iPad Mini comes in disappointing 3rd on display


Times are exciting whenever there’s a technology ‘war’ afoot. The iPad Mini is the newest gauntlet to be thrown down by Apple, but does its smaller size invariably mean it’s better?

Well, according to people who’ve actually used it: no, it doesn’t. Reviews online indicate that the iPad Mini is actually performing below the expected bar. It received disappointing ratings for its lower display resolution, compared to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, and for a company that’s used to plaudits from pundits and the public, this must be a stick in Apple’s craw.

In lab tests performed by DisplayMate Technologies, the iPad Mini was outperformed by its two rivals, for most of the time. The reason for its non-performance is the lack of Apple’s characteristic Retina Display, first released in 2011, where the resolution and pixel density is so high it is impossible to discern individual pixels from a normal distance. This much-touted Apple feature is what gives excellent clarity of image, but which is sadly lacking in the iPad Mini.

In comparison, the Mini has a pixel-per-inch (ppi) density of 163 pixels, whereas the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are both rated at 216 ppi. The Mini also reflects 53 percent more ambient light than the Nexus 7 and 41 percent more than the Kindle Fire HD. So in terms of reduced reflected glare, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD outperform the Mini. The Mini also has a very much smaller colour gamut (range of specific colours) than the Nexus and Kindle, and even its predecessors, the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. The Mini has 62 percent CG while the Kindle and Nexus both have 86 percent, and the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 both have 100 percent!

While it may seem all doom and gloom for the iPad Mini, bear in mind that this is Apple’s first foray into the miniaturised category, and improvements are definitely on the books (reports are that the iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display is being tossed about the boardroom).

Money.CNN recommends that if you plan to use your tablet for reading and e-books, the Nexus is the one to go for, and if you plan to use apps more than text, the Mini is your best choice.

And just as a point of interest, yes, all three tablets blend equally well.

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