As I promised in our iPad mini with Retina Display review, I put the new mini through our LTE hotspot battery life test. As connected tablets are effectively smartphones with huge batteries, they can make for a very long lasting personal hotspot. 
I’m running the same test I ran on the iPad Air: a 100KB/s constant download from a laptop tethered over WiFi to the iPad mini. The mini’s display is off and no background syncing is taking place, making this a test of AP and modem efficiency, as well as battery capacity. The AP and modem are more or less identical to the iPad Air, with the Retina mini using a PoP implementation of Apple’s A7 and Qualcomm’s MDM9615M modem. The big difference here should be battery capacity. The new mini has a 23.8Wh battery compared to 32.5Wh for the iPad Air. With 73% of the battery capacity and similar hardware, I’d expect the mini to deliver about 73% of the LTE hotspot battery life of the iPad Air.

LTE Hotspot Battery Life

The mini managed to last 18.77 hours on a single charge, making it a bit more efficient than the iPad Air and still a formidable option as an LTE hotspot. The Air will obviously last longer, but if you prefer something a bit smaller the iPad mini with Retina Display is a great option. 
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  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Do you think the efficiency gain is from Apple binning lower voltage SOCs for the new Mini and iPhone 5S and putting the leakier chips in the iPad Air? Perhaps running the 5S on this test would tell us something?
  • kk12002 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Are you going to do a detailed review of the nexus 5? Do you think goog!e may update the camera and so speaker, in newer stocks? Like nexus 4, they added nubs and modified camera glass...if yes I'll probably wait for the iteration...
  • bplewis24 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    They will do a review. It will be detailed (compared to other sites especially), But it will not be to the level of apple product reviews. Like many other sites, they are just biased that way.
  • ksound - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    they are just biased that way. <- well that's not true
  • bplewis24 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Of course it's true. You'd have to be naive or be new to the site to think otherwise.
  • xype - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Maybe that has something to do with the fact that most Android handsets don’t come with a special, not-found-anywhere-else CPU/GPU combination? Or that a lot of the features are overlapping among many devices, making such detailed reviews a duplication of effort?

    I don’t feel that all Apple hardware reviews are the same; they only swell in size with the introduction of significant new hardware (like a finger scanner or a new CPU/GPU chip or two-tone flash) that, since it’s advertised by Apple, warrants more attention?

    Or do you think all Snapdragon 800 devices need the same 4 page essay on the CPU?
  • WoodyPWX - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

  • Tegeril - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Logic and reasoning is not going to convince the trolls. But I applaud the effort :)
  • steven75 - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Very well put.

    Also, let's not forget the gigantic order of magnitude more interest there is for the iPhone over the Nexus line. Those barely sell at all.
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I guess the only question then, is, why come here at all, much less complain about bias every time?

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