There’s only two things, really, the original 2012 iPad Mini needed to become a perfect little tablet: a Retina display, and a better processor. (That Mini had a 1,024×768 screen and a 2011-era A5 processor.) With the newly announced iPad Mini with Retina Display, both those wishes have been answered. The new Mini does, indeed, pack an impressive 2,048×1,536 resolution into its 7.9-inch screen, and it’s got the latest, greatest Apple chips inside: the 64-bit A7 CPU, along with the M7 motion coprocessor.
In fact, you could easily call the iPad Mini with Retina Display a shrunken-down clone of the new iPad Air: it has exactly the same specs as its larger sibling.
The only catch is that the 2013 upgrades come at a price: $399 for the base 16GB configuration. That’s $70 more than when the Mini debuted last year (that 2012 model remains on sale, with a price cut to $299). And it’s significantly more than rival tablets from Google and Amazon. On the other hand, it’s also $100 less than the base iPad Air model.