iPad Mini with Retina Display Review – Ideal for Casual Use
Click to EnlargeTo get a better idea of how the Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display stacks up size-wise compared to other tablets, I put it in a mugshot line-up. From left to right, are a typical 7-inch Android tablet (in this case it’s a Kobo Arc), the iPad Mini with Retina Display, the full-sized new Apple iPad Air and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 RT-powered Surface 2.
Apple tablets use a 4:3 display aspect ratio, while the other two are 16:9. That means a 7-inch Android tablet like Google’s (GOOG) popular Nexus 7 is easier to grasp in one hand, while the Surface 2 offers a laptop-like display when used in landscape mode. Plus, the 16:9 tablets don’t have the black bars across the top and bottom of the display like an iPad does when you watch HD movies in landscape mode.
But that 4:3 aspect ratio on this iPad with Retina Display makes for more readable web pages. And if you hold the tablet in portrait mode while reading or surfing, it’s more balanced than a 16:9 tablet — especially a larger one like that Surface 2. With the new iPad Mini with Retina display, Apple might just have the best small tablet for typical use. It’s small enough and light enough that holding it in one hand is a breeze, while the display is crisp enough that most text doesn’t require zooming, despite the smaller screen size.
On the downside, the iPad Mini with Retina Display remains decidedly previous generation when it comes to color gamut, or how many colors it can accurately show. Displaymate put it well behind the Nexus 7, Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire HDX and Apple’s own iPad Air in a recent iPad Mini with Retina Display review, calling its color performance “disappointing.”