Retina iPad Mini Teardown Reveals Upgraded Battery

Apple may have chosen to quietly launch its second generation iPad mini tablet with an upgraded "Retina" class display, but that didn't stop the folks at iFixIt from snagging a sample for their operating tablet. They made quick work of tearing into the newest iPad mini, which sports a panel that still measures 7.9 inches like before, but with a tastier 2048x1536 resolution at 326 ppi. Does the upgraded panel make a difference in terms of how difficult it is to service these devices?

Short and sweet, the answer is "no." The newest iPad mini mustered a rather pathetic "Repairability Score" of just 2 out of 10, meaning it's not something you'll want to try and crack open at home unless you're highly experienced in electronics repair and have a patient hand. More on that in a moment.

iFixIt iPad Mini Battery
Image Source: iFixIt

One of the interesting tidbits iFixIt found along the way is a much bigger capacity battery. Uncovered in the teardown is a 24.3Whr/6471mAh battery, compared to the first generation iPad mini's 16.7Whr/4490mAh battery. That's quite the bump, though both tablets have a rated battery life of up to 10 hours. The extra juice is needed to power the higher resolution display.

iFixIt iPad mini

Getting back to the score, the second generation iPad mini scored so poorly because it uses "copious amounts of adhesive" on so many different parts (front glass, battery, front camera, back camera, and ribbon cables), making repair rather difficult. It was also dinged for having the Lightning connector soldered to the logic board, and for using hidden screws.