Is an iPad mini with Retina display worth £319? [video]

by , Technology Researcher Apple 14/11/2013
Retina

Apple’s new iPad mini with Retina display costs £319. You can save £70 by settling for a lesser touchscreen and getting last year’s iPad mini instead, but should you?

In our latest 60 second video guide, we explain what makes a great touchscreen, how much resolution matters and whether or not the iPad mini with Retina display is good value for money. Just click on the clip below for our bite-sized verdict.

How we test tablets – get the lowdown on our lab review process

iPad mini with Retina display – 60 second guide

Bigger tablet, better screen?

Usually with tablets, the bigger their screen the more expensive they are. At £319, Apple’s iPad mini is the same price as many 10-inch tablets, like the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. That’s mostly down to its high definition Retina display, which Apple claims is so high res you can’t see the individual pixels.

But, just as more megapixels in a camera’s sensor don’t necessarily make for better photos, more pixels in a screen won’t always make for a better viewing experience.

How much do pixels matter?

Apple’s Retina display technology offers a tablet resolution of 2048×1536. That means over 3 million pixels are crammed onto the same touchscreen to show off as much pictorial detail as possible. Some tablets offer even better resolutions – Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 features a resolution of 4 million pixels. But that’s not all that matters in a touchscreen.

It’s important too for it to have vivid colours, perform well from awkward viewing angles and be backed up with plenty of processing power for streaming video. According to our past testing, Apple’s Retina displays perform well in all these aspects.

Should you buy a Retina display?

If you’re shopping for a tablet this Christmas, you don’t have to get an iPad with Retina display to enjoy a dazzling touchscreen experience. Tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD allow you to spend a little less money and get a display that’s almost as good.

So, before you jump on the Retina display bandwagon, ignore the hype and shop around for the best all-round tablet.

More on this

iPad Air vs iPad mini with Retina display – which tablet is best?
Tablet reviews – our verdict on the iPad Air and more
Tablet features explained – our expert guide

2 comments

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Lars

To say: “You can save £70 by settling for a lesser touchscreen” suggests the only difference between the mini and the mini retina is the screen. However the iPad mini retina is far superior to the original mini, it has all-round upgraded specs including a much faster processor. It’s basically an iPad air in a smaller package. If you’re spending this much though you might just want to add another bit and go for the full-size iPad air…

avatar

Andrew

I agree with the previous comment. This is not a good review. It is not just the screen. Crucial other features of the Mini Retina are faster processor and 4G plus there are others (e.g. camera resolution). That all makes the Mini Retina a better buy, particularly as its faster processor and 4G (maybe faster wifi technology too) make it much more future proof. You will save money in the lang run almost certainly.

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