What's more important to you for the next iPad mini, battery life or Retina Display? [Poll]

Small tablets are back in the news this week with Google's new, 1080p capable Nexus 7, prompting many folk to question why Apple can't do the same with the iPad mini. It isn't quite as simple as slapping on a 1080p display, and there are many things to consider in a theoretical Retina equipped iPad mini. One big one is battery life; Apple won't ship until they've managed to get the battery life to their liking, so we're asking you guys. What's more important to you for the next iPad mini, battery life or a Retina Display.

No doubts, the Retina Display on the full sized iPad is stunning, and a total joy to look at. Indeed, speaking personally, the display on the iPad mini is my only disappointment with the device in an otherwise Retina filled world. But, the full sized iPad still experiences great battery life with that Retina Display, so in trading up to it you haven't had to suffer any additional inconvenience. On the other side of the argument, we use tablets differently to our smartphones, so would losing a couple of hours of battery life really be that noticeable?

We want to hear your opinions, so drop us a vote up top and head into the comments to give us your detailed thoughts. Would you trade off battery life for that gorgeous Retina Display, or is it more important that you get more life between charges? Perhaps, you're happy holding off until you can have both? Let us know!

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

What's more important to you for the next iPad mini, battery life or Retina Display? [Poll]

21 Comments

+1 on the Mini. Not retina meant no purchase for me. I have an iPad 2 which I bought when it first came out and still love it, although looking to upgrade hopefully this year. If Mini 2 has retina, I just may go that route with at 32gb storage.

I have a MacBook Air and the lack of retina doesn't really bother me. I once had an iPad 3rd gen and the iPad 2 and mini are unusable. I currently have a first gen Nexus 7 and I prefer it to my wife's Mini. I like the 7in form factor, in fact I won't ever buy a 10 in tablet again. But for me to get an iPad mini, it would have to be Retina. I use my tablet (Nexus 7) and phone (iPhone 4s) more than my computer so I am pixel sensitive on those.

Make everything 1 inch thicker and give us Retina and a week long battery.

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You do understand who huge 1 inch would be. I'm certain they wouldn't need that much room to fit a bigger battery.

Maintaining current battery life while putting in a better screen would be nice. It also really needs a RAM upgrade.

I'm with mase...content with my current iPad mini until Apple is able to build the same form factor as this one without losing battery efficiency...while adding a HiDPI display. Hopefully IGZO from sharp...or other battery saving OS updates can swing the pendulum. I'm still not convinced with the new Nex7. I bought the first one and ridded myself of it when I bought the mini. The original Nex7 struggled to get 4 hours out of its battery. The mini, I easily and routinely exceed 10 hours. I don't mind a 20-30 gram weight 'gain'...but the current form factor is perfect. Would be cool if they could maintain that. The other 'challenge' with the Nex7---or any of the Droid offerings is content and software available and optimized for tablets. That killed the original for me and was a determining factor in getting rid of it. Hopefully Android's 4.3 update allows developers the same ease of scaling as Apple's SDK for phone/tablet/universal software UI appearance. As well, it'll be interesting to see how they package the pixels in the high of resolution when it comes to text and the 'size' of different UI components. Windows <Surface> has had issues with scaling anything other than native apps as well. This point is one that goes unnoticed until you buy the device....and appreciate how well Apple has implemented their scaling processes....whether its the iPhone 4/4s/5---the iPad 3/4 or the new rMBP...they've done excellent programming in the OS to allow content the ability to use each pixel within said app....while the UI around that 1080p video can be 'doubled' for ease of use and targeting with our fingers. For me....additional 512mb of RAM is a must....faster proc would be cool, but I'm willing to wait out retina another year if that's what it takes to being battery life parity to the existing 'mini'.

Retina, and Ram for sure. We talk about battery life all the time, but do you really set down with an iPad, or mini for a full 10 hours? I know use varies with each person, but I get four days of use with the iPad retina display, and still have an hour left on the battery. I have not gotten the mini because I really want retina display, and better ram.

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Both are important updates. But , I think the battery life in iPads is always reasonable. So, this time probably retina display makes more sense.

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Battery Life is most important than retina display... I want my device as functional as it could be cause i use it to work, to manage software projects... Not as an entertaiment device..if i want amazing quality display i go to my livinroom where my 80'' Led is.

Longer battery life is just a charge-up away. You can't do that with a retina display. If I want to work 24/7 on my iPad I'd go and plug it in.

Until the mini gets retina display I will not buy one. The day it gets retina I will be standing in line to get one or maybe two depending on how bad my wife wants one.

This question / poll is flawed. A better question would be "What's more important to you, a retina display or maintaining / bettering the weight / thinnest of the iPad Mini?" I suspect the new iPad Mini will have a retina display and the same battery life as before, but will be slightly thicker / heavier due to the increased battery size, just as per the iPad 2 / iPad 3 change.

I was so blown away by the iPad 3’s retina display that I originally had doubts whether I would even like the mini. (Contemplation happened during the waiting period after the order was placed). However, I realized some positives about non-retina that aren't related just to the battery - there's no heat at all on the mini no matter how long I sit outdoors with the brightness fully cranked up; photos use less space, presumably because lower-res versions are being synced. So, despite how much I hope retina would come back, I'm happy with the mini now.

I'm perfectly happy with the battery life and display of my current iPad mini. What it really needs is more power and more RAM. I tire of my Safari tabs constantly having to reload and I get frustrated when playing Real Racing 3 and an incoming email tanks my frame rate.

Simply this, I've got an ipad 4 and a mini , I use the ipad 4 about 10% of th time for serious photo viewing, the other 90 the mini display is perfectly fine the form factor is superb and pinch zoom ( obviously) corrects anything that ( rarely) looks clunky, it is a brilliantly portable tool and the retina argument on a screen that small is not worth listening to IMO

To me it seems that all people care about is the retina display, I have lived with an iPad 1 for 2 years and its time for an upgrade. If apple releases an iPad mini 2 next month I could care less about a retina display what I want is a better processor. when I am watching youtube on my iPad 1 I get a notification and youtube crashes and i don't have any other apps open.