Today Google unveiled its second-gen Nexus 7 tablet. The 7-inch, ASUS-made device packs a stunning 1,920 x 1,200 display. That translates to 323 pixels per inch, which is up considerably from the first Nexus 7’s 216 ppi. It’s also a higher resolution display than what Apple offers with the iPad mini, the company’s only flagship product that hasn’t been Retina-fied yet.
Google is right when it says that it has the “world’s highest-resolution 7-inch tablet.” The first Nexus 7 beat the iPad mini’s display quality too. So will Apple finally answer with a Retina iPad mini this fall?
The human eye stops being able to distinguish individual pixels around 300 ppi, and getting that high quality of a display into such a small factor has proven to be difficult for Apple. Google worked wonders with Japan Display to make the new Nexus 7 possible, and DisplaySearch told AllThingsD that “volume shipments of such a device [Retina iPad mini] won’t come until the first few months of next year because of the challenges of producing such a display.”
Reports have been fairly split on whether the iPad mini will get the better display it desperately needs in the coming months. One theory is that Apple could release a second-gen iPad mini before the holidays and not include a Retina screen. Then a Retina refresh would happen around six months later. That seems a little crazy, especially now that Google will have a Retina, 7-inch tablet on the market for Christmas.
“Apple should be embarrassed if it doesn’t release a Retina iPad mini before the holidays.”
The current iPad mini’s display is a measly 163 ppi. The second-gen Nexus 7 has a way better display, more than twice the RAM, dual-stereo speakers, wireless charging, and costs $100 less than Apple’s 7-inch tablet. The iPad is still moving way more units than the Nexus 7, but it’s still a wake up call. Apple should be embarrassed if it doesn’t release a Retina iPad mini before the holidays.