a stand for reading, viewing, typing or making FaceTime calls. And it’s easily removable, so you can snap it on and off whenever you want.
The Smart Case is the most streamlined way to protect iPad mini, front and back. It comes in six rich shades of beautiful aniline-dyed leather for a touch of colour, and it feels great in your hand. And it’s been designed with a slim profile that mirrors the thinness of iPad mini. The Smart Case wakes iPad mini when opened and puts it to sleep on close. And like the Smart Cover, it folds to create a stand, so you can position iPad mini for whatever you want to do.
At Apple, we’re always thinking about the impact our products have on the world. And we know that impact continues after the end of a product’s useful life. That’s why nearly every Apple product is made from highly recyclable materials like aluminum, and why we go to great lengths to exclude harmful toxins from our components.
iPad mini is a perfect example. The aluminium enclosure is highly recyclable. And every iPad mini is free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In fact, Apple has one of the strictest BFR-free and PVC-free standards in the industry. And we expect the same from our suppliers. So we actually disassemble our products into individual components and materials in our Cupertino lab. Then we test those components using a variety of methods, including X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and ion chromatography. We do this to ensure that every product we make meets our environmental standards.
To learn more about Apple’s dedication to reducing the environmental impact of our products and process, visit the Apple and the Environment website.