Within moments of UBM TechInsights receiving the device, the most noticeable quality of it was its thickness and weight. Weighing in at 0.68 pounds and with a relative thickness of 7.2 millimeters, the iPad Mini is the lightest and thinnest 7-ish inch tablet that we've had a chance to analyze. Another noticeable quality of the iPad Mini was the resolution of the 7.9-inch screen. The iPad Mini features a 1,024 x 768 pixel LCD panel—similar to that of the iPad and the iPad 2—that correlates to 163 dpi, a far cry from the clarity of the retina display (and the 264 dpi resolution) found in the newer generation iPhones and the iPad 3.
Featuring a top-to-bottom build reminiscent of other iPads, the deconstruction of the iPad Mini begins with the removal of the touchscreen glass that covers the LCD display. Once the metal housing plate of the display is removed, the main battery and main board of the iPad Mini becomes visible. The iPad's battery claims 10 hours of life and features specs such as 16.3 WHrs. Apple also claims it is its thinnest lithium-ion battery to date. However, size-wise, it closely resembles that of the iPad 3.
Once the main board is revealed, Apple's continued need to mark devices with their own Apple-branding (so as to hide design wins from analysis firms such as ourselves) is apparent. Noticeable socket wins are the memory components, the main processor and the some of the sensors. The main CPU is the 32-nm Apple A5 applications processor, manufactured by Samsung. This device was first seen as a single-core device in the third-generation Apple TV; however, a look at the die indicated two-cores. The dual-core version of the A5 at the 32-nm node was then incorporated into the iPad 2. Manufactured using a gate-first high-k/metal gate (HKMG) process, this version of the A5 has a die with an area of 69.7 mm2 and a die thickness of 110 μm.
Die photo of the Apple A5--32-nm version.