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The display of the Apple iPad mini is tested against its main two 7 inch Android competitors

Posted: , by Alan F.

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The display of the Apple iPad mini is tested against its main two 7 inch Android competitors
DisplayMate took an in-depth look of the display on the Apple iPad mini and compared it to the screens on the two tablets most mentioned as competition for Apple's byte-sized tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. DisplayMate's Dr. Raymond Soneira did the research and concluded that while the Apple iPad mini is "a capable small tablet," it did not follow Apple's tradition of loading its products up with the best display. He blamed the low-resolution the iPad mini as coming from compromises and poor choices within Apple.

"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. 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."-Dr. Raymond Soneira, DisplayMate

A Retina display for the Apple iPad mini would have been much too costly given the size of the screen, but with a resolution of 1024 x 768, the pixel density on the Apple iPad mini is a very disappointing 163ppi. Dr. Soneira suggests that a better resolution for the iPad mini would have been 1280 x 960. With that resolution, Apple could have had an HD display, letterboxing for older apps and easier to read text. One of the problems with the Apple tablets display is that it reflects 51% more ambient light than the Google Nexus 7 and 41% more than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

Of the trio, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD was thought to have the best display

Of the trio, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD was thought to have the best display

DisplayMate tested the tablets in a variety of categories. In Brightness and Contrast, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD graded out at "A-" as well as the Google Nexus 7. The Apple iPad mini earned a "B". All three had very good viewing angles with the Google Nexus 7 on top. When it comes to battery life, the Google Nexus 7 led the way with 9.1 hours at maximum brightness, followed by the 6.6 hours that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD lasted. The Apple iPad mini ran for 6.1 hours before the battery died. Another major shortcoming for the Apple iPad mini was its color gamut which scored only 62% of standard as opposed to a much better 86% on the two other tablets.

According to DisplayMate, the screen on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is the best of the three with a grade of "A-". The tablet was said to show "very good images" with accurate color and contrast for photos and videos. The Apple iPad Mini was second with a "B"grade while the Google Nexus 7 had a "B-". You can check the breakdown of the analysis below.

source: DisplayMate via AppleInsider



21 Comments
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posted on 05 Nov 2012, 23:48 25

1. Savage (unregistered)


I don't get it. The writer made Nexus 7's screen look better in the article but it came last. Either this is another pathetic attempt to promote the Mini's obsolete screen or the article's summary is wrong and more details needed to be specified.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 00:02 1

3. Lift_Off (Posts: 152; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


Maybe because of the "washed out color and contrast" or the "dithered coloring and false contouring". Thats really all I see up there that the nexus 7 got marked down for. Sometimes the display will look nicer with true colors even though the pixels per inch might be lower. Just my guess as to why it got a "B-"

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 00:28 2

4. Savage (unregistered)


Nexus 7's screen took a major beating in areas where it mattered most although iPad Mini often came last in most comparisons. They should have declared it a tie and named Kindle Fire a winner.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 22:38

19. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Amazon Should have put a bigger battery on the Amazon Kindle fire HD, and better specs

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 00:28 4

5. Dr.Phil (Posts: 916; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


It also looks to be a possible software issue according to DisplayMate.

"The Factory Display Calibration problem mentioned above for the Nexus 7 display qualifies as a bug because it is a software or firmware problem rather than an inherent hardware display issue. Depending on the display firmware this may or may not be correctable with a software update."

It was also running Android 4.1.1 when they were doing there tests, so it may or may not have been fixed with Android 4.2. Who knows?

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 02:11 2

10. Savage (unregistered)


Sure, now we need to compare them again when 4.2 is installed in N7.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 03:26 1

13. ardent1 (Posts: 1997; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


The author of the report used a color-coded scheme: Green shaded cells means the best while yellow-shaded cells means less than the best. However, the author did not provide the grading scheme meaning you can't replicate the score.

It is an objective analysis given the author's technical background. You have to keep in mind the iPad Mini's display is about 35% larger than either the Kindle or Nexus 7 and that does play a HUGE role in web surfing, etc.

Apple has a policy of not bring out the best features until it is commercially feasible. It took three tries for Apple to bring retina display to the iPad something that is lost to many people. Google, Amazon, et al are practically sh*tting in their pants because Apple products get better over time meaning the next generation Mini is just going to that much harder to compete. Right now Amazon and Google is playing the pricing game, and that can't last. People who are educated know the real cost of a product is it's depreciation cost. Since Apple products have high resale value, that more than offset the high initial price.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 03:34 5

15. Savage (unregistered)


Why would Google and Amazon be afraid of a device that will come out next? The next year's Mini will compete with next year's Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. You are making it sound as if only Apple updates their tablets.

posted on 07 Nov 2012, 07:27

20. bensch (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Nov 2012)


ardent1, I do not agree with your depreciation cost argument. Tablets are not houses, or cars for that matter. Their depreciation costs are completely irrelevant as they are not designed to be sold as second hand products. Instead, their initial cost-quality ratio is what is important when purchasing a tablet. The cost-quality ratio of the iPad mini is completely ridiculous. Its design is not innovative, its screen is not special at all, its features are limited and quite universally found in hundreds of devices today, its OS is expensive to update and very basic, bluetooth is virtually useless unless you are going to use an earpiece to skype or face time. So what does that leave us with? A very high price . A price which is not explainable considering the iPad mini's features. Gizmodo had an interesting article on the iPad mini's price, go read it:http://gizmodo.com/5956252/the-ipad-mini-costs-141-more-than-its-components-add-up-to

Finally, the iPad's 35% screen size "advantage" over the competition would certainly help if the resolution was appropriate. Unfortunately it is not even HD, while lacking a decent ppi densitiy... Which means your browsing experience on the mini will be average if not worse because a high res display paired with a high ppi makes reading and viewing web pages a lot better. More space without a good res and ppi will not help apple's case.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 03:30 4

14. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1087; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


And here we were wondering why Apple's stock has been plumetting!
This is just more proof that Apple uses underrated stuff and charges through the roof for iCrap!

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 23:59 5

2. ElektronicGeek91 (Posts: 105; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Everybody already know this is not going to stop people from buying the mini. Even though it clearly states everything it DONT have.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 00:34 2

6. phil2n (Posts: 474; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


kindle FTW.. Comparison between the three tablets is biased specially in iPad mini and Nexus 7. Kindle Fire HD no doubt it has the best display among the 3

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 00:39 3

7. mydi.maus (unregistered)


poor mini pull mini off the shelves apple and dig its grave..

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 01:08 4

8. Evil.Bunny (Posts: 41; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


What about the 1440x900 screen of the nook tablet ???

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 01:16 6

9. Evil.Bunny (Posts: 41; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


So let me get this straight
N7 has better ppi;
Best viewing angle;
almost 50% more battery than competitors at max brightness;
40% better colour reproduction than iPad mini
and better bightness and contrast than iPad mini but comparable to kinde

and yet, Kindle gets "A-", Ipad mini gets "B" and N7 gets B-"

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 02:25 4

11. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


and still people will buy this...

im not against apple, im actually loving iDevices..but this iPad mini makes me sick.. too pricey for its total cost! 43% profit margin is huge!

the basic iPad mini,16GB, should just cost $250 (coz its apple and i understand this) but putting a pricetag for $330 for 16GB?! that is ridiculous! even though it looks very premium and and got the huge screen, but its not HD screen or even retina! not even running a6 chips..running the old iPad 2's specs... but if you ask me, maybe the reason why apple didnt make siri available to iPad 2 because of iPad mini! same specs (but smaller) and iPad 2 can be update to iOS 6 but no siri! and its current price is $399 which is only $60 higher than iPad min! apple really makes everything with margins...

but still people will buy this! the sad truth!

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 03:18 10

12. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


also a key fact to remember is that the N7 was first, other products are newer.

IMO the nexus 7 is the best device out of these

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 05:53 5

16. Aeires (unregistered)


I'm just surprised they are claiming a retina display would have been too costly when they are estimated to be making 43% profit on the Mini. We all know the retina display will come later, just to get people to upgrade.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 13:02

17. downphoenix (Posts: 2359; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


amazing how the Ipad 2 was praised a year and a half ago for its screen, the ipad mini not so much now despite being pretty much the size but smaller and with a higher PPI. Things sure do change fast.

posted on 07 Nov 2012, 10:55

21. TritonForceX (Posts: 58; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)


Here's an obvious example of a "Tim Cook" decision. Apple has made several comments about not wanting to make a compact version of a tablet. But with an area of competition coming about that didn't include Apple, oh sh*t, we've gotta put something there.

So rather than take a more "Steve Jobs" approach and not let it out until it was at least equal, it looks even more like a "slap something together, put an exorbitant price on it, and claim it's the best thing since humans learned to wipe their ass, it'll sell."

I'm no Steve Jobs fan by any means, but this argument of only putting an Apple product out till it's perfect, even if it uses older technology, is wearing thin more and more. Steve did that for one or two generations, enough to give Apple its name, but it is becoming more apparent with each product iteration that Apple literally is scrambling to keep up because competition is moving faster than they want to, and they're seeing their empire slip more and more.

Hmm, what would be the best way to slow technology progression down among competitors? How about suing the crap out of them with a flawed patent system! Only that's not working too well for them now, either.

posted on 07 Nov 2012, 10:56

22. TritonForceX (Posts: 58; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)


Oh, and it is nice to see an article that doesn't kiss Apple's ass throughout!

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