Apple’s iPad mini 2 (officially iPad mini with Retina Display) is coming late November. Should you buy it? That question becomes tough to decide when you have another of these tablets already. iPad 4, iPad 3 or iPad mini – these make the purchase decision a little harder.

I think this post might just sound a little biased but let’s accept the fact that the iPad mini 2 is a definite upgrade that people will love. Especially, people who have used other Apple products and have had a great experience.

The iPad mini 2 features a few solid hardware changes. Except the fact that it has grown a wee bit thicker (0.3mm thicker) and about 20 g heavier, almost every other change is geared towards better performance and better experience.

iPad Mini 2 Features

Here’s iPad mini 2’s specsheet at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 7.87×5.3×0.29″
  • Display: 7.9” Retina Display, 2048x1536px, 326ppi
  • Processors: A7 with 64-bit architecture, M7 coprocessor
  • Network/Connectivity: Wi-Fi/LTE/4G/3G/Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera: 5 MP iSight, backside illumination, 1080p HD video recording,
  • FaceTime:1.2 MP 720p HD, backside illumination
  • Battery: 10hrs

A7 And M7

Apple has achieved some sort of a processing component nirvana by integrating the 28nm 64-bit architecture A7 into three of its  devices: iPhone 5s, iPad Air and the new iPad mini 2. According to Apple, the addition makes drastic changes. Here’s a sample:

  • 4x CPU performance
  • 8x graphics performance
  • 72x better display

All of this without compromising on the battery which still yields a 9-10 hour backup.

Retina Glory

The crowing glroy in the iPad mini 2 is the new Retina Display. Although a much-anticipated feature, the introduction of retina display to the iPad mini now effectively makes all latest iDevices fall in the family of retina units.

The retina display lends a 2048x1536px with a 326ppi density. The new resolution, interestingly, is the same as that found on iPads.

Improved Facetime

There’s this new feature called “backside illumination” which Apple says will improve video quality in FaceTime HD camera. For users who use FaceTime a lot, this can be a massive change over time. But if you are okay with existing FaceTime performance, this isn’t a factor that will pull you towards the new iPad mini.

More New Apps

Just like how Apple made iWork available for free for new iPhone 5s/5c users, Apple has made a few interesting apps free for new iPad Air and iPad mini 2 users. You get iPhoto, the whole of iWork, iMovie and Garageband for free with the new iPad mini 2.

The iPad mini 2 is definitely a huge upgrade from the iPad mini in terms of two things: processing/performance and the visual appeal you get from a retina display. If you’re happy with the iPad mini as it is, you might not be tempted to opt for a better performance. But I think the iPad mini 2’s configuration will be required as we see continuous updates to iOS 7.

The iPad mini 2 starts from $399 for Wi-Fi and $529 for Wi-Fi and Data. It should come to the markets in November (mid/late).