iPad mini retina has much bigger battery, teardown reveals

Apple's new iPad mini crams a much higher capacity battery, apparently in order to power its hi-res screen and new 64-bit chip, iFixit's teardown reveals.

Apple's new iPad mini crams a much higher capacity battery in order to power its retina-quality screen and new 64-bit chip, a teardown of the high-res tablet has revealed.

Every time Apple releases a new gadget, the website iFixit gleefully rips it apart, ostensibly to find out how you would repair it if anything broke, but really so we can all have a good ogle at its insides on display, like rubberneckers at a technology pile-up.

Dismantling the new iPad mini, iFixit's screwdriver-wielding tech torturers found a whopping 24.3Whr battery -- a nearly 50 per cent increase in energy over the original mini's 16.3Whr cell. That adds just 0.3mm of thickness to last year's mini, which is mildly impressive.

As iFixit points out, Apple's quoted battery life for the device is the same 10 hours, so it's taking half as much energy again to power the new model for the same length of time. The main changes between the two slates are the higher resolution (but same size) screen, and the more powerful A7 chip, along with its M7 coprocessor -- all likely culprits for guzzling more juice.

The teardown finds the display -- rumoured to be so hard to make it's limiting supply -- is built by LG, and chips and modules from the likes of Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Fairchild and USI, while Toshiba provides the flash drive.

iFixit rated its repairability at a miserable 2 out of 10, saying, "Copious amounts of adhesive hold many components in place -- front glass, battery, front camera, back camera, ribbon cables -- making repair extremely difficult."

The retina iPad mini went on sale online in the UK yesterday morning, with the 16GB Wi-Fi only model costing punters £319, and due to be delivered by the end of next week. The top-end 4G model with 128GB of storage will set you back an eye-watering £659 and take a few more days to leave its factory.

What do you make of the new iPad mini? Should it have longer battery life? Or be more repairable? Leave a mini missive in the comments below, or over on our unrepairable Facebook page.

Image credit: iFixit