October is quickly approaching, and all signs point to new iPads being unveiled next month. The more we find out about the iPad 5, and iPad mini 2, the tougher the decision becomes when choosing between the two. Both iPad lines are set to adopt features from the others to make the decision a lot tougher. The iPad 5 is expected to adopt an iPad mini like form factor that shaves down the side bezels, while providing a thinner & lighter design. The iPad mini 2 on the other hand is expected to gain the retina display, but applied to the 7.9” screen for a potential higher resolution. The main benefits of the mini are the form factor, and weight, while the best part of the full size iPad is the retina display.
Luckily, we all have about a month to decide between the two with the major distinction coming down to the screen size. Do ou want 9.7” or 7.9”, and what if that 9.7” wasn’t as big, or heavy as it currently is? It will be interesting to see just how light weight Apple can make the iPad 5, and if Apple can maintain the weight of the mini when adding heavier light sensors, and extra battery to power the retina display. Of course, price is always a factor to consider with the iPad 5 for $499, and mini at $329, again with the $170 price difference coming down to 50% more screen real estate. Apple could also go a number of different ways with new features to further distinguish the lines to make the decision a little bit clearer.
Now that the iPhone 5S is out complete with A7 64-bit chip, improved camera system, and fingerprint scanner, we have some indicators of what might come to the iPad. The iPad 4 currently features the A6X chip, so it’s likely that the iPad 5 gains the new 64-bit A7X chip, with the X designating quad core graphics to power the larger retina display. The iPad mini on the other hand currently has the A5 chip to keep costs down, so it would be likely to only gain the A6 chip, to let more power users splurge for the full size iPad. The fingerprint sensor is a convenient new addition to the iPhone, but it may or may not make it to the iPad. It likely will, since the component cost is just $7, but it depends on if Apple’s current production constrains of the iPhone 5S are because of the fingerprint sensor. This could be another feature Apple specifically saves for the iPhone, similar to Siri on the 4S, but if it does come to the iPad, it will be for the full sized model at most. Then there’s the camera, as both current iPads still have 5 megapixel cameras with iPhone 4 era sensors, so they could both use an update. Apple could provide an iPhone 5 level 8 megapixel camera sensor for the iPad 5, because people still do use the iPad as a camera, surprisingly enough.
Apple could make the iPad 5 into a premium line, kind of like the MacBook Pro, with the mini positioned as the MacBook Air. It all depends on what extra features they decide to incorporate in the iPad 5. We will know in October, but until then the iPad 5 looks like a great upgrade, and worth the extra cost if it does indeed get the A7X chip, fingerprint sensor, and improved camera along with the considerably thinner & lighter design.