Wednesday, November 20, 2013

iPad mini with Retina display finishes last in smaller-screened tablet shoot-out's Kindle Fire has won again. In another test by the display experts at DisplayMate Technologies,'s tablet came out first. The test results, released Tuesday, involved smaller tablets, including the Nexus 7 (2013), the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX, and Apple's 7.9-inch and recently released iPad mini with Retina display (or iPad mini 2).

Both the and Google tablets scored high marks in the report, but the iPad mini with Retina Display "comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7," DisplayMate said.

Readers should recall that was Dr. Raymond Soneira, who runs DisplayMate Technologies, that gave the "marketing puffery" term to Apple's iPhone 4 Retina display, which the company claimed had a PPI (pixels per inch) value so high that an end user couldn't discern the individual pixels.

Among the key finders were that both the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 provide 100 percent of the color gamut, or the range of colors a screen can produce, while the iPad Mini with Retina display has only a 63 percent color gamut, meaning it provides only 63 percent of the colors a screen can produce.

In summary, DisplayMate said the following about the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX:
Most impressive of all is the Kindle Fire HDX 7 –- the first Tablet display to use super high technology Quantum Dots, which produce highly saturated primary colors that are similar to those produced by OLED displays. They not only significantly increase the Color Gamut to 100 percent but also improve the power efficiency at the same time. Instead of using White LEDs (which have yellow phosphors) that produce a broad light spectrum that makes it hard to efficiently produce saturated colors, Quantum Dots directly convert the light from Blue LEDs into highly saturated primary colors for LCDs. Quantum Dots are going to revolutionize LCDs for the next 5+ years.
About the Nexus 7 (2013), DisplayMate said:
The new Google Nexus 7 has a very impressive display that 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.
Finally, the company said the following about the iPad mini with Retina display:
The 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.
In conclusion, DisplayMate -- marketing puffery or not -- gave a very somber view of Apple's latest products:
Apple was once the leader in mobile displays, unfortunately it has fallen way behind in both Tablets and Smartphones. This should be a wakeup call ...
DisplayMate recently ran the larger siblings of these tablets through their paces, with's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX coming out on top, while the iPad Air finished second; the year-old 2012 Nexus 10 came in third.

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