When the iPad mini was announced just a couple of weeks ago, many bemoaned the diminutive tablet for lacking Apple’s now-famous Retina display. The technology, which packs so many pixels into a screen that you cannot see individual dots at normal viewing angles, was ditched in favour of a screen of the same resolution as the iPad 2 at 1024 x 768. While this was likely a cost-cutting measure from Apple, many users were disappointed by it’s lower number of pixels per inch (PPI) compared to some other similar tablets.
However, the people over at Repair Labs have put the mini’s screen under a microscope and compared it to the screens of both the 2nd generation iPad and the latest Retina display model. The results were quite surprising.
The mini’s screen naturally cannot compete with the incredible Retina display on the 4th iPad, with the pixels of the Retina display coming in around 2/3s the size of the mini’s. However, comparing the mini and the iPad 2 was a different story. While the two screens have the same number of pixels, the small iPad mini screen manages to push up the PPI massively. The pixels of the iPad mini are just over half the size of the iPad 2, so while the screen isn’t technically a Retina display, it’s much closer than you might think.
For reference, here is a comparison of an iPad 2 to a new iPad (with Retina display):