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Kindle Fire HDX 7, iPad mini & Nexus 7 display shootout has a winner

by David Needle

November 18 2013

The iPad mini isn't keeping pace when it comes to its high res display.
The iPad mini isn't keeping pace when it comes to its high res display.

Looking for a new, smaller tablet? There are plenty of great choices, but the display of the tablet should be a consideration in any buying decision. 

Display expert Ray Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies, put the top three smaller tablets through a rigorous series of tests to determine which has the best display.

The results may surprise you. Of the three the highly touted new iPad mini with Retina display came in third - and a “distant third” at that.

Why? Soneira says the newest iPad mini has a relativley small 63% Color Gamut (same as the original iPad mini and even older iPad 2).

“That is inexcusable for a current generation premium tablet,” says Soneira, who notes the difference between the iPad mini and both the Kindle Fire HDX and Nexus 7 were “quite obvious.”

The Nexus 7 gets high marks for “an impressive display” that Soneira notes 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.”

Superior brightness is a nice feature, but it was Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 7 that took home first place for the “most impressive” display of all the three tablets.

Soneira notes it’s the first tablet display to use “Quantum Dots,” a technology he says is going to “revolutionize LCDs for the next 5+ years.”

(For news, trends and insights about the the tablet market, sign up for the free TabTimes Daily newsletter)

He concludes that Amazon and Google have “significantly leapfrogged Apple” with superior displays. Ironic, given Apple was first to make the tablet display a point of differentiation when it debuted the first Retina display on the 3rd generation iPad.

“Apple was once the leader in mobile displays, unfortunately it has fallen way behind in both tablets and smartphones,” said Soneira.

But the battle is far from over. Soneira says “there is still tremendous room for improvement and innovation in display technology,” which means Apple could still leapfrog the competition again, just not with its latest iPad mini. 

David Needle is Editor of TabTimes and based in Silicon Valley.
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