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Reviews note iPad mini has smaller color gamut than iPad Air, Nexus 7

updated 04:01 pm EST, Mon November 18, 2013

Unlikely to bother most Mini buyers

The Retina iPad mini has a narrower color gamut next to tablets like the Nexus 7, and even the iPad Air, a number of reviewers are observing. Gamut refers to the range of colors a display can handle. In tests the Retina Mini appears to have the same gamut as its non-Retina predecessor -- about 62-63 percent -- versus the 100 percent color accuracy on full-sized Retina iPads. Even less expensive tablets such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 7 are capable of broader colors than the Mini, DisplayMate points out.

The difference is unlikely to affect most potential Mini buyers, since a display can still look attractive without a large gamut. It suggests, however, that Apple may be continuing to cut corners with the Mini. The tablet otherwise shares the same resolution as the iPad Air, as well as the same processor; that resolution in fact gives the Mini a higher pixel density than the Air.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sibeale1

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-06

    Would someone please edit this article to change the words "versus the 100 percent color accuracy on full-sized Retina iPads" to something more believable? The accompanying chart doesn't even show "full-sized Retina iPads" (presumably meaning the iPad Air).

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    The original article is much more negative than this report, stating: " And finally... the iPad mini with Retina Display unfortunately comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7 because it still has the same small 63 percent Color Gamut as the original iPad mini and even older iPad 2. That is inexcusable for a current generation premium Tablet. The big differences in Color Gamut between the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Nexus 7 and the much smaller 63 percent Gamut in the iPad mini Retina Display were quite obvious and easy to see in the side-by-side Viewing Tests." You can read it at:

  1. khemani

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-25-03

    Actually, the article at describes the iPad Air as capturing 108% of the color gamut - I think that means 108% of sRGB Rec.709.

    It is unfortunate that the iPad Mini with Retina display does not have a color gamut. Having said that, if you want to use a smaller iOS tablet, the only competition the iPad Mini with Retina display has is the original iPad Mini.

  1. khemani

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-25-03

    Sorry - I meant:

    It is unfortunate that the iPad Mini with Retina display does not have a *better* color gamut.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I wonder if this in fact could be an error on Apple's part? While to be fair colour gamut doesn't play as big a role on a 7-inch tablet as it would on, say, a dedicated Photoshop rig, it still seems like a strange oversight.

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