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iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini – Pros and Cons

Before buying the all new Apple iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display, this pros and cons comparison might help you to decide – should you really buy it or not?

Apple launched iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display on October 22
Apple launched iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display on October 22

Apple released iPad Air, a full-sized thinnest and lightest iOS 7 tablet and improved iPad Mini with Retina display on the same 7.9-inch frame. There are many advantages in both devices to like about and few disadvantages too. Both tablets offers almost identical features and specs sheet, so there would be similar faults in both the gadgets and here is the list of pros and cons.

Apple iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display Pros:

64-bit A7 Chipsets:

It is really a surprise as the company has upgraded its tablets range by directly inserting 64-bit A7 processors with M7 motion co-processors from A5 chipsets in previous models. Addition to this, iPad 4 has been discontinued and still retained the old iPad 2 tablets. According to analysts, this move of including A7 chipsets in recently launched iPhone 5s as well as on new iPads is for saving more money by producing in bulk quantity and relying on a single architecture makes the after-sales support and service easier. This 64-bit A7 processors are creating a milestone in many Benchmark tests by breaking all records of other processors of other branded tablets. M7 motion co-processor, which is directly integrated to the camera sensors, separately processes the high quality photos and videos.

Retina Displays:

Apple has inserted the tremendous quality Retina displays on both iPad Air and iPad Mini 2013 models. Although both device shares the same 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution with full HD, iPad Mini is the one which takes more advantage of this, as the same display is fit in a 7.9-inch display frame with 324 ppi (pixels per inch), whereas iPad Air has 9.7-inch display size with 263 ppi. However Google’s flagship 7-inch Android tablet has 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution and 323 ppi density but Apple’s LCDs are one of the best displays available in market.

4G LTE Support:

There was LTE support in previous model iPads, but here in new iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini, Apple added more number of LTE bandwidths support than any other available tablets in the market, which means the tablet might come with many carriers around the world, which can help to spread the company’s wings around the world. International travelers will also take advantages of new iPads for faster mobile internet connectivity as the devices contains most of the LTE bands used in U.S., Europe and main countries in Asia.

Many free apps:

Apple has moved towards the free software as it announced its desktop operating system OS X 10.9 Mavericks as free software and surprisingly it has made some of its core apps made available for free such as iLife and iWork productivity and creativity tools. In iOS apps range, it also moved into free space by providing Pages, Numbers and Keynotes for free, which was previously costed $10 for each downloads. Even $5 apps such as iPhoto and GarageBand also available for free along with the release of new iPads.

Cons of iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini:

No TouchID fingerprint sensors:

Although many users like us expected a fingerprint sensor in iPad Air as well as iPad Mini 2013 models, but Apple didn’t added the most acclaimed security feature of iPhone 5s. Users would have secured their iPads using their fingerprints, better luck next time in next year’s iPad models. The company would have included the TouchID, which also can be a cost effective move by producing te sensors in bulk similar to A7 chipsets.

Only single account can be used:

As the company did in previous iPads, only one user can access an iPad Air or iPad Mini with their Apple ID and there is no option provided to use multiple accounts on a device. But, the competitor Android tablets comes with multiple accounts support, where more than one user can access the device by retaining their settings and preferences. We expected this move from Apple in iOS 7 launch, but Apple seems not interested in it yet.

Price is heavy:

Apple has aimed at the premium tablets market and didn’t tried to release affordable tablet for mass market and left that for Google’s android tablets as well as for other manufacturers. However, a 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display with no cellular internet comes with $499 and $399 price tag respectively, where 16GB Google Nexus 7 2013 model comes with $229 price tag. Further, with additional storage and 4G LTE connectivity can be expensive as 32GB, 64GB and 128GB iPads priced at additional $100 for each storage additions plus additional $130 for LTE connectivity. Nexus 7 adds only $40 increment in same storage upgrades as in iPads. As of now, the very high-end iPad Air with 128GB SSD storage and Wi-Fi + 4G LTE costs $929. Click here for iPad Air and iPad Mini pricing.

Less compatibility and expansion:

Certainly both iPads from Apple are powerful, but still they are lagging behind many areas with others. Users are forced to buy Apple’s own iPads-only accessories and cables as iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini uses Apple proprietary ports for data syncs and charging. You can’t expand the storage in anyway, whereas many other current android tablets offers the expandable storage slots. Although you can use a Bluetooth keyboard, you are not allowed to use an USB keyboard and mouse on iPads.

More or less, the response is mixed, but Apple fans are anyhow don’t want to back down. If you have any additions to the facts explained in this article, please add it via your precious comments below. Are you planning to go for an iPad?

About Bhanu Jamwal

Living in Aldine, TX, he writes about Mac, iOS, Android and IT Hardware. Apart from writing on The Next Digit, he is also an expert in providing valuable seminars on IT Peripherals and IT Security. All posts by Bhanu

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