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Is the iPad mini’s screen too low resolution?

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Does the iPad mini’s screen have too few pixels, lagging behind its similarly-sized rivals the Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7? According to DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira, it does.

Soneira calls the iPad mini “a very capable small tablet” in his review of the device, but is disappointed by the screen. It’s traditional for Apple devices, he says, to provide the best display among their contemporaries, and the fact that the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch screen boasts a resolution of merely 1024 x 768 goes against that tradition. He goes on to say the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 “outperform” the iPad mini’s screen in DisplayMate’s tests.

The Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 have slightly smaller screens than the iPad mini, a fact which Apple was keen to highlight during its launch event. However they also have higher resolutions (1280 x 800 in both cases), meaning they have a higher pixel density and the screens appear sharper.

Apple would probably point to the iPad mini’s opening weekend sales figures of three million when asked if the screen is of sufficient quality, but Soneira does have a point: this, coupled with the Google Nexus 10 having a “sharper-than-Retina Display” screen, means Apple is no longer at the forefront of display quality for tablets. And this on tablets that cost significantly more than their Android-based equivalents.

It does, of course, mean that Apple has somewhere to go when it launches the iPad mini’s inevitable second-generation model: a Retina Display-quality screen on a small tablet is still yet to appear.

Do you think Apple has missed a trick by using a lower resolution screen on the iPad mini? Give us your opinion in the comments box below.

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