Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display Philippines Price and Release Date Guesstimate, Specs : Should You Upgrade from your First Generation iPad Mini?

Despite rumors and insider infos earlier this year stating that Apple won't be able to release the second generation iPad Mini with Retina Display within 2013 due to limited supply of the said panel (which will also be used on the regular-sized iPad) the Cupertino company, against all odds - it seems, formally announced the next iteration to its smaller slate via a media event in San Francisco, California held last October 22, 2013.

The new iPad Mini - replete with a unibody aluminum shell - looks and feels almost exactly like its predecessor but it does come with several new features that will tell you that it represents a solid upgrade. As mentioned, it flaunts Retina Display - first seen on the best-selling iPhone 4 - with 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution and 326 pixels per inch density delivering ultra-crisp details for an enhanced gaming, web-browsing, and photo and video viewing experience.

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display, Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display Philippines, Apple iPad Mini2 with Retina Display, iPad Mini 2

Under the hood, iPad Mini with Retina Display runs iOS 7 operating system with the new Apple A7 processor - first introduced on iPhone 5S - bringing the 64-bit desktop-class architecture to company's tablet category for the first time. This chipset makes the overall slate experience on the new iPad Mini faster and better than ever, from launching apps and editing photos to playing graphic-intensive games - previously only possible on Macs, PCs and gaming consoles - all while delivering great battery life. Note that last year's iPad Mini merely had an Apple A5 processor so we can say that Apple really implemented a major upgrade in this department.

Aside from the A7 processor, (just like iPhone 5s) iPad Mini with Retina Display also includes the new M7 motion co-processor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency -- greatly helping the tablet's bigger built-in 23.8-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery to provide an extended uptime. The M7 motion coprocessor continuously measures your motion data, even when the device is asleep, and saves battery life for the pedometer or other applications that regularly use the accelerometer.

Also, compared to the first-gen release which only has 512 MB of RAM, the new iPad Mini handles multitasking with 1GB of RAM, which should result in smoother and more powerful app and gaming performance and screen transitions.

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display, Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display Philippines, Apple iPad Mini2 with Retina Display, iPad Mini 2

As for imaging capabilities, the iPad Mini with Retina Display delivers the same size of photos (5 MegaPixel for the main camera and 1.2 MegaPixel for the front-cam) as the slate it superseded and comes with similar enhancements to the module including backside illumination, five-element lens, and hybrid IR filter.

Just like the first generation iPad Mini WiFi + Cellular variant, the refresh also supports LTE mobile connectivity. The main difference in this regard, however, is that iPad Mini with Retina Display supports more LTE bands -- something that will be barely relevant to Filipinos as the first-gen had already supported the LTE frequencies of both Smart Communications and Globe Telecom, the two networks in the Philippines offering such mobile data connection.

So when will it become available in the Philippines and how much will it cost? iPad Mini with Retina Display, according to Apple, should hit store shelves in its key markets (not including the Philippines) by late November 2013; I'm expecting Kimstore, my trusted online store, to offer it to Pinoy gadget fans on the same day of its availability in the US, China or Hong Kong. (I'd imagine, though, that stocks will be very limited.) I believe Smart Communications and Globe Telecom, the official network carriers and partners of Apple in the country, will make the slate available to its subscribers by mid-December 2013 or early January 2014. These are the TP Price Guesstimates for all iPad Mini with Retina Display variants: WiFi Only 16 GB: Php 15,490, WiFi Only 32 GB: Php 20,490, WiFi Only 64 GB: Php 25,490, WiFi Only 128 GB: Php 30,490, WiFi + Cellular 16 GB: Php 21,990, WiFi + Cellular 32 GB: Php 26,990, WiFi + Cellular 64 GB: Php 31,990, WiFi + Cellular 128 GB: Php 36,990

Should you upgrade from your first generation iPad Mini? As I've said, design-wise, iPad Mini with Retina Display - available in Space Gray and Silver - looks almost exactly like its predecessor (apart from the slight color variance between iPad Mini First Gen Black vs. iPad Mini with Retina Display Space Gray). The most noticeable differences between the two can be seen on the screen and on the actual performance while playing specs-intensive apps and games. If you ask me, if only because of the far more crisp Retina Display and the far more powerful Apple A7 processor, I'd say you should definitely go for it.

TechPinas Tablet Technical Specs Table (TTabTST)
Name Apple iPad Mini 2nd Generation with Retina Display
Type Tablet
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions and Weight WiFi Only Version
Height: 7.87 inches (200 mm)
Width: 5.3 inches (134.7 mm)
Depth: 0.29 inch (7.5 mm)
Weight: 0.73 pound (331 g)

WiFi + Cellular (Nano SIM)
Height: 7.87 inches (200 mm)
Width: 5.3 inches (134.7 mm)
Depth: 0.29 inch (7.5 mm)
Weight: 0.75 pound (341 g)
Available Colors Space Gray, Silver
Operating System iOS 7
Display Retina display
7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
Processor Apple A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor
RAM 1GB of RAM
Memory 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB options
Camera Front-Facing FaceTime HD Camera:
1.2MP photos
720p HD video
FaceTime video calling over Wi‑Fi or cellular
Face detection
Backside illumination
Tap to control exposure for video or still images
Photo and video geotagging

Main iSight Camera at the Back:
5MP photos
Autofocus
Face detection
Backside illumination
Five-element lens
Hybrid IR filter
ƒ/2.4 aperture
Tap to focus video or still images
Tap to control exposure for video or still images
Photo and video geotagging
HDR photos
Video Capture 1080p HD
video recording
Video stabilization
Face detection
Tap to focus
while recording
Backside illumination
3x video zoom
Audio and Video Playback Audio: Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
User-configurable maximum volume limit

TV and Video: AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation) at 720p
AirPlay video streaming to Apple TV (3rd generation) at up to 1080p and Apple TV (2nd generation) at up to 720p
Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 720p through Lightning Digital AV Adapter and Lightning to VGA Adapter; video playback up to 1080p (sold separately)
Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
Ports 3.5 mm audio jack, 9-pin Lightning dock connector port
Connectivity For WiFi Only:
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology,

For WiFi+Cellular model:
additional UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz)
LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26)
Data only
Sensors Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor
Battery Built-in 23.8-watt-hour non-removable, rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
Uptime Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on watching video, Wi-Fi, or listening to music
Announcement October 22, 2013
Availability Philippines: Yuletide Season 2013 or Early 2014 (TP Guesstimate)
Price TP Guesstimate (Minimum):
WiFi Only 16 GB: Php 15,490
WiFi Only 32 GB: Php 20,490
WiFi Only 64 GB: Php 25,490
WiFi Only 128 GB: Php 30,490

WiFi + Cellular 16 GB: Php 21,990
WiFi + Cellular 32 GB: Php 26,990
WiFi + Cellular 64 GB: Php 31,990
WiFi + Cellular 128 GB: Php 36,990

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