iPad mini 2019 Low cost panel - Does the budget ipad 2018 have an inferior screen to the iPad Air 2?

SSD-GUY

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
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Hi all,

I’m interested in the iPad mini 2019 that has been rumoured to be arriving in the next few weeks. I’m mainly interested as I work as a BA and take a lot of notes for projects etc. Currently my ipad pro is a bit large/heavy to carry around with other things to meetings, and therefore the mini would be the perfect size.

I also use my ipad for commuting in terms of watch Netflix and apps, and I find that it it’s also a bit on the larger size for that too.

However, one thing I’m worried about is this “Low-cost” panel that’s being mentioned regarding the iPad mini 2019. I therefore wanted to ask, does the budget ipad 2018 have an inferior screen to the iPad Air 2 that it’s somewhat modelled after?

This should perhaps give us a good indicator regarding if the iPad mini will have an inferior screen to the previous minis it replaces.

Thanks
 
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Falhófnir

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Aug 19, 2017
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The iPad (5th and 6th gen) has the same screen as the iPad Air (1) - it’s not laminated to the cover glass so there’s a small gap between where you tap and where the screen actually is. I think it’s quite easy to overstate how big an issue this is, but YMMV. I had an iPad 3 which had the same sort of display and it never really bothered me with that model even when using a phone with a laminated display.

The iPad mini 2/3 have the same sort of display as the Air 1 and newer iPads, I would expect Apple to use these as a base (specifically the 3 with Touch ID) if they do change.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
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Prescott Valley, AZ
Hi all,

I’m interested in the iPad mini 2019 that has been rumoured to be arriving in the next few weeks. I’m mainly interested as I work as a BA and take a lot of notes for projects etc. Currently my ipad pro is a bit large/heavy to carry around with other things to meetings, and therefore the mini would be the perfect size.

I also use my ipad for commuting in terms of watch Netflix and apps, and I find that it it’s also a bit on the larger size for that too.

However, one thing I’m worried about is this “Low-cost” panel that’s being mentioned regarding the iPad mini 2019. I therefore wanted to ask, does the budget ipad 2018 have an inferior screen to the iPad Air 2 that it’s somewhat modelled after?

This should perhaps give us a good indicator regarding if the iPad mini will have an inferior screen to the previous minis it replaces.

Thanks
As @Falhófnir has mentioned, the 2018 iPad has the same screen as the Air 1. I (had the Air 2) and have the 2018 iPad, 2015 12.9 iPad Pro, and iPad Mini 4. There is a lot of hyperbole surrounding the "air gap" of the non-laminated screen on the 2018 iPad. Of all the iPads I currently own, the 2018 iPad gets used every day, all day. The screen is just fine. The portability (over the 12.9 Pro) and support for the Apple Pencil 1 (and Logitech Crayon) make it a great productivity tool. All of my iPads are Space Gray (black bezel) and others have said that the gap is noticeable on iPads with white bezels (so keep that in mind).

The Mini 4 currently has the highest density display (pixels per inch) of any iPad (Pro or non-Pro) including the latest 2018 iPad Pros. If an updated Mini has the same density but a non-laminated display like the 2018 iPad (+processor upgrade, +support for Apple Pencil 1), then I'd have no problem buying one.

If the updated Mini doesn't support the Pencil, then I highly recommend the 2018 iPad (currently on sale, starting at $250).

You mentioned taking notes for projects, meetings, etc. that is exactly how I use my 2018 iPad (and more). Check out my thread on the 2019 Notebook/Journal for examples.
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
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The iPad (5th and 6th gen) has the same screen as the iPad Air (1) - it’s not laminated to the cover glass so there’s a small gap between where you tap and where the screen actually is. I think it’s quite easy to overstate how big an issue this is, but YMMV. I had an iPad 3 which had the same sort of display and it never really bothered me with that model even when using a phone with a laminated display.

The iPad mini 2/3 have the same sort of display as the Air 1 and newer iPads, I would expect Apple to use these as a base (specifically the 3 with Touch ID) if they do change.
As @Falhófnir has mentioned, the 2018 iPad has the same screen as the Air 1. I (had the Air 2) and have the 2018 iPad, 2015 12.9 iPad Pro, and iPad Mini 4. There is a lot of hyperbole surrounding the "air gap" of the non-laminated screen on the 2018 iPad. Of all the iPads I currently own, the 2018 iPad gets used every day, all day. The screen is just fine. The portability (over the 12.9 Pro) and support for the Apple Pencil 1 (and Logitech Crayon) make it a great productivity tool. All of my iPads are Space Gray (black bezel) and others have said that the gap is noticeable on iPads with white bezels (so keep that in mind).

The Mini 4 currently has the highest density display (pixels per inch) of any iPad (Pro or non-Pro) including the latest 2018 iPad Pros. If an updated Mini has the same density but a non-laminated display like the 2018 iPad (+processor upgrade, +support for Apple Pencil 1), then I'd have no problem buying one.

If the updated Mini doesn't support the Pencil, then I highly recommend the 2018 iPad (currently on sale, starting at $250).

You mentioned taking notes for projects, meetings, etc. that is exactly how I use my 2018 iPad (and more). Check out my thread on the 2019 Notebook/Journal for examples.
Thank you both for responding.
I’m waiting anxiously for the new mini. I’m hoping it has at least 3GB of ram as 2GB would be a bit of a kick in the teeth in 2019. And a reduction in PPI would probably cause me to not buy it.

I’m hoping too that the rumours are true and it has Apple Pencil support along with a redesigned Smart Keyboard, otherwise I’ll hold onto my 10.5”
 

MacDevil7334

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Oct 15, 2011
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Austin TX
It’s not just the laminated screen that’s a differentiator between the Air 2 and the “budget” iPads that came after it. The Air 2 also had an anti-reflective coating on the screen that reduced glare. The laminated screen and the coating did make a noticeable difference in screen quality. How big a deal that difference is to you probably depends on how you use your iPad. If you mainly use it indoors and away from bright lamps or windows, you probably don’t care. If you use your iPad more outside or in the brighter lights of an office, those improvements are noticeable.

The current Mini 4 also has a laminated screen with the anti-reflective coating (at the time it came out the Mini 4 was essentially a shrunken Air 2). If Apple goes back to the non-coated with an air gap screen of the Mini 3, it will definitely be a downgrade in screen quality, but not a major one. Now, if Apple also goes back to the reduced color gamut of the Mini 3 (which only had 67% of the sRGB color space), that would be a much bigger deal. I don’t think that would be a defensible move in 2019.

My guess is you will see the Mini 4 panel (full sRGB coverage) but non-laminated and with no anti-reflective coating, a processor bump to A10, and maybe gen 1 Apple Pencil support. If you’re holding out for a keyboard too, I suspect you will be disappointed. No rumors have indicated a keyboard is coming, and I’m not sure how that would even work given the mini’s small size.
 

sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
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Prescott Valley, AZ
The downside to the anti-reflective coating is that it shows every fingerprint smudge on the screen. I find that to be more distracting than any glare. My solution (whether or not it has an anti-reflective coating) is to use a matte screen protector. All of my iPads now have them... cuts down glare, makes fingerprint smudges virtually invisible, and gives an ever-so-slight resistance when using the Apple Pencil.
 

Greenmeenie

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Jan 14, 2013
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I wonder what gen apple pencil will work with the next ipad mini. I am hoping the 2nd gen as i already own one for my ipad pro...but that would mean a flat edged redesign for the mini, and I have seen zero leaks supporting this so far.
 
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SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
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Interstellar
It’s not just the laminated screen that’s a differentiator between the Air 2 and the “budget” iPads that came after it. The Air 2 also had an anti-reflective coating on the screen that reduced glare. The laminated screen and the coating did make a noticeable difference in screen quality. How big a deal that difference is to you probably depends on how you use your iPad. If you mainly use it indoors and away from bright lamps or windows, you probably don’t care. If you use your iPad more outside or in the brighter lights of an office, those improvements are noticeable.

The current Mini 4 also has a laminated screen with the anti-reflective coating (at the time it came out the Mini 4 was essentially a shrunken Air 2). If Apple goes back to the non-coated with an air gap screen of the Mini 3, it will definitely be a downgrade in screen quality, but not a major one. Now, if Apple also goes back to the reduced color gamut of the Mini 3 (which only had 67% of the sRGB color space), that would be a much bigger deal. I don’t think that would be a defensible move in 2019.

My guess is you will see the Mini 4 panel (full sRGB coverage) but non-laminated and with no anti-reflective coating, a processor bump to A10, and maybe gen 1 Apple Pencil support. If you’re holding out for a keyboard too, I suspect you will be disappointed. No rumors have indicated a keyboard is coming, and I’m not sure how that would even work given the mini’s small size.
There was a rumor posted by this very site which looked into the code for an iOS beta and stated that Apple Pencil and Smart keyboard support were found.