Retina iPad mini shows fewer colours than iPad Air, tests say

Apple's tiny new tablet also shows a smaller range of hues than Google's Nexus 7.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Apple's latest tiny iPad shows fewer colours than rival tablets, according to screen-crunching tests.

While the iPad mini with retina display packs a massively improved number of pixels into its 7.9-inch panel, it displays the same range of hues as last year's mini, AnandTech's screen tests show.

Moreover, it displays a smaller gamut of colours than the iPad Air, Google's Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, according to the site, and offers 'less than the sRGB coverage we normally look for'.

This means there are some specific colours that the new mini's panel can't handle. You can spy the slight difference in the image below (try looking at the red triangle in the bottom-left).

On the plus side, AnandTech's tests suggest the new mini's colour accuracy is on par with the Nexus 7 and last year's larger iPad.

The eye test

We put the iPad mini with Retina display and the new iPad Air side by side, to see if we could discern any colour differences for ourselves. And in fact, we could.

We certainly wouldn't say that the new iPad mini has a bad screen, but in a side by side comparison using the same image on each device, some patches of colour on the Air looked brighter, and more vivid.

In practise, I suspect it's unlikely any owners of Apple's diminutive new slate would find themselves cursing at the tablet's colour range, but the slight difference is worth bearing in mind if top-notch colour reproduction is especially important to you.

The new mini starts at £319, and recently arrived in the UK. Are you tempted to buy one, or not? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: AnandTech