Display expert says iPad mini falls well short of the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7

November 5, 2012

Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of research firm Displaymate, says the iPad mini is “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."

The iPad mini, just released last Friday, does not have the same high res, Retina display as the newer full-sized iPad, rather it’s about the equivalent of the iPad 2, which Apple still sells, but is over a year old.

Soneira says in his report that the displays on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7 outperformed the iPad mini in most of his lab tests.

While Soneira says some of the iPad’s trailing marks can be attributed to constraints in costs and display technology, “much of it is due to a number of poor choices and compromises.”

Among other areas, Soneira slams the iPad mini for screen visibility since, as the most portable iPad, it will likely be under a variety of brighter ambient lighting than fuller sized models.

“Most displays are now coming with lower Reflectance screens,” says Soneira.

“The Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 managed to accomplish this, even at their low price points, but the iPad mini comes with an unusually high Reflectance – it reflects 53% more ambient light than the Nexus 7 and 41% more than the Kindle Fire HD.”

It remains to be seen how well the iPad mini will sell, but the early word is very promising for Apple which reports it’s almost sold out of the new model and is building up its manufacturing capacity to meet demand.

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