Surprise! iPad mini 4 destroys iPad Pro in display shootout

Apple slapped the Pro tag on the gigantic new iPad Pro, which should mean it packs the best display ever, but it turns out that the company’s smallest tablet display is actually the most impressive. DisplayMate Technologies put the iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, and iPad Air 2 through their extensive lab testing measurements. All […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Sapphire Displays to See Major Step Forward With Lower Reflectivity

For several months leading up to the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it was heavily speculated that the smartphones would be equipped with sapphire crystal displays. Those rumors failed to materialize, however, as Apple opted to continue using ion-strengthened Gorilla Glass for its displays. Just weeks later, Apple sapphire partner GT Advanced filed for bankruptcy in what turned out to be a dramatic fallout between the two companies over strict contract terms and sapphire production issues.

(Image via MKBHD)
While GT Advanced experienced difficulties with both the quality and quantity of sapphire, it is possible that Gorilla Glass was the better choice for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus after all. TIME reported in September that sapphire, in its current form, has several properties that are less ideal than glass, including being thicker and heavier, more expensive, unable to transmit as much light and less durable after exposure to normal wear and tear. Sapphire also has up to double the screen reflectance of glass, especially under bright light, which could make it difficult to read the screen.

The reflective issue in particular could soon be a thing of the past, however, as DisplayMate confirmed to MacRumors that it has lab tested new sapphire technology that it believes will be a major breakthrough for smartphone displays. The display calibration and evaluation company found the production-ready enhanced sapphire to be at an advantage over both regular sapphire and glass based on the results of its testing, and predicted that „rapidly falling production costs“ could make the material go mainstream in the near future.

„We have just lab tested an important new sapphire technology that significantly lowers the screen reflectance of sapphire to much lower than glass, turning its former major disadvantage into a major new advantage,“ said Dr. Raymond Soneira, DisplayMate President. „A technical note, this isn’t an Anti-Reflection AR coating, which would scratch off easily and defeat sapphire’s tremendous scratch resistance – so the enhanced sapphire is now number one in scratch resistance, low reflectance and performance in high ambient light. In addition, displays using it could run with lower screen brightness and result in increased running time on battery.“

While Apple’s recent partnership with GT Advanced made it clear that the iPhone maker is certainly interested in sapphire, it remains unknown if and when the company will ever use the material for the iPhone or other products. A number of smaller smartphone makers such as Huawei, Kyocera and Vertu have already turned to sapphire crystal displays, and these new technologies lay the foundation for Apple and other handset makers to follow suit.




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iPad Air 2 Display Praised for Antireflective Coating, but iPad Mini 3 Display Still Lags

With the iPad Air 2, one of Apple’s main selling points has been the improved display, which includes a new bonded construction that eliminates the air gap between the display and the cover glass, as well as a new antireflective coating to reduce glare in situations with high ambient light.

Ray Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies has now put the new display to the test, finding that the antireflective coating is indeed a significant improvement for the iPad and a major step above competing tablets, but in overall performance competitors are still doing better than the iPad. Apple receives only minimal credit for the bonded display, as it is mainly catching up with competitors on that aspect.

A major innovation for the iPad Air 2 (that is not fully appreciated) is an anti-reflection coating on the cover glass that reduces ambient light reflections 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). […]

However, other than the new anti-reflection coating and bonded cover glass, the display on the iPad Air 2 is essentially unchanged and identical in performance to the iPad 4 introduced in 2012, and is actually slightly lower in performance than the original iPad Air (for example 8% lower Brightness and 16% lower display Power Efficiency) – most likely the result of an obsession with producing a thinner Tablet forcing compromises in the LCD backlight.

With competitors such as Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft offering better color accuracy, viewing angles, and power efficiency, Soneira finds the improvements in the iPad Air 2 insufficient to move the device to the top of his tablet display rankings, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S retains its number one position.

Moving on to the iPad mini 3, Soneira unsurprisingly finds that the display is unchanged from the one used in the previous generation, unsurprising given that Apple kept the specs of the iPad mini identical with the exception of the Touch ID home button and a gold color option. Soneira notes the unchanged display is a „major disappointment“, as the iPad mini 2’s display has been rated poorly for color gamut and accuracy.

In 2013 the mini was given a Retina display, but remained with a reduced 62 percent Color Gamut – the only current iPad or iPhone without a full Color Gamut. Now, in 2014 the new iPad mini 3 still only has a 62 percent Color Gamut, plus it was denied the new enhanced anti-reflection coating and bonded cover glass of the iPad Air 2.

Soneira again points to competitors offering higher-quality displays on their tablets, concluding that the iPad mini 3 is „embarrassingly mediocre and way overpriced“ considering its $399 starting price tag and significantly poorer display performance compared to both competitors and the iPad Air 2.

Full details on Soneira’s testing of the new displays are available in his extensive report.




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iPhone 6 Plus has best LCD display you can hold in your palm

The display rating experts at DisplayMate got intimately acquainted with Apple’s bigger than big display over the weekend, and after thorough testing, the LCD experts pronounced Apple’s 5.5-inch display the best performing LCD display they’ve ever tested on a smartphone.…Read more ›



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Retina iPad Mini Comes ‘Distant Third’ In Display Shootout Against Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX

You’ve probably heard that the new iPad mini with Retina display has a significantly smaller color gamut that the larger iPad Air, but how does it compete against rival tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon’s new Kindle Fire…Read more ›



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