Spotted: Apple iPad 2 with 32-nm A5 Processor

Source: Apple's new iPad/ Apple

Last April, it was discovered that Apple silently tweaked its iPad 2 16GB model with Wi-Fi. It is said that the tablet is equipped with 32-nanometer die shrink of the A5 on-a-chip system. The device carries an “iPad2,4” identifier, which was first spotted in an iOS 5.1 beta last November 2011. However, the model it was trying to represent during that time was vague.

Tweaked Model, Better Battery Life

It seems that the company is testing their production of next-generation processors in lower-volume devices, as a similar die shrink of the A5 was found in the new Apple TV. On the other hand, the A5X chip used in the new iPad is based on the 45-nanometer process.

Industry website Anadtech was able to get their hands on of the tweaked iPad 2 models, and subjected the tablet to a series of battery and performance test. They found out that the revised model has the same performance as the original iPad 2, but with a better battery life of 15-30 percent in several benchmarking tests.

“Assuming Apple didn’t change any fundamentals of its micro-architecture, the iPad 2,4’s gains in battery life can be attributed directly to the process. The gains themselves are significant. We measured a 15 percent increase in our web browsing battery life, a nearly 30 percent increase in gaming battery life and an 18 percent increase in video playback battery life. Although Apple hasn’t revised its battery life specs, the iPad 2,4 definitely lasts longer on a single charge than the original iPad 2.”

Not Available for Customers

However, Anandtech notes that there seems to be no way for customers to get their own tweaked iPad 2. That’s because there are still significant number of the original iPad 2 in circulation. It’ll be difficult for buyers to distinguish which model is tweaked or not, unless the tablet is unboxed and turned on.

It was also speculated that Apple remained mum about it because they don’t want to see customers returning their devices if they don’t get the model with the newer chip. On the contrary, there are buyers who thinks that better battery life is just one metric away from the original model.

Although the tweaked iPad 2 has 15-30 percent greater battery life, it still has the same screen with two times the resolution, quad-core graphics and incredible optics. The retained features of the original iPad 2 are enough for them. Nevertheless, they still acknowledge that a tablet with a die shrink A5 32-nm processors will make it run leaner and meaner than before.

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