The lack of a high density Retina display in the iPad mini has bothered quite a few people, especially those who are regular users of the iPad 3. The iPad mini, with the same resolution as the iPad 2, is the first non-Retina iOS product Apple has introduced in the past two years.
The decision Apple took is obviously easy to understand: Retina displays cost a lot, add bulk, and Apple typically tries to optimise its supply chain dynamics over a few product iterations to extract better prices and higher yields.
The folks at Repair Labs analysed the iPad mini’s display under the microscope and compared it to several other iOS devices. The pixels on the iPad mini are one and a half times bigger than that on the iPad 4.
When compared to the iPad 2, the iPad mini’s pixels are 25 percent smaller. So although Apple doesn’t term the display on the iPad mini Retina, it still is better than the iPad 2, with a denser screen.
Rene Ritchie over at iMore did a more understandable comparison of the displays from a user standpoint, by clicking close up shots of all the devices using a Macro lens:
From left: iPad 2, iPad mini, iPad 4 and iPhone 5
From top: iPad 2, iPad mini, iPad 4 and iPhone 5
In our review of the iPad mini, we noted that the display on the iPad mini, although not Retina, is still good enough for every day use. The low pixel density is only noticeable if you switch back and forth between the Retina iPad and the iPad mini.
Have you felt that the iPad mini’s lower resolution display is a deal breaker for your everyday tasks?