DisplayMate pans iPad mini Retina display in three-way test

Following AnandTech's lukewarm reaction to the new iPad mini screen, now DisplayMate has placed the new Apple tablet's screen dead last in a three-way race.

Following AnandTech 's lukewarm reaction to the new iPad mini screen, now DisplayMate has placed the new Apple tablet's screen dead last in a three-way race.

The Apple iPad mini with Retina display. (Credit: Apple)

In the study, which pitted the new iPad mini with Retina display against the 2013 Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, DisplayMate found both Amazon and Google's tablets excellent but weren't as happy with Apple's offering.

Amazon's HDX 8.9 tablet previously gained the highest accolade from DisplayMate, with the testers saying it was "the best performing tablet display that we have ever tested". This success, continued in the HDX 7, is attributed to Amazon's use of a high-performance low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) display with quantum dots, increasing the screen's colour gamut to over 100 per cent sRGB while also improving power efficiency.

The Google Nexus 7 (2013). (Credit: Google)

The Nexus 7, which was recently refreshed around a new 1920x1200 pixel 7-inch LTPS display, was singled out by DisplayMate for its extremely high overall brightness, as well as its 100 per cent gamut saturation.

The new Apple iPad mini, though, is only able to reproduce 63 per cent of the tested colour gamut — only a minor improvement from the 62 per cent coverage of the original mini. At 326ppi, though, the mini beats both the 323ppi Nexus 7 and 323ppi HDX 7 in screen sharpness, although by a negligible amount.

DisplayMate also takes note with screen reflectivity and overall brightness; the iPad mini reflects 10 per cent more light from an external light source than the Nexus 7 and is only able to display a maximum brightness that is 72 per cent that of the Nexus. High ambient light contrast, at only 66 per cent of the Nexus 7, means the iPad mini is markedly inferior for reading outdoors or for use in a bright room.

DisplayMate's full results generally find the HDX 7 and Nexus 7 largely comparable, although the HDX 7's quantum dots and the Nexus 7's extreme brightness trade blow for blow throughout the test. The iPad mini lags behind both other tablets — except in gamma: it hits the standard 2.2 target almost spot on, where other tablets are unable to.

This is the second strike against the new iPad mini's Retina display from a reputable reviewer; AnandTech was unimpressed with the 7.9-inch display's colour reproduction in its recent testing.


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