iFixit's iPad mini with Retina Display teardown reveals huge battery, unicorn dust

iFixit's iPad mini with Retina Display teardown reveals huge battery, unicorn dust

iFixit wasted no time after yesterday's surprise launch of the iPad mini with Retina Display to get their hands on one and tear it apart to see how it's built. The results are in.

iFixit discovered that the iPad mini's Retina Display is made by LG, working at a higher pixel density (326 pixels per inch) than the bigger iPad Air. A 24.3 watt per hour battery is inside, a 50 percent increase in juice-carrying capacity compared to the "standard" iPad mini. The central brain of the iPad mini is an Apple A7 processor clocked at 1.3 GHz - the same speed as the iPhone 5s, just a skosh slower than the iPad Air.

Perhaps predictably, given Apple designs of late, iFixit has given the new iPad mini a very low repairability score - 2 out of 10. Red marks against the iPad mini include excessive use of adhesive, hidden screws, and a soldered Lightning connector. On the flip side, the breakdown mavens were happy that the LCD and glass aren't fused together, which should simply screen replacement, and the absence of solder on the battery, making that easier to replace, as well.

Is the iPad mini with Retina Display's repairability a factor in your decision to get one? Or do you leave the tinkering to the experts? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Source: iFixit

Retina iPad mini

Retina iPad mini
The world's most popular tiny tablet goes Retina. Features include:

Complete review >

November 12, 2013

iPad mini (original), iPad Air, iPad 2

iPad Mini 3
Fall, 2014

Buyers guide
Help forum

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

More Posts



← Previously

TreSensa brings web-based games to iOS with no muss, very little fuss

Next up →

Deal of the Day: Qmadix Snap-On Cover w/ Holster for iPhone 5

Reader comments

iFixit's iPad mini with Retina Display teardown reveals huge battery, unicorn dust


I was never one to replace hard drives, upgrade RAM, etc. on my desktop towers, so why bother with mobile devices? Portability is more important than upgradability, especially now that the devices are considered obsolete after 3 years.

I miss the perceived convenience of having a replaceable battery, but, having never bought one, it makes more sense to get a newer device, (plus, who likes broken battery covers?). I find myself being more careful with my devices now anyway. What used to be "toss on couch, risk bounce-fall", is now, "place gently". :D

I look forward to next year's mini which will be thinner and lighter again, and (hopefully) get a *one* on iFixit's "scale of repairability."

I would love to see Apple devices getting solid zeros from iFixit on a regular basis, just so people can finally understand how ridiculous the whole concept of "repairability" is in terms of these types of devices. Not all devices are repairable by the end user and that is decidedly a *good* thing, not a bad thing.

^ +1 fully agree!
Anyone who doesn't buy a device like this bc of its "repairability" score, can just go back to a laptop... And then try to replace a screen or motherboard. Because they are so easy...

I do my best to make sure I never have to worry about repairing my mini. Worst case scenario though it's going to the experts to take care of the problem. As long as apple keeps improving their products performance I could care less about repairability

Sent from the iMore App

I'm pretty bummed out that there was no mention of unicorn dust in the actual article. This is the worst kind of link bait in my opinion. ;)

Seriously though, I leave that stuff to the trained technicians. I fixed stuff back in the day, but all of it was pretty simple stuff (SNES controllers, GameBoy buttons, etc.).

So from what you say, except for screen size, it is a little better than the air? I am also like others, leave the fixing to the experts. Looks really nice.

I don't worry about this kind of stuff because I don't keep my gadgets long enough. I look forward to next years IPad Retina Mini Air.

The repairability factor is very enjoyable to learn about. However, it will not impact my decision to buy a product. As always, great information.

Sent from the iMore App