Displaymate performs Display Technology Shoot Out tests on iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, finds both impressive and disappointing results

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Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 16:58
Category: Hardware, iPad, News


The tests have been run, the results have come in and the answer may be a bit of a downer for iPad 3 mini owners.

Over on displaymate.com, Raymond Soneira has just pitted Apple’s recently released iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 displays against each other in almost every category imaginable. The tests and results, which can be found here, run the tablets through criteria such as power efficiency, viewing angles, screen brightness in high ambient lighting, absolute color accuracy, etc.

The tests found that the iPad Air 2’s new anti-reflection coating on its glass cover helps cut ambient light by about 3:1 over most other tablets and smartphones (including the previous iPads), and about 2:1 over all of the very best competing Tablets and Smartphones (including the new iPhone 6). The tests recorded a 62 percent decrease in reflected light glare compared to the previous iPads (Apple claims 56 percent) and agree with Apple’s claim that the iPad Air 2 is “the least reflective display of any tablet in the world”.

The iPad mini 3, unfortunately, came across as the runt of the litter, showing a weak full Color Gamut test, a lack of the new anti-reflection coating found on the iPad Air 2 and washed out, under saturated and distorted colors (red tomatoes, fire trucks, and Coke cans look a bit orange rather than deep red, for example) that continue with a moderately high screen Reflectance of 6.5 percent, almost triple that of its favored littermate, which further washes out its image colors in ambient light…

The tests concluded that the US$399 price tag for the iPad mini 3, just US$100 less than the much larger and higher performance iPad Air 2, and considerably more than other competing mini tablets, needs work and the end result is a mediocre product.

The tests also concluded that while the iPad Air 2 has an all around Very Good Top Tier display, the displays on the Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung Tablets that we have tested have better overall display performance as discussed above. Displaymate recently gave the Samsung Galaxy Tab S our overall Best Tablet Display award, and for the time being that continues for all of the reasons originally mentioned there. In particular, for implementing Color Management to provide multiple Color Gamuts, and then using the Color Management to provide the Highest Absolute Color Accuracy for Standard (sRGB/Rec.709) consumer content of any Tablet display that has ever been measured (in one of its four available screen modes, which many reviewers seem to overlook).

Take a look at the tests if you’re interested and let us know what you think in the comments.

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