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Teardown of Retina iPad Mini Reveals A7 Chip, LG Display, Larger Battery

The experts at iFixit have performed another one of their usual high-quality teardowns on Apple's new iPad mini with Retina display, revealing that while the device is nearly unchanged visually from the original iPad mini, it features a number of internal upgrades such as an A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor alongside the new high-resolution display.

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Notably, a number of parts in the iPad Mini with Retina Display appears to be very similar to those found in the iPad Air, including similarities in the display driver, M7 coprocessor, NAND flash storage, Wi-Fi module, and audio amplifers between the two devices. However, the Retina iPad Mini appears to be using a different A7 processor than the 1.4 GHz variant found in the iPad Air, with the APL0698 part in the iPad mini matching the 1.3 GHz A7 found in the iPhone 5s rather than the 1.4 GHz APL5698 part seen in the iPad Air. The Retina iPad mini's slightly slower A7 chip was revealed in benchmarks done on the device yesterday.

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The main feature of the device is of course the 2048 x 1536 resolution display, which appears to be manufactured by LG. Apple has been said to be turning to Samsung as a display supplier for the iPad mini due to low yields from LG and Sharp, but it is clear that at least LG is providing some panels for the launch batch. The new iPad mini also carries a significantly larger battery than the 16.3 Whr battery found in previous iPad mini, with the new tablet's battery measured at 24.3 Whr. That extra battery capacity in large part goes toward supporting the new Retina display, with the device offering the same 10-hour battery life as the previous generation.

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As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the iPad mini with Retina display based on the accessibility of the various components. As with the iPad Air, the firm rates the Retina iPad mini's repairability at just 2 out of 10, with the firm again assessing positive points for easy LCD accessibility and a non-soldered battery, but the amount of adhesive and hidden screws used to hold the device together make repair extremely difficult.

Related roundup: iPad mini 3

Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
Dear Jony Ive,

A Swiss watch is not held together by glue.

Best regards,

A Lover of Aesthetics
Rating: 8 Votes
15 months ago
Surprised to not see unicorns in there
Rating: 8 Votes
15 months ago
Screen the guy is holding has a yellow tint.
Rating: 8 Votes
15 months ago

Dear Jony Ive,

A Swiss watch is not held together by glue.

Best regards,

A Lover of Aesthetics


Dear Cinch - an iPad ist no Swiss watch. A maker of Aesthetics. :rolleyes:
Rating: 6 Votes
15 months ago
Yup, looks like an apple product to me.
Rating: 4 Votes
15 months ago
I don't like their stupid scores. They talk about it as if it actually means anything besides how much money can be put into their own pockets from selling spare parts to consumers.

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anyone tried yet? from 0 to 100%?


I didn't even think of that before buying. I hated how long my iPad 3 took to charge. Now you've got me nervous. :confused:
Rating: 4 Votes
15 months ago

Wow that is a huge difference in battery size!

Yeah, that's what she said!
Rating: 4 Votes
15 months ago

So being the low-powered A7, how much impact will that be on performance?


in real life, None. Apps are still being designed to run on iPhone 4 as it was just recently discontinued. The iPad Mini with the A5 is still for sale and is 5x slower than this. Developers have to code for the lowest device so in the real world it makes no difference since this is far faster than the slowest devices that until recently were still sold.
Rating: 3 Votes
15 months ago

Apple have got to stop sourcing their panels from LG. They are rubbish.

Shut up and wait 5-10 business days before you smash the new displays. :mad:
Rating: 3 Votes
15 months ago

Not only that, if the rMini suffers from the same throttling "feature" as the 5s, which was pointed out in Anand's review of the Air, it is going to be significantly more than 7%!


You are absolutely exaggerating this.

Anandtech went and wrote code with the sole purpose of using as much CPU power as possible and used that for testing. They said that they haven't found _any_ application that used even half as much power as their test application, including very graphics intensive games. With that test program, it took two minutes to get the iPhone to the point where it had to slow down. Any program that you will ever run produces only half as much heat as their test program. So it will take longer to reach enough heat to force the iPhone to slow done, and it will slow down less, than in a test that has been written with the sole purpose of creating heat.
Rating: 3 Votes

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