Speed shootout: iPad Air vs. iPad mini with Retina display (with video)

“The Apple iPad Air and iPad mini 2 are both now available and selling like hotcakes. Many people could be considering buying one of these tablets but might not be sure about which to opt for,” Phones Review reports. “Today we want to show you an iPad Air vs. iPad mini 2 speed test video.”

“If you’re still undecided, or even if you’ve already purchased one of these tablets, the results of this speed test may interest you,” Phones Review reports. “The video shows the two tablets side-by-side and for fairness they are not running anything other than existing settings and so that one doesn’t have any advantage than the other, histories have been cleared along with cookies and data. Both are also hooked up to the same wireless network.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As an aside, the speed difference between the fourth generation iPad (Late 2012) and the new iPad Air is remarkably noticeable throughout usage. Both iOS and all apps are quicker and even more responsive that the iPad (4th gen.) which was no slouch itself. Now that we’ve been using iPad Air for a few weeks, using older iPads is a tough assignment. What a jump in performance in just one year!

Related articles:
Forbes reviews Apple iPad Air: The best experience of any 10″ consumer tablet – November 25, 2013
Computerworld reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: The very best large screen tablet experience available – November 20, 2013
PC Advisor reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Power, versatility, and transformationally light – November 18, 2013
Wired reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: An immensely powerful tablet – November 7, 2013
The Verge reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: The best gets better – November 4, 2013
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Very impressive – November 4, 2013
Bloomberg News reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Hands-down the best tablet on the market – October 30, 2013
CNET reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: The best full-size tablet, Editors’ Choice – October 30, 2013
AnandTech reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: In a completely different league – October 30, 2013
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Best of breed, superior to each and every rival – October 30, 2013
Mossberg reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: ‘The best tablet I’ve ever reviewed’ – October 29, 2013
Fox News reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Best in class – October 29, 2013
The Independent reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Super-light and most powerful – October 29, 2013

Computerworld reviews Apple’s 64-bit Retina iPad mini: An unmatched user experience – November 26, 2013
AnandTech reviews Apple’s 64-bit Retina iPad mini: ‘A leap forward in performance’ – November 19, 2013
Wired reviews Apple’s Retina iPad mini: Unparalleled, mind-blowing, buy it now – November 15, 2013
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Retina iPad mini: ‘Tightly elegant, an absolute pleasure to use’ – November 15, 2013
CNET reviews Retina iPad mini: A powerhouse, packed-to-the-gills, top-end tablet beast; Editors’ Choice – November 14, 2013
Associated Press reviews Retina iPad mini: Unmatched by cheaper Android tablets – November 12, 2013
Dalrymple reviews Retina iPad mini: ‘As much as I love the Air, I still find myself reaching for the iPad mini’ – November 12, 2013
Apple starts online sales of iPad mini with Retina display, no in-store pickup available – November 12, 2013


  1. This is not a scientific test at all. First off, he should have started with a factory reset, and he should have timed things rather than side-by-side. These two devices were sharing a WiFi connection, so they were possibly affecting each other’s access. It’s a nice idea but I think this test was not valid.

    1. Indeed. He has different backgrounds, one should be bigger file size than the other, thereby affecting available RAM and storage capacity (however slightly). He has notifications and saved states for apps that are different. My pet peeve is when people touch two devices metal to metal, side by side and expect wifi/3G performance to somehow not be affected.

      Plus he has what I call “shitty tap syndrome” where people tap with this pissy little flourish of the hand rather than just fucking tapping it normally (and then his tap timing is off). I blame the internets for teaching people to do this. 🙂 too many douchy tech bloggers making hands on videos… Gahhh ok I’m done. Good night.

  2. To be fair, iOS 7 expectedly is way heavier for older devices than iOS 6 was. For example, iPhone 4 is too slow for iOS 7, while iOS 6 was fine.

    Of course, iPad 4 is much faster than iPhone 4, but it would still feel slightly slower after upgrade from iOS 6 to iOS 7, and this is part why iPad Air now feels distinctly faster.

    It would be more fair to compare snappiness between iPad 4 on iOS 6 (latest version) and iOS 7. Though Apple does not allow downgrade, so I am not sure how it could be done.

    1. Same here, running iOS 7 on an iPad 2, no degradation noticeable at all, several things seem faster and smoother, and I haven’t even turned on the reduced motion feature.

      But I have to agree, this comparison is a non-starter, side-by-side on the same network? We’re other devices also on the same connection? If this was a high school science assignment, it would be a fail for bad premise.

      Theoretically, these should test identically, and until someone does a properly controlled comparison, I’d bet they are.


    2. Yup, I’ve found iOS 7 to be faster overall than iOS 6, except over time things begin to slow down. And my battery time has started dropping much faster than under 6. But like 6, I expect Apple to optimize 7 and address these issues in due time.

  3. I am very happy with my Retina Mini. Fast, sharp and spacious (128gb). Not sure I like the Space Gray yet, but otherwise a huge improvement over my non-Retina Mini.

  4. Would have looked much nicer and run much faster if both iPads had been running iOS 6. As it is iOS 7 runs too many unnecessary animations, swoops and zooms when switching between apps or moving between apps and the home page.

    Whereas iOS 6 form follows function, in iOS 7 it’s form follows a designer’s whim. iOS 7 – over designed crap.

  5. One thing I would like to say is always that before buying more personal computer memory, look into the machine within which it is installed. If your machine is definitely running Windows XP, for instance, the memory threshold is 3.25GB. Putting in more than this would merely constitute a waste. Be sure that one’s mother board can handle your upgrade amount, as well. Good blog post.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.