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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:48 PM   #1
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iPad Mini Display Judged 'Very Capable', But Falls Short of iPad and Android Competitors




Much of the discussion about the iPad mini has centered around the device's display, which reportedly represents 43% of the overall cost of manufacturing. While the display is said to take advantage of new "GF2" technology to allow for a thinner, high-quality display, it does not carry the Retina-level resolution users have become accustomed to in the iPhone and iPad.

DisplayMate's Ray Soneira has now put the iPad mini's display through its paces, publishing a new iPad mini Display Technology Shoot-Out comparing its performance to that of the full-size iPad, as well as Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7. Overall, Soneira found that the iPad mini's display is "very capable", but surprisingly falls short of competing devices in a number of areas.
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The iPad mini is certainly a very capable small Tablet, but it does not follow in Apple's tradition of providing the best display, or at least a great display - it has just a very capable display. What's more, the displays on existing mini Tablets from Amazon and Google outperform the iPad mini in most of our Lab tests as documented below in the Shoot-Out Comparison Table. Some of this results from constraints within the iPad product line, and some to realistic constraints on display technology and costs, but much of it is due to a number of poor choices and compromises.
Among the issues Soneira found with the iPad mini's display:

- Lower resolution: This is obviously not a surprise given the cost and power requirements of putting in a full Retina-level display at 326 pixels per inch (ppi), but the 163 ppi screen of the iPad mini even falls short compared to the 216 ppi displays of the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7.

- Reflectance: The iPad mini's screen reflectance measures at a "surprisingly high" 9.0%, meaning that the iPad mini's display reflects 53% more ambient light than the Nexus 7's display and 41% more than the Kindle Fire HD's screen. Both of the competitors also offer better contrast under high ambient light.

- Color gamut: The iPad mini's color gamut registers at 62%, on par with the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4, but below the 100% figure for latest iPhone and full-size iPad models and below the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 at 86%.

While the iPad mini's display falls short of its larger sibling and more direct competitors on pure specs, Soneira does note that the display holds up fairly well in real-world usage due to excellent calibration and color management processing.

A detailed comparison among the iPad mini, Kindle Fire HD, and Nexus 7 can be found in the table accompanying the report.

Article Link: iPad Mini Display Judged 'Very Capable', But Falls Short of iPad and Android Competitors
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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I saw the Kindle Fire HD screen in person, and was not impressed. I had it side by side with the Kindle Fire and could barely tell a difference in Best Buy. I guess every screen looks bad when you are coming from the iPad 3.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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Article does not acclaim Apple as absolute winner?

KILL IT WITH FIRE.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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1024x768 is out of date.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:53 PM   #5
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Fortunately, falling short of the competition doesn't mean it's a bad screen, just in ways not quite as good. Throw in everything else (iOS, App Store, build quality), and it's a winner.

I still think it's overpriced, and I still prefer the 7 overall, but this article doesn't in any way make me think the iPad Mini is an unworthy purchase.
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I saw the Kindle Fire HD screen in person, and was not impressed. I had it side by side with the Kindle Fire and could barely tell a difference in Best Buy.
Having both, I have no idea how you couldn't see the difference. To me, it's immediately clear and apparent.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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Do I love Retina displays from big brother and iPhone 5? Yes. However, I love the Mini and think the screen resolution is a trade off I'm willing to accept right now. Otherwise, I don't notice any other issues with the screen.

I will however sell and repurchase the iPad Mini Gen 2 with Retina next year.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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The mini's form factor is just crushing the competition. The Fire HD and Nexus 7 look like fat and cheap knockoffs.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:55 PM   #8
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Excited to compare the comments in this thread with the comments in the previous DisplayMate post praising the iPhone 5.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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The consensus seems to be that Apple made too many compromises in making the Mini, while not pricing it competitively enough. May not make as much of an impact on small tablet sales as they were expecting. This is the most rapidly growing segment of the tablet market, and Apple may have to react quickly to avoid being on the outside looking in. Great news for Google and the Nexus, though, as their market share should continue to steadily increase.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:56 PM   #10
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The 2nd gen iPad mini will truley be magical and change everything... All over again. With it's mind boggling retina display, and other magical features.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:56 PM   #11
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The nexus 7 may have a faster processor, but web browsing performance on an ipad 2/mini run rings around my Nexus 7.

Clearly Apple known how to use the GPU for scrolling and other goodies.

Project butter in android certainly helped. But it still lags behind iOS in smoothness in performance of actual useful tasks instead of benchmarks.

The android game market is a ghost town by comparison...
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacaramac View Post
Do I love Retina displays from big brother and iPhone 5? Yes. However, I love the Mini and think the screen resolution is a trade off I'm willing to accept right now. Otherwise, I don't notice any other issues with the screen.

I will however sell and repurchase the iPad Mini Gen 2 with Retina next year.
I sure hope the iPad Mini 2 is retina next year. It could take an extra generation and be 2014 before it's retina. It's all down to costs and battery technology.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValSalva View Post
I sure hope the iPad Mini 2 is retina next year. It could take an extra generation and be 2014 before it's retina. It's all down to costs and battery technology.
I'm sure they couldn't have put a retina display in this year's iPad mini. But chose not to so they have a selling point for next year's iPad mini
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacFather View Post
1024x768 is out of date.
I can't deny this at all. My 12" iBook G4 and 15" iMac G4 carry this resolution.

However, I use both all the time, and I think the resolutions are fine. When compacted that down onto a 7.9" display, I would imagine it looks just fine. We've just been spoiled by Retina Displays; that's all.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacinDoc View Post
The consensus seems to be that Apple made too many compromises in making the Mini, while not pricing it competitively enough. May not make as much of an impact on small tablet sales as they were expecting. This is the most rapidly growing segment of the tablet market, and Apple may have to react quickly to avoid being on the outside looking in. Great news for Google and the Nexus, though, as their market share should continue to steadily increase.
3 million sales in the opening weekend says otherwise
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heov View Post
Excited to compare the comments in this thread with the comments in the previous DisplayMate post praising the iPhone 5.
Considering the fact that the iPhone 5 has a better screen than the iPad Mini, this is hardly surprising.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gpat View Post
Article does not acclaim Apple as absolute winner?

KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Kill you with fire. Leave that 4chan crap where it belongs.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
The mini's form factor is just crushing the competition. The Fire HD and Nexus 7 look like fat and cheap knockoffs.
Crushing is in the eye of the beholder, it seems.

The Fire HD and Nexus 7 are comparably sized and cost significantly less, and they are not knockoffs - the opposite is true. The iPad Mini is on the market because of those devices (or, really, because of the original Fire).
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
3 million sales in the opening weekend says otherwise
3 million is the iPad Mini + iPad 4th gen.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:00 PM   #20
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Considering the fact that the iPhone 5 has a better screen than the iPad Mini, this is hardly surprising.
You can add the 2.5 year old iPhone 4 to that list too.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:01 PM   #21
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I get it. It's not "retina", but it's still a capable device with pretty good resolution.

I think "relflectance" could be more problematic, as I see the mini as a potential draw for the e-reader crowd. No real data for that assumption, just my two cents.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:01 PM   #22
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Most people aren't going to notice the difference. Those with retina screens at home will probably see it going back and forth, but on its own its hardly that noticeable.

That being said, we'd better get used to it, because I don't think the mini is going to get a retina upgrade at least not in the next product cycle and maybe even further out. The whole reason Apple bit the bullet and used this screen is to keep the resolutions from fragmentizing the line. The only way Apple could make the iPad mini a retina screen is by doubling its current resolution to the res of the new iPads. But as its a smaller screen, they would end up putting a better screen in their cheapest iPad, and thats not going to happen. And its not just a matter of the screen. A retina screen with that kind of resolution is going to need the latest processor, so Apple would be selling a form factor that many people prefer to the new iPad (size wise), with a better screen and the latest processor for $329 when the full size with the same specs and a slightly worse screen goes for $499. Talk about cannibalization! I think the non-retina screen helps sell the device cheaper and differentiates it from its big brothers.

No one is going to have a problem with the current screen except for pixel counters and fandroids that need something to latch on to. How about an article on how if Apple does something, the world rushes out to critique it and a million bloggers jump all over it for how terrible it is, when the competition is producing crappy device after crappy device. Can we critique them for a while?
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:01 PM   #23
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Of course it's going to fall short... it's the iPad *mini*.

Picture related
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
3 million sales in the opening weekend says otherwise
Could have been even more if they had been more aggressive with pricing. After all the rumors, quite a demand had been built up for the Mini by the time it was released, so I suspect that sales will drop off quite a bit after the initial surge.

Now this is not to say that it's not a delightful device to use, but only that Apple missed the mark and may have lost the opportunity to obliterate the competition in the tablet market.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:02 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
3 million sales in the opening weekend says otherwise
It's funny how sales figures imply excellent products when it comes to Apple, and yet never did when it came to, say, Windows PCs, or now with Android devices.

Either sales figures are an important indicator of quality or they're not. They can't only matter when Apple is winning.
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