DisplayMate’s Nexus 7 vs Fire HDX vs iPad Mini comparison: one tablet disappoints

November 19, 2013
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DisplayMate, a company that specializes in testing and calibrating displays of all types, published its latest shootout, pitching three of the best small form factor tablets on the market: the Nexus 7 (2013), the Kindle Fire HDX 7”, and the new iPad Mini.

The display experts looked at several factors that influence user experience, including pixel density, color intensity, color accuracy, brightness, and viewing angles.

Overall, DisplayMate considers that the Kindle Fire HDX 7 sports the best display out of the trio, followed closely by Google’s Nexus 7. Sharp as it may be, the much lauded Retina display on the iPad Mini lagged behind its competitors in one key area, color gamut, which DisplayMate calls inexcusably low for a premium tablet.

Here are some of the key findings from the Nexus 7 vs Fire HDX vs new iPad Mini display shootout:

  • All three tablets have roughly equal pixel densities of around 325 pixels per inch, which ensures that users with average vision cannot discern pixels at normal viewing distances.
  • All three tablets output very good brightness levels, but, with 572 cd/m2, the Nexus 7 takes the round and the title of the brightest tablet that DisplayMate ever tested. The Fire HDX 7” follows with 494 cd/m2, while the iPad Mini comes in last, with 414 cd/m2. High brightness levels are important for outdoor usage, but the cost is increased power consumption.
  • The iPad Mini has a “virtually perfect” intensity scale (Gray scale), while the Nexus 7 leaves to be desired in this department.
  • The Kindle Fire HDX 7” and the Nexus 7 have color gamuts that are close to 100 percent of the sRGB/Rec.709 Standard, while the iPad has a “disappointing” 63 percent color gamut. As a result, Apple’s tablet displays colors that are more subdued, which is clearly visible in a side by side comparison.
  • The three tablets are roughly equal when it comes to reflectance levels and viewing angles.
  • The power efficiency title belongs to the Nexus 7, thanks to its high efficiency low temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) display technology. The Kindle Fire comes is the runner up, thanks to the Quantum Dots technology that Amazon implemented for the first time on a tablet.

In this shootout, DisplayMate gave the prize to the Kindle Fire HDX 7”, followed closely by the Nexus 7 (2013), while the iPad Mini came in last due to the low color gamut of its Retina display.

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