iPad mini no ipad mini retina soon?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by yth, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. yth, Mar 6, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

    yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    I read the AnandTech review of the ipad mini and it says something interesting about the retina display here:


    Basically, they say that technical limitations will prevent Apple from adding the retina display to the ipad mini in the near future. I don't know tons about retina, but it might be worth reading if you're thinking about waiting for the ipad mini retina. (For those who don't know, AnandTech give very good in-depth technical reviews and I'm guessing they know what they're talking about). Here's the relevant section of the article:

    ----------------------------- ARTICLE -----------------------------

    I prefer reading text and browsing the web on the bigger iPad, but in terms of actually holding the device the mini wins hands down. One iPad is better to look at and one is better to hold. It's a real problem. The obvious solution would be to give the iPad mini a Retina Display. Once again, in our Podcast on this topic, Brian offered poignant insight: a Retina Display likely won't come to the iPad mini.

    There are three routes Apple has to enable a Retina Display on the iPad mini:

    1. Double horizontal and vertical resolution (4x the number of pixels, similar to what was done for the iPad 3/4)
    2. Pick a new, in-between resolution that isn't an outright doubling in each dimension but maintain the 4:3 aspect ratio
    3. Pick a new resolution that isn't an outright doubling, also pick a new aspect ratio in the process

    With the exception of the iPhone 5, Apple has preferred outright quadrupling of pixel count (2x in each dimension, option #1) to create a Retina Display. With the mini's display using a 1024 x 768 resolution, this option would give it a 7.85-inch 2048 x 1536 panel. That would be the same resolution as the iPad 3/4, but in a much smaller display giving it a pixel density of 326 PPI (vs ~263 for the iPad 3/4). Apple could do this, but it would then need to make all of the same changes it made in going to the iPad with Retina Display, primarily the introduction of a larger battery and much larger SoC. The bigger battery is needed to drive the more powerful backlight, and the X-series of SoCs is needed to actually render the UI and games at such a high resolution. Both of these things would increase the size and cost of the mini, which would make it distinctly un-mini.

    The second option would be to pick a new resolution that wasn't an integer multiple of the current one, say 1600 x 1200. You could maintain the same aspect ratio, but you'd just get greater pixel density. The problem with this approach is iOS for the iPad projects points in screen space to one of two resolutions: 1024 x 768 or 2048 x 1536. Picking a non-integer multiple of those resolutions would force Apple to do some scaling and filtering to hit the new resolution, which could reduce quality. Apple does this on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display to enable higher resolution modes. To maximize image quality however, Apple renders the desktop offscreen at 4x the resolution and then scales down to fit the panel. There are obvious performance concerns here as well.

    The final option would be for Apple to take the iPhone 5 route and just pick a new resolution and enable support for it. The only downside to this option is that developers would have to target yet another type of display. As we've seen with the iPhone 5, that can be done but it also means a number of applications may take a while to get updated, if they are at all.

    None of these options is particularly enticing for Apple, especially given the low (for Apple), starting price for the iPad mini. If you're expecting next year's mini to have a Retina Display, I wouldn't hold your breath.
  2. TJ5921 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
  3. Defender2010, Mar 6, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

    Defender2010 macrumors 68030


    Jun 6, 2010
    and? This is last years news all dressed up in a new thread and frankly it's all been discussed before here! I can just hear that annoying Lisa from Anandtech now...
  4. kzhlin macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles
    What are your thoughts on Apple's product releases this year?

    Is there almost no chance of a March/April iPad Mini with Retina release?
    Is a summer (June/July) release more likely? :O
  5. xMClass macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2011
    It will come eventually. Maybe not on the next refresh cycle, but it will. While you people wait, I'll be enjoying my Mini sans Retina Display just fine.
  6. phrk macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2012
    The big news in here is how it took you so long to find this article than the news itself.
  7. JobSteves macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2013
    [as I've said before, a retina mini would need to be bulkier, and heavier to fit the bigger battery thus making it pointless.
  8. DesertEagle macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2012
    /home @
    If they manage to use more efficient backlighting, such as the one rumored for iPad 5, the mini may come with retina display in its current weight and dimensions.
  9. LaurieAnn macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2011
    Me too.
  10. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Couldn't live with the Mini especially knowing the second gen would take awhile to hit the market so I went with the 4. I can easily live with that and wait out the next releases.
  11. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    I don't see the Mini getting a retina display, a faster SoC than the 4, and decent battery life this year all for $329 that's for sure.
  12. chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2012
    Northamptonshire, England
    I don't think we'll see one this year and if we do then i'll upgrade.

    Until then I love my new mini!
  13. fraggot macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    Cox's Creek, KY
    I really wish people would stop using the term Retina display like its a type of technology.
  14. rrjr80 macrumors member


    Jul 11, 2008
    Please tell us more about things you don't like.
  15. loybond macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    The True North, Strong and Free
    Would you rather people say "I can't wait for a screen with double resolution in both dimensions," "I want a resolution-quadrupled screen in the next ipad" etc?

  16. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    No one is doing that.
  17. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Option #1 is doable. There is now more efficient lighting. Sharp has a more efficient and thinner screen. Batteries now have higher capacities. A thinner screen makes room for a larger battery. And yes, they could even make the Mini slightly heavier and slightly thicker.

    Look at the upcoming iPad; it will almost certainly be lighter and slimmer, yet it will still have a retina screen. Those same improvements can be made to the Mini.

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