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Apple iPad Mini Review: Our New Favorite Size, But...That Price?

Do Your Eyes Agree With Our Benchmarks?

A couple of weeks ago, Tom's Hardware reader reprotected made a comment in Apple iPhone 5 Review: CPU, GPU, Battery, Wi-Fi, And Display Testing asking for more analysis of display quality not necessarily tied to the benchmark results, and we thought that was a good idea. Of course, we didn't want to give up those numbers altogether for subjective comparisons, so we're doing both.

There's a certain truth to the idea that numbers can only tell you so much. We've toyed with the idea of introducing color accuracy tests using our spectrophotometer, but it's largely non-intuitive, since the result is expressed in a distance metric for color space called delta E. Rather than opening that can of worms, we decided to go into a pitch-black room to capture a picture that reflects the performance of the LCD on its own. There are a few caveats to this, though.

A camera is able to capture the difference between two monitors. If you were to rank color gamut performance, it’d go camera, wide gamut monitor, high-quality printer, and then mainstream monitor and printer. So, depending on your output device, there are no guarantees that you'll see the difference in what we're about to present. So long as you're using a decent screen, though, your monitor should render a similar image. Further, these pictures haven't been optimized in any way. We're simply publishing them after converting RAW files to PNG, which means all six comparisons are made under the same conditions.

We want to avoid any preconception, so these pictures are unlabeled. Which tablet looks the best to you? Take a look at the pictures and form your own opinion. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the answer to which tablet is which.

In each set, the Nexus 7 is up top, rendering deeper red, blue, yellow, and magenta. You may disagree, but just look at the shot above; the blue flowers less brilliant in the second set of pictures, from the iPad mini. This supports our analysis on the previous page, particularly the 3D gamut video.

  • Hellbound
    The iPad mini is overpriced.
    Reply
  • azathoth
    While the device is certainly nice, I don't like the fact that it has no support for MicroSD, and I would be unable to tinker around with it as I can for an Android based device.

    ...And the price. I'm not going to give a second thought when I see a $200 tablet with removable storage versus $330 for 16GB of internal storage and no expansion options.

    If the device was closer to say $260 for the 32GB version, or just included an option for removable storage... Then I would certainly see the iPad mini as being a viable option even for someone used to Android.

    The main factors (in my opinion) for a great device are,
    1: A good quality screen, it needs to have vibrant, accurate colours.
    2: Even if during benchmarks the device is slow, if it FEELS snappy and quick, that's all that counts.
    3: Removable storage for god sake, I know by practice apple enjoys their closed system, but COME ON!
    4: It doesn't need to have some amazing 15 hour battery life, but I certainly don't want it to die on a full charge after a movie and a few youtube videos.
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    I'm waiting for a 7 inch version of surface. It is the only productive tablet out there.
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    Those devices are a JOKE !
    Reply
  • mikenygmail
    iPricey
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    Overpriced, but thats not really a surprise, since its an apple product. Sadly, people are eating them up regardless.
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    It's definitely overpriced, but I've come to expect that with Apple, you're mostly paying for a name and some unique styling with them. It has some features going for it, but I wouldn't buy one, not when there are several cheaper options in the mini tablet lineup. That's not stopping the legions of Apple sheep from buying it though.
    Reply
  • Tomtompiper
    This is a blatant rip off of the Samsung Tab, I hope Samsung sue their ass off :kaola:
    Reply
  • Jigo
    AzathothWhile the device is certainly nice, I don't like the fact that it has no support for MicroSD, and I would be unable to tinker around with it as I can for an Android based device....And the price. I'm not going to give a second thought when I see a $200 tablet with removable storage versus $330 for 16GB of internal storage and no expansion options.If the device was closer to say $260 for the 32GB version, or just included an option for removable storage... Then I would certainly see the iPad mini as being a viable option even for someone used to Android.The main factors (in my opinion) for a great device are, 1: A good quality screen, it needs to have vibrant, accurate colours.2: Even if during benchmarks the device is slow, if it FEELS snappy and quick, that's all that counts.3: Removable storage for god sake, I know by practice apple enjoys their closed system, but COME ON!4: It doesn't need to have some amazing 15 hour battery life, but I certainly don't want it to die on a full charge after a movie and a few youtube videos.
    you're right
    I'm glad that i bought the Nexus7. 16GB is enough, and rootet i can plug in external device. And as for all my techy stuff, i doubt i've to send it in before the 2y warranty expires
    Reply
  • godnodog
    The screen in tablets are too big, i want something with 1 or 2"!!!
    Reply