New Nexus 7 display may offer preview of iPad Mini to come

The second-generation Nexus 7 has one of the highest pixel density displays for a tablet to date. Apple could opt for the same display technology in the iPad Mini Retina.

The Nexus 7's ultra-high-resolution display may be a preview of the screen on a rumored iPad Mini Retina.
The Nexus 7's ultra-high-resolution display may be a preview of the screen on a rumored iPad Mini Retina. Best Buy

The new Nexus 7 may offer a sneak preview of the Retina display on a rumored update to the iPad Mini.

Google's 7-inch tablet's 1,920x1,200 display is not unlike what is expected to appear on the iPad Mini Retina, Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch told CNET.

In short, the Nexus 7 boasts a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch -- one the highest yet for a tablet. That's almost exactly the same density of the 2,048x1,536 display expected to appear on the 7.9-inch iPad Mini Retina.

And Shim says the second-generation Nexus 7 uses Japan Display Inc.'s low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) displays, a technology that Apple is said to be considering for the iPad Mini Retina.

"This is the first case of LTPS on a tablet," Shim said about the new Nexus 7. LTPS has been limited to smartphone displays -- like the one on Apple's iPhone 5 -- to date because it has not been easy to scale the technology to larger displays.

But that may be changing. Apple has been looking at LTPS displays made by Japan Display Inc as well as IGZO displays, made by Sharp, for the iPad Mini Retina, according to Shim.

It's not yet clear which technology will prevail for the iPad Mini Retina, Shim added. (LG Display is also a candidate to make the screens.)

The Mini Retina still appears to be coming later rather than sooner, according to Shim. Possibly as late as early next year.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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