In his full hands-on review of Apple’s “iPad Mini” published earlier this week, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber noted his wife’s first reaction when handing her his review unit. Her first reaction: “Wow, it feels like a Kindle” … Her second? – “Ew, the screen is terrible.”
“That was my wife’s initial reaction when I handed her the iPad Mini to see what she, an avid daily user of an iPad 3, thought,” Gruber wrote. “Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience.”
For those looking to purchase tomorrow, the iPad Mini has a 1024-by-768 screen resolution which has 163 pixels per inch (ppi). That puts the display at the exact same resolution as the non-“Retina” iPad 2.
Now, while I’m yet to get my hands on an iPad Mini, I do have an iPad 2 (and consequentially, an iPad 3), and I can tell you that the difference between the iPad 2 and iPad 3‘s display resolution is minimal. In fact, I’d argue you have to be about 4-inches away from your face touching the screen to notice.
Granted – individual pixels appear to disappear on the iPad 3, and this is why I think the people getting their hands on the iPad Mini are having such a hard time adjusting their eyes. They’re so hung up on Apple’s “Retina” marketing term (described by Apple as a display where, when held from the face at a normal viewing distance, the retina in the human eye cannot discern the individual pixels), if it’s not “Retina” – for some, this equals a non-sale.
The fact is, the individual pixels are also barely noticeable on the iPad 2 (from a normal viewing distance). Below are two photos took at relatively the same distance from the iPad’s display. The first photo shows the iPad 2‘s 1024-by-768 display, the second shows the iPad 3‘s 2048-by-1536 display.
If we isolate a single icon from the two shots above for the purpose of gauging pixel density, we see a miniscule difference. Keep in mind that the resolution on the iPad 2 we’re looking at here is 1024-by-768, and that these pixels are stretched across a 9.7-inch diagonal display.
The iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch display, which should straight way tell you that, (although the iPad 2 and iPad Mini have the same physical display resolution), the fact that the display is physically smaller in size must mean that these pixels are more tightly packed together, by a factor of roughly 1.8-inches.
Of course, the decision to buy the iPad Mini is ultimately left down to personal preference, and your own ability to get your head around Apple’s “Retina” marketing term.
I’ll be in line tomorrow. Will you?
/ BGR (h/t)