Despite releasing both a new iPad (the iPad 4) and the long-expected iPad Mini, Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2, giving customers a $399 choice at a price point between the iPad Mini ($329) and the iPad 4 ($499). But while the iPad Mini shares the same A5 processor and 1024x768 resolution IPS display as the iPad 2, except for the size, the iPad Mini is superior. And for some, the 7.9-inch tablet weighing in at almost half the weight of an iPad 2 (.69 lbs vs 1.35 lbs) is sized just right.
Here are five ways in which the iPad 2 comes out ahead:
- 4G LTE. This is the big one for anyone planning on buying an iPad with data connectivity. The ability to connect to 4G networks will make the iPad Mini a much faster tablet while on the go. In many ways, computers and tablets are chained down by their weakest link, and no matter the processor speed, browsing the web will be first and foremost determined by connection speed.
- Better Cameras. The iPad 2 introduced front and back facing cameras to the iPad, but they were far from breathtaking. The back-facing camera maxed out at 960x720 and the front-facing "FaceTime" camera only had VGA quality. The iPad Mini has the same cameras found in the iPad 4: A 5 MP iSight camera in back and a 720p HD video-capable camara in front. So if you plan on taking video, photos or video conferencing via FaceTime, the iPad Mini is by far superior. How to Use FaceTime on the iPad
- Siri. Given that the iPad Mini has the same processing power as the iPad 2, the only reason why Apple allows Siri on the iPad Mini and not the iPad 2 is to give the Mini a bragging point. That said, Siri won't work on the iPad 2, so if you want to talk to your device and receive somewhat intelligent answers to your queries (depending on your question, of course), you'll want to skip the iPad 2. What Questions Can Siri Answer?.
- Higher Pixels Per Inch (PPI). It's not much, but while the two devices share the same 1024x768 resolution, the iPad Mini's 7.9-inch screen means this comes in at a higher pixels per inch (163 PPI vs 132 PPI), which gives it slightly better clarity.
- If you are patient, you can get one for $299. Obviously, the iPad Mini wins out on price, taking a $70 smaller bite out of your wallet. But if you are patient, you may just be able to get an iPad Mini for $299, which is the price many were hoping it would debut at. How? In a few months, refurbished units will begin hitting the Apple store. At the very minimum, the should debut for $30 off the price, and perhaps more.
Still thinking of an iPad 2? What if I told you that an iPad 3 is actually cheaper? Apple is selling refurbished iPad 3 tablets for $379, which is $20 cheaper than a brand new iPad 2. And refurbished units get a 1-year warranty, so if you run into a problem Apple will fix it for you.