Retina iPad Mini's Display Criticized Over Poor Color Gamut and Accuracy

Last week, we noted that some Retina iPad mini displays were exhibiting image retention issues, while in general other users were expressing some dissatisfaction with the color gamut of the Retina iPad mini's display, particularly compared to that of the iPad Air.

In an extensive review of the Retina iPad mini, AnandTech came away extremely impressed with the device but cited that color gamut issue as a significant disappointment.

Although display resolution is no longer a concern on the mini, color gamut hasn’t changed between the old and new minis. [...]

The iPad mini with Retina Display has the same color gamut as the standard iPad mini, which is narrower than the iPad Air and less than the sRGB coverage we normally look for. The biggest issue here is that there are other smaller tablets in this price range that do offer sRGB coverage (e.g. Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9).

DisplayMate's Ray Soneira has also taken a look at the Retina iPad mini's display in a "shoot-out" with the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Google Nexus 7, with the Retina iPad mini's display registering a "distant 3rd place finish". The poor showing is due in large part to the iPad mini's narrow color gamut, which naturally leads to poor color accuracy.

[T]he 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. [...] This all appears to be due to incredibly poor planning. Instead of moving up to the higher performance (and cost) Low Temperature Poly Silicon LCDs, Apple chose to continue gambling on IGZO, which has resulted in both production shortages and inferior products.

retina_ipad_mini_color_gamut

Color gamut of Retina iPad mini, Kindle Fire HDX 7, and Nexus 7 (Source: DisplayMate)

Soneira notes that the strong performance by Google/ASUS with the LTPS display in the Nexus 7 and Amazon with its Quantum Dots technology in the Kindle Fire HDX 7 "should be a wakeup call" for Apple, as the company is clearly no longer leading the industry in display quality.

One complicating factor in comparing the 7.9-inch 4:3 Retina iPad mini to the 7-inch 16:10 tablets from Google and Amazon is the fact that the 35% larger display area for the iPad mini would result in substantially higher costs if Apple were to shift to a different display technology such as LTPS. Still, to consumers comparing display quality of various tablets, the iPad mini appears to be a clear notch below its competitors.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 5
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

MattMJB0188 Avatar
100 months ago
Damn you people are so ANNOYING!!! Shut up already and stop your whining. The RiPad Mini is fine. People are way too picky!!!
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mingoglia Avatar
100 months ago
I'm glad to see Apple getting called out on this. They have big boy pants and in the long run will only make for a better product in the future.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
minisuds7 Avatar
100 months ago
Well my decision is made. Hello iPad Air...
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SirHaakon Avatar
100 months ago
what is Color Gamut :confused:
It's the range of colors the display is capable of producing. It also means there can be some color shift if the gamut isn't balanced.

Here's a comparison of the new iPad Mini with Retina display next to my iPhone 5. Notice how washed out and dull the iPad Mini is:



Some people are saying they don't notice it unless you compare two devices side-by-side, but it was glaringly obvious to me the moment I picked it up.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
comatose81 Avatar
100 months ago
There is a big article on CNN where they interviewed the typhoon victims about the iPad mini with Retina Display. The one woman stated "what happened hear pales in comparison to the color gamut issues that are rampant in the new iPad mini with Retina Display".
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WestonHarvey1 Avatar
100 months ago
There is a big article on CNN where they interviewed the typhoon victims about the iPad mini with Retina Display. The one woman stated "what happened hear pales in comparison to the color gamut issues that are rampant in the new iPad mini with Retina Display".

Sure. Someone always has it worse. Why care about anything then? Certainly not product quality. Let's just stop caring and accept worse and worse products!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
tesla red orange bg feature

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Shots at Apple During Earnings Call

Monday July 26, 2021 4:53 pm PDT by
During a Tesla earnings call that took place today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spent time sniping at Apple, reports CNBC. Musk criticized Apple's "walled garden" and made comments on the company's cobalt use. In a discussion about plans to allow Tesla competitors to use the Tesla electric vehicle charger network, Musk said that Tesla does not want to create a walled garden to "bludgeon" Tesla...
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....