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
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.