iPad Mini 2 - The New Heavyweight In Tablet Gaming?
We're pretty excited about the upcoming launch of Apple's new iPad Air - thinner, lighter and faster always sounds good to us, but it's the iPad Mini 2 that's really got us interested. The original fast became one of our favorite devices around the house for pass-and-play multiplayer gaming, but now it's getting a much-needed boost in performance and visual prettiness.
Here are the new features of the iPad Mini 2 we're really excited about, and why we think they're going to give tablet gaming a major boost.
A Sharper Retina Display
The original iPad Mini was small enough that the absence of Retina wasn't hugely jarring for anyone, but the addition of a sparkling 2048 x 1536 resolution on a 7.9" screen is definitely welcome news. With the iPad Mini 2 sitting nicely between the sizes of the iPad and the smaller iPhone and iPod Touch, it could become the new standard for gaming on the go. At $399 for the WiFi version, we think the price is about right too.
More Power Under The Hood
The iPad Mini 2 takes advantage of the same 64 bit A7 chip that's found in Apple's recent iPhone 5S - good news for gamers, as that extra horsepower will help deliver smoother and more complex gaming experiences. You should always be wary of "double the power"-type claims, but Apple stated at the event that the CPU in the new iPad Mini 2 is 4x faster than in the original device, and that graphics performance will also be 8x faster.
Faster WiFi For Couch Potato Gaming
We found the original iPad Mini to be tailor-made for lazing around on the couch, and passing a turn-based game back and forth during ad-breaks. And when you're stuck for a new game, you want to be able to get your recommendations downloaded asap. Fortunately, the new iPad Mini 2 has the same improved WiFi functionality as the new iPad Air, ensuring game downloads and updates should magic their way onto your device faster than ever before.
Solid Battery Life
We feared that something would have to give with the introduction of a faster processor and crisper resolution, but Apple is claiming that the iPad Mini 2 will have the same 10 hour battery life we've come to expect from the manufacturer's hardware. We'll have to see how exactly that battery life performance works under real conditions, but if we can still game on the go for as long as we've become accustomed to, we'll be very happy people indeed.