The iPad Mini Retina has seriously lost a display benchmark test which compared the 7.9-inch Apple tablet to the 7-inch Nexus 7 from Google and 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX 7 from Amazon. Anandtech did the benchmark test for the the three devices running "Marco Arment's image retention test." They discovered that the iPad Mini Retina did not even have the slightest bit of image retention and the color gamut hadn't been changed between the iPad Mini 2012 and the iPad Mini Retina. The tests ultimately placed the iPad Mini Retina in a distant third place behind the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HDX 7.
The iPad Mini Retina has an indium-gallium-zinc Oxide display, compared to the Nexus 7's low temperature poly-silicon and the Kindle Fire HDX 7's Quantum Dots display. These are three different kinds of display technology. A test was conducted by Dr. Ray Soneria who matched up the displays and tests the following benchmarks, "Objective Picture Quality, Absolute Color Accuracy, Screen Reflectance, High Ambient Light Display Performance, Peak Brightness, Contrast Ratio, Image Contrast Accuracy, Viewing Angle Performance, Display Power, and Battery Running Time." The result of the benchmarks test showed that despite the high resolution and high PPI display of the iPad Mini Retina it had the same 63% color gamut of the original iPad Mini and the iPad 2. The color gamut is the range of colors that a display can produce. The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 7 both have 100% color gamut by comparison, as do the iPad 3 and iPad 4. Dr. Soneria draws the following conclusion about the iPad Mini Retina:
The new Google Nexus 7 has a very impressive display that uses the highest performance LCDs with Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS. The very high efficiency LTPS technology allows the new Nexus 7 display to provide a full 100 percent Color Gamut and at the same time produce the brightest Tablet display that we have measured so far in this Shoot-Out series.
Most impressive of all is the Kindle fire HDX 7 - the first Tablet display to use super high technology Quantum Dots, which produce highly saturated primary colors that are similar to those produced by OLED displays. They not only significantly increase the Color Gamut to 100 percent but also improve the power efficiency at the same time. Quantum Dots are going to revolutionize LCDs for the next 5+ years.
And finally... the iPad mini with Retina Display unfortunately comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7 because it still has the same small 63 percent Color Gamut as the original iPad mini and even older iPad 2. That is inexcusable for a current generation premium Tablet. The big differences in Color Gamut between the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Nexus 7 and the much smaller 63 percent Gamut in the iPad mini Retina Display were quite obvious and easy to see in the side-by-side Viewing Tests.
What this means for the iPad Mini Retina is that it is an inferior product and more expensive compared to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 7 which have better technology compared to the iPad Mini Retina. It's worth pointing out that when it comes to quality displays this was a field in which Apple used to be a leader, "Two innovative Tablet manufacturers, Amazon and Google, have significantly leapfrogged Apple by introducing Tablet displays using LTPS (in the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and the new Nexus 7), and they are significantly outperforming the IGZO and a-Si displays in the current iPads. Apple was once the leader in mobile displays, unfortunately it has fallen way behind in both Tablets and Smartphones. This should be a wakeup call..." On top of that, according to ZDNET, Apple has been plagued by production shortages and inferior products, making it no longer a leader in displays.
CNET further comments that the iPad Mini Retina doesn't hold up compared to the quality of the iPad Air. The iPad Air has full SRGB coverage as does the Retina Display Macbook Pro and iMac. When it comes to the iPad Mini Retina placed side by side with some of these devices there is color deviation in red/blue and magenta. To see charts along with the color display see HERE. In addition to these problems NBC News Digital reports that the iPad Mini Retina also suffered because of it's mirror-like surface. The iPad Mini Retina display had a high amount of reflectivity resulting in images becoming washed out by ambient light. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the iPad Mini Retina has the lowest brightness at 30% less than the Nexus 7 and the lowest contrast ratings. What this means is that if you're a user that likes to watch movies, stream videos or look at pictures on screen it is likely more worthwhile to use the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HDX 7 rather than the iPad Mini Retina. Bascially with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 7 you can get a better display for a better price.
Check out our other stories about the iPad Mini Retina, Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 here: