Retina iPad mini: Silver vs. space gray gallery

Retina iPad mini: Silver vs. space gray gallery

While the new Retina iPad mini certainly looks a lot like last year's original, Apple has switched out the old, scratch and chip-prone slate gray color for an all new, all-the-more resilient, space gray finish. It also matches the space gray options for the iPhone 5s and iPad Air, if that sort of uniformity matters to you. The faceplates, white vs. black are obviously the most striking differences, and those haven't changed, but if you're still trying to make up your mind, wondering how different silver is from space, or space from slate on the new iPad mini with Retina display, here's gallery.

Retina iPad mini: Silver vs. space gray gallery: Front view

The fronts, like I mentioned, remain indistinguishable from last year. White is bright and shows dark grime more easily, black is shiny and shows light lint and fingerprints more easily. Nothing new about either of those things.

Retina iPad mini: Silver vs. space gray gallery: Back view

The backs betray the biggest difference about the new space gray finish - it's much lighter than last year's slate gray, and certainly nowhere close to black. Since it's very hard to anodize black, and chips and scratches are much more visible when they occur, the loss in darkness is made up for by a gain in durability.

Retina iPad mini: Silver vs. space gray gallery: Side view

From the side, above, or bottom, below, depending on the light the difference between silver and space can be more or less drastic.

Retina iPad mini: Silver vs. space gray gallery: Bottom view

A lot, obviously, depends on personal preference. If you need more help deciding, check out our Retina iPad mini buyers guide. Let me know which one you like better, and if you take the plunge, which one you get!

Update: For those curious, here's how the space gray Retina iPad mini compares to the slate gray original iPad mini. (No, I didn't swap in a silver one, the difference is enough to make for a high contrast when photographed.)

All images shot with a Canon 5D Mark III, 50mm f/1.4 lens

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 67 comments. Add yours.

smileyboy says:

I really wanted a white/silver 64gb LTE VZW model, which is on order. I settled for a 64gb space gray wifi. That's all I could find and a I needed to get another tablet.

I prefer white because it looks clean and makes me feel like I have a new device every time I use it.

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smileyboy says:

I really wanted a white/silver 64gb LTE VZW model, which is on order. I settled for a 64gb space gray wifi. That's all I could find and a I needed to get another tablet.

I prefer white because it looks clean and makes me feel like I have a new device every time I use it.

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StevenJ_AK says:

I bought a launch day wifi one and couldn't live it. It was a 32 space grey. I sold it for 20 less than I paid for it and now have a 32 white LTE on the way. It will be my first white ipad and I've owned every generation.

justincirello says:

Wow I would LOVE a silver retina mini. I am hoping to win one of these contests! So sleek.

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four4usc says:

I really want the space grey!

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four4usc says:

I really want the space grey!

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Becjr says:

I've always leaned toward that sci-fi movie white and silver, but the space gray has a much nicer appeal to me this go-'round.

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G.4 says:

For me it's Space Gray all the way. Wasn't sure how I felt about that originally but after owning a 5s in space gray I'm hooked. Best color ever

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dgrass90 says:

I felt the same way. I wasn't sold on the space gray at first, I actually swore with the black 5 that I would go white with the next release. I am so happy i went space gray because it's incredibly sleek. I really hope to win the retina mini in space gray!

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dalyapp says:

Thanks for the pictures. The lighting and background are great. Still not sure what to get though.

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jproubique says:

I grabbed the air and mini in space gray. I thinks it's a great change since my iPad 3 was white. And the black bezel really does help in removing the device and immerse you in the experience.

IIJBII says:

I would love to hear imore opnion of the first mini compaired to the retina. I have the first mini and like it but I'm thinking about getting the retina for the performance boost. The retina display would just be a bonus. Anyone upgrade from the og mini?

ZeroLeonheart says:

I got a space grey 16gb retina mini. The grey is a little darker in person than in the pictures above. Like another poster, I had a white iPad 3 and while it was cool, I was ready for black.

kataran says:

The slate grey is a stunning look for the iPad that's the one I would choose

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fredlacroix says:

Apple, iPad mini 'retina' price increase is not justifiable. Stop the greed. Apple needs to offer capacities starting at 32GB at least

soritong says:

The space grey is definitely the one I'd choose if I were to get one. Although I do wish that I could get a space grey back with a white front on it.

TLKoontz says:

I did indeed take the retina mini plunge… And I went for the Space-Gray! It's actually a really beautiful gunmetal color, and I absolutely love it!

While I have a black iPhone 5, and it's great, the space gray--to me--is even more gorgeous! (And, it's supposedly more durable, too.)

rtteachr says:

I like the slate grey color. I think it has a classier look to it. Of course I put a gelaskin on my iOS devices so all that matters or is seen is the front color.

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poiman says:

I ordered a space gray. Still waiting for it. Will arrive by the end of the month. Hopefully! But I'm still undecided about the smart case colour. Thinking about the red one but I'm afraid it will get too much dirt, just like the white one that I have for my iPad 4.

bossmaat says:

I have always been in Team White. My iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads are all white. And with this iPad Mini Retina, I will definitely not break the tradition and will get the silver 64 GB! ❤️

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Team George says:

I wish there was. Way you could press a button and the whole thing changes to the other colour. Imagine: fancy a good book to read? I'll click the silver and white button. Actually I feel like a movie. Siri, turn on space grey.

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sathomasga says:

Never cared for white before iOS 7. But it seems much better suited for the new OS

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sathomasga says:

Never cared for white before iOS 7. But it seems much better suited for the new OS

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marchie_78 says:

I typically stick with the black front for my iPhone and the white bezel for my iPad. I currently have the space grey 5s and a white iPad 2. I'm looking forward to get either the air or the mini retina in white/silver.

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imoredaddy says:

I got both. 32GB T-Mobile iPad Air and 64GB Sprint iPad mini. Got the air for zero interest. Paid for the mini outright. Funny thing is, I use a Verizon and AT&T sim. The Sprint mini was the only one I could find. Tried the T-Mobile, but no LTE in my area. I'm sure the carriers can't be too happy that Apple made one iPad for them all.

metllicamilitia says:

My 1st gen Mini is the first white iDevice I've ever bought. And especially with the gallery, I think I'll stick to the darker colors. Suits me better, and I currently have a Slate i5 and I think the Space Gray looks a lot nicer than Slate.

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ron_hites says:

I would like to see the Space Gray with a white front. For me the screen looks a lot better with the whiteboard...

vajrakagyu says:

Both my iPhone 5S and iPad Air are Space Grey. Was a huge fan of the Apple white editions of iDevices but this year Space Gray is much more pleasing to my eyes.

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sir17reeder says:

I think silver is the way to go love my silver iPod 5. If I were to win one of these contests I would defiantly get a silver iPad.

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thebobbytaco says:

Silver looks much airier. But at the moment I'm very disappointed with Apple and their pricing of the mini. 400 dollars is way more than the 329 they previously charged, which was still too expensive! With other 7 inch tablets such as the Nexus 7 retailing for less than a previous Gen XBox, its hard to justify giving an iPad mini as a gift for Christmas.

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evilokole says:

i wish they offered space gray with white...not a big fan of silver anything...i wonder if one day they will come out with Ipad C....

VinceScott says:

I had the black iPad mini and I loved it. Misplaced it a few times putting it face down on my black dresser but still LOVED it. This time around though the space gray one is just so beautiful. Futuristic looking, something out of the year 2121 lol. I wonder though... When I had my white iPhone after a while it felt like the white was getting dull(probably just my imagination) I hope space gray doesn't give me that feeling

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AdrianGabeChen says:

Silver is such the better colour. Wished apple made a gold one

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Donna Green-Wiedeman says:

That space grey is hot!

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therandomone says:

I really like the space gray, but silver and white looks really good too.
Decisions, decisions.

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ScottSouder says:

I got the space grey 5S and personally feel it's the better looking of the 3 available. I would probably stick with space grey if I got a new iPad.

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Premium1 says:

I'm torn between the white and space grey. Usually I am always a darker colored chooser, but with the whites and light colors of IOS7, I chose the white/silver 5s and debating on if I also want a white iPad mini or the space grey.

bradenbarker says:

I've always been a fan of the white versions of the iOS devices, so I'm sure I'd go for the white and silver version.

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Cliffmode2000 says:

Space. The final frontier. There for you must get the grey of space. I think the mini looks outstanding. Apple well done.

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asuperstarr says:

Silver and white!

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asuperstarr says:

Silver and white!

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Adrian Liu says:

It's like an optical illusion! It would be cool to see all three - silver, space grey, slate grey - together.

HoangJm says:

they are look sexy ! u guys should join imore contest to win

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stylesbythree1 says:

I have always been a fan of Space Gray I hope to get, or win, one that is VZW capable so I can replace my Galaxy Tab 2 that is starting to act up.

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back2mach says:

The new space gray absolutely looks better than pure black. I want that LTE mini! :)

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YohanesPatrick says:

miss the black slate so much

GlennRuss says:

I wanted 64G cellular retina mini, and knew it most likely would be later, and it had a 11/26 to 12/4 shipping date. I just got an update that it was shipped, and I have a 11/21 delivery date. They must have updated production. I did not expect it until December. I ordered first day from the Apple store app. Nice.

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mariusdevilliers says:

I'm going for white/silver version! I love the clean-ness of it. Finger marks etc don't show as easy on the white one

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Gazoobee says:

I have always liked the white, which back in the reign of the iPods, was always the *least* popular option. (Two blacks sold for every one white)

Interestingly, even though most people here seem to be choosing the space grey and black option, *white* is now the more popular choice overall. You only have to check availability at the Apple stores to see that the white one is likely being chosen at least two to one itself now.

What really bothers me about the new options however is the removal of the light grey cover from the iPad min cover lineup. It was literally the only option for a cover (and no other manufacturers make covers) that goes with the white model and isn't candy coloured.

mashono says:

Mmm that space gray iPad Mini looks delectable!

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zdn1042 says:

Space Gray all the way. I would have preferred a darker color but hey it's a fair compromise if it means it's less prone to looking like 2 cats did a battle-royals on top of it.

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KekoaLani says:

I would go with the space gray if it had Touch ID. I have only had my gold iPhone for 2 weeks and I am so used to the Touch. I hope I win your contest to win one!

tlo07 says:

I have a slate black original mini so this time I chose white. I think the white devices look better with iOS 7 for some reason. However, if I find the white bezel too distracting, I'm going to exchange it for space gray. They both look amazing.

justincirello says:

I have a first generation black iPad Mini. Hasn't show much sign of wear on the black plate at all. I have seen the scratches and nicks on the black iphone 5. I would go with a 32GB Wi-Fi only silver Mini.

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Guy4Tech says:

I'm wondering if I want to sell my 32gb Verizon mini for a newer wifi only Retina model. Is the retina iPad mini that much better than the 1st gen? Or should I just stick with what I got? Decisions, decisions.....

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DaMacGuy says:

I was considering the silver white version, but my wife already has a 1st gen Mini in that color. For the sake of telling them apart, I ordered the Space Gray one. I also like the less jarring black screen border. Makes it look more seamless. Either one would be fantastic! What's to quibble? :-)

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Jason49 says:

I decided to go with the iPad Air instead of the Mini. It was a very hard decision for me. I bought it on launch day and am very happy with it. I really like the larger screen. I got the 64 gig white/silver. I want to buy a sleeve for it, but can't really find anything I like. Any suggestions?

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BeyondtheTech says:

I totally dig my new Space Grey model. The Apple logo sticks out so much better than it did in the black model of my kids' previous gen iPad mini.

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feerfh says:

Maybe if Apple add on more color; gold for this iPad Mini, it will sell like a cake!

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lee.michael.f92 says:

Oh wow. I'm loving that space gray finish. Although I have last years 16gb wifi only model, I might pick another one up with more storage and a data plan. But I'd also like a white one... Sheesh the choices!

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DYLANHABKIRK says:

Space Gray all the way!!!

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memmerp says:

Space grey for me, but a gold one would be off the charts!

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Ashley Mackenzie says:

I ordered a space grey ipad mini with retina on the 12th and just received it yesterday by ups . I have chosen space grey to match my iphone 5 s also in space grey I also bought 2 ipad minis last year in slate grey and silver that is why I purchased space grey so that I will not have the same color as last years model I would have purchased gold if they did have one but maybe next time

jbaez3018 says:

Ever since i got my 5s I fell in love with the color Space Gray! So if i were to get an iPad it would definitely be Space Gray :D

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Johnny Vegas says:

Let me preface this by saying apart from the iPod classic, every Apple device I've owned has been black. I recently purchased a new mini retina, and went with white. I absolutely love it. I agree that the glare (especially on my bus/subway commute) is much less pronounced with the white border as opposed to the black border. Additionally, I like the lack of contrast when reading, whether it be an iBook, Kindle book, or the NYTimes or New Yorker (these are the things I've read the most the past week). Lastly, when watching video, the white border does not bother me at all. In the past week, I tested both a space grey and a silver version, and I have to say the white/silver is much more attractive to me. In the end, it is personal preference, but being someone who never thought he'd appreciate white/silver, I'm truly impressed. Happy shopping!

Xudopremacy says:

Couldn't agree more! My girlfriend bought me the iPad Mini 2 in white and silver and I think she made the right decision. For me the white/silver one looks more clean, elegant and beautiful.

But whether you go for the white/silver or black/space grey you can't lose, both are stunning

Jason Stormchild says:

I never owned the original iPad mini, but I just discovered today that my "space gray" retina mini scratches incredibly easily. I was sliding it on the desk towards the edge to pick it up, and it felt a little off (not like an obvious grating…just not as smooth as I expected). When I flipped it over, I and discovered a brand new, nasty scratch. The culprit? A tiny grain of sugar (almost invisible) that happened to be on the desk. Can't believe how easily the back scratches. It's nowhere near as durable as my iPad 3 was.

Word of warning to anyone else who has the new retina mini: don't slide it across any surface, ever.