The iPad 2 is expected to be getting the boot at some point this year, ending its three-year reign as an active seller in Apple Stores. The company has kept the older tablet around, claiming that it was still popular amongst schools and businesses. However, it looks like Apple will be making way for a new entry-level iPad to take over that duty.
In any case, though, this is merely just rumor and the iPad 2 is still alive and well in the Apple Store. While the iPad Air is the current flagship full-size iPad and the iPad mini with Retina display is the flagship iPad mini in the bunch, we though it might be interesting to compare the older tablets that Apple is still actively selling: the iPad 2 and the original, 1st-generation iPad mini.
Both of these tablets are very similar spec-wise, but are at very different price points. What makes them so different in this respect? Is one worth buying over the other? Does each tablet serve a different purpose? Let’s find out.
Both the iPad 2 and the original iPad mini are rocking Apple’s older A5 chip, which sports a 1 GHz dual-core processor. Both tablets also have 512MB of RAM and come with the same PowerVR graphics chip for the same gaming experience on either tablet.
Both slates also sport 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options, although Apple discontinued the 32GB and 64GB options for the iPad 2, with only 16GB of storage available if you’re wanting the legacy full-size iPad.
The iPad 2 comes with a 9.7-inch display, while the iPad mini rocks a smaller 7.9-inch screen. Both devices have the same 1024×768 resolution, though, meaning that the iPad mini has a slightly-better pixel density than the iPad 2, which could be a better option for those who want a sharper and clearer image when reading or looking at photos.
Let’s also not forget that the iPad 2 still uses the older 30-pin connector on the bottom, whereas the iPad mini uses the new Lightning connector, making it a good option for those who have already upgraded to the new Apple cable standard.
A big difference between the iPad 2 and the original iPad mini is the camera quality. The iPad 2 simply comes with a VGA-quality front-facing camera, while the iPad mini has a front facer that can shoot 720p HD video. As for the rear camera, the iPad 2 is only capable of capturing 960×720 photos and recording 720p video, while the iPad mini can shoot 1080p video and has a 5MP sensor capable of taking much larger photos with more detail, as well as added-on features like face detection, IR filter and HDR capabilities.
Both iOS 7 is available on the iPad 2 and the original iPad mini, but the iPad 2 may not see further software updates, while the iPad mini is still new enough that iOS 8 and maybe even iOS 9 might be available for the 1st-gen miniature slate. It’s hard to tell at this point still, and considering that both tablets have pretty much the same performance specs, it could end up that both the iPad 2 and the original iPad mini will get the software update boot at the same time.
Granted, iOS 7.1 may still be headed to the iPad 2, but we can pretty much guarantee that iOS 8 won’t make it to the three-year old tablet, and that means the original iPad mini won’t see the upgrade either, considering that Apple always claims performance on the reason why an iOS device can’t update to a newer software version, so considering that both tablets have the same Apple A5 chip, they may see a tandem send-off into the software update sunset.
Price is one of the most important factors when deciding on a product to buy, and the iPad 2 and 1st-generation iPad mini have very different price points that are worth looking over and considering. The iPad 2 normally costs $399 directly from Apple, but you can usually find them on sale, like at Walmart for $299 until the end of the month.
The original iPad normally costs $299 from Apple, and while there aren’t any current sales that we know of, we’re sure that there will firesales of the older tablet at some point this year. However, if we were to take in account only the normal, everyday prices of these two tablets, the iPad mini would be $100 cheaper than the iPad 2. The only thing you really lose is around two inches of screen size, which might not be that big of a deal to most users.
Furthermore, the original iPad mini is a much newer device compared to the iPad 2, so buying the iPad mini will not only save you $100, but you’ll also most likely get future software updates and it comes with the newer Lightning connector, which is great for those who already have an iPhone 5 or newer.
In the end, the original iPad mini is probably the best deal to take out of the two tablets compared, but we wouldn’t condemn you for wanting a larger screen and taking advantage of Walmart’s $299 deal for the iPad 2.