The Retina iPad Mini teardown reveals cross between iPad Air & iPhone 5s


Following close behind its teardown of the iPad Air, iFixit has now taken its toolkit to the Retina iPad Mini. While the company understandably focuses on repairability – that’s how it makes it’s money – we’re betting most people just want to have a peek inside.

Unsurprisingly, the new iPad Mini is essentially a cross between the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s … 

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The Retina version of the iPad Mini is a teensy bit thicker than the previous model – just 0.3mm –  to accommodate a much larger battery: a 24.3WHr one in place of the 16.3WHr one of the previous model. This is likely needed to drive the much higher-resolution display.

The 326ppi display in this model is an LG one, with a Parade DP675 LCD driver, similar to the DP655 found in the iPad Air. It also uses the same Broadcom touchscreen controllers used in the Air, iPhone 5 and 5s.

Much of the chipset is identical to that in the Air, or nearly so. The A7 chip, however, is the version used in the iPhone 5s, rather than the slightly uprated version used in the iPad Air. This is likely because the smaller chassis doesn’t allow as much heat dissipation as its bigger brother.

As we mentioned earlier, if you want to get hold of one, we suggest you don’t hang around: with limited supplies and the Mini likely to make a popular holiday gift, we’d expect availability to worsen throughout the coming weeks.

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  1. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 9 years ago

    Disappointing news on the GPU. The iPad Air is already far slower when rendering native resolution than the iPhone 5S is, so this retina mini will be even worse. I’m sure if all you want to do is read emails you will never notice the difference, but fire up a demanding 3D game and the 5S will be massively quicker.

    • tallestskil - 9 years ago

      >>The iPad Air is already far slower when rendering native resolution than the iPhone 5S is, so this retina mini will be even worse.

      No, it’ll be exactly the same.

    • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

      There are those of us that use the iPad mini as a computer and don’t give a crap about how many polygons it can shoot out in a given time frame.

      The important thing to remember here is that last year’s mini can barely run iOS 7 without a huge amount of lag, this years mini on the other hand, will run everything handily (despite not conforming to your ideal gaming machine specs).


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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