On the iPad mini’s lack of retina

I’m not saying anything new here. I’m just doing a brain-dump so I can tell people to “go read my tumblr” rather than answer the same question ad infinitum. I’m lazy (efficient?) like that.

I’ve already made a couple of posts about the iPad mini, but more detail about its “low-resolution screen” has been requested.

The iPad mini has the same pixel count as the iPad 2 – i.e. 1024×768 – so given its size, the mini’s DPI is higher than the iPad 2. That said, it’s definitely not retina. You can easily make out individual pixels (if you try hard and/or care about such things).

I don’t have a problem with this. Apple’s anti-aliasing is excellent, so even text-intensive tasks like reading are comfortable on the iPad mini. That said, if you’ve been spoiled by a retina iPad, your mileage may vary.

But was I disappointed that the iPad mini was announced without a retina display? Yes and no. Obviously a “high-resolution screen” would be great, but at what cost? The device would be more expensive, it would need a more powerful graphics processor, it would draw more power, and to get the same battery life, it would be significantly thicker.

In my opinion, Apple have struck the right balance between price, size and battery life with the iPad mini. Hopefully with ever-improving processors and battery technology, a future mini will be retina. Meanwhile, I love my tiny low-res iPad :)