Did you think the $399 iPad 2 was just Apple cleaning out inventory? Think again: the iPad 2,4, as its known inside its own firmware, has a new A5 chip built upon a 32 nanometer process, which means it’s cheaper for Apple to make… and potentially more battery efficient to boot.
The end result is that if you’re an iPad2,4 owner, you’ve got Samsung 32nm HKMG silicon inside. There’s no doubt about iPad2,4 being out and in the wild either, as a number of geekbench 2 runs have popped up since release on their online result browser, which I’ve been watching like a hawk. As an aside, performance between the S5L8942 (A5R2) and S5L8940 (A5) is virtually unchanged between the iPad2,4 and iPad2,1 if you compare runs on the result browser.
The interesting other question is whether iPad2,4 owners have improved battery life compared to those with iPad2,1 (WiFi), though admittedly that’s not going to be a common upgrade path for existing iPad 2 owners to check out. I no longer own an iPad 2 but am going to set out to measure and compare to see just how much of a difference there is, which in turn might say something interesting about Samsung’s 32nm HKMG process.
So there you go. It stands to reason that the new iPad 2 is at least a squidge more battery efficient than the A5 in the previous model, since a smaller nanometer process tends to increase battery life, but either way, you’re not just getting Apple’s leftovers… and the new 32nm A5 chips that don’t entirely pass muster are being handed down to the 1080p Apple TV for extra efficiency. Hurrah!