Surprise! iPad mini 4 destroys iPad Pro in display shootout


iPad mini
The new iPad mini is more affordable when you sell your old one.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

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 three iPad displays were rated ‘unrivaled’ by the firm, but the iPad mini 4 came away triumphant in nearly all of the tests.

“The iPad mini 4 is close to being a textbook perfect LCD display in all of the Lab measurements and viewing tests,” says DisplayMate Technologies in their new report. “Among the iPads it takes first place and is marked Best in every single test category except Contrast Ratio – where it has a Very Good but not the highest.”

Not only is the iPad mini 4 better than both the iPad Pro and iPad Air 2, it takes first place over all tablets of any size, setting new performance records in some of the most important tests like lowest screen reflectance, highest contrast rating in high ambient light, highest absolute color accuracy.

The iPad mini 4 could have scored even better if Apple hadn’t intentionally set the white point to a blueish. Even with the errors the tablet is rated as “unquestionably the best and most accurate LCD Tablet display” that DisplayMate Technologies has ever tested.

The test makes me feel pretty good about my decision to go with the iPad mini 4 instead of the iPad Pro.

With 5.3 million pixels and a 2732 x 2048, the iPad Pro’s display is mighty impressive but DisplayMate says it doesn’t top the new Microsoft Surface Pro 4. The iPad Pro topped the mini 4 and all other tablets in the True Contrast Ratio test. Absolute color accuracy appears to be the display’s weakness. It barely qualified for a Very Good Green rating with a score that was only 6 percent from the cutoff.


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