DisplayMate: The iPad mini Has ‘Just A Very Capable Display’, But It’s No Android Tablet

It’s no surprise that the iPad mini isn’t Retina, but many were shocked that Apple would release a “sub-par” display on a new device. Fact is, Apple doesn’t owe us Retina, it’s a luxury they have given us. Can we all stop complaining about the display now? If you don’t like it, don’t buy one. It’s that Simple.

DisplayMate’s Ray Soneira has written a report showcasing the iPad mini’s faults:

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. What’s more, the displays on existing mini Tablets from Amazon and Google outperform the iPad mini in most of our Lab tests as documented below in the Shoot-Out Comparison Table. 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.

I strongly disagree. Apple didn’t make a poor choice. They chose not to make it Retina. Whether that was because of expenses, technology, or changing resolutions, Apple decided that was the best move for the moment. Sure, the iPad mini will eventually get the Retina treatment, but I don’t think it was created based on “poor choices.”

Soneira does make a valid point about sub-pixel rendering. Retina really only benefits text the most. Other than that, the iPad mini has a higher pixel density than a lot of other Apple products.

Apple could have increased the iPad mini Screen Resolution in the same way as it did for the iPhone 5 – simply having older Apps running Letterboxed inside a higher resolution display, which would have been a great way to provide a higher Pixels Per Inch display. iOS and newer Apps would have used the full higher Resolution – that didn’t happen. While screen Resolution gets lots of attention from both consumers and marketers – it’s really only critical for providing visually sharp text – but that applies for most applications running on a Tablet. As we have pointed out a number of times, the best way to increase visual text sharpness on any display is by using Sub-Pixel Rendering, which Apple should now implement in order for the iPad mini to become competitive on visual sharpness…

I think adding another resolution to the mix would be too much, too fast. That would put Apple at three resolution additions for this year alone, and that’s not including the Retina MacBook Pro.

Overall, I think the display of the iPad mini looks fine. There’s nothing extraordinary about it, but it works great. At the end of the day, if you don’t like the iPad mini because it lacks a Retina display, don’t buy one. I enjoy using my iPad mini more than I do the fourth generation iPad. It’s slim, sleek, light, and runs iOS. In my opinion, that makes it a clear winner.

Can we all quit complaining now?

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