DisplayMate on iPad Pro: great but iPad mini 4 still better

It is perhaps not totally inaccurate to say that the iPad Pro is Apple's most contentious device of late. The unconventionally large size, the stylus pencil, and the straggling of the fine line between tablet and laptop. That said, it might also be one of the best in its class. Well, almost the best. While the gigantic iPad Pro does have major improvements when it comes to display technology, it might instead be outclassed by Apple's most recent and smallest tablet to date, the latest iPad mini 4.

Apple's 2015 iPad lineup might all be IPS LCD displays have Retina class resolutions, but those might be the only similarities they have, though the two larger tablets share some traits, and some flaws as well. Both iPad Pro and iPad Air 2 use Photo Aligned LCDs for higher contrast ratios. In contrast, the iPad mini 4 uses the more conventional but less accurate mechanical alignment. In addition, the iPad Pro, but not the Air 2, has a Metal Oxide TFT Backplane. What this means in practice is that the light output is stronger, so there is less need for backlighting, which translates to less power usage. Given the size of the iPad Pro's display, that is more than just a small saving.

Things start to go slightly downhill for the iPad Pro here, where the iPad mini 4 starts to shine. There are some compromises that have been made with the larger displays, like in color accuracy and gamut support. DisplayMate grades the iPad mini 4 as having one of the best in the industry. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, only scores a "Very Good".

The smaller iPad also scores better when it comes to reflectance, or the way it reflects light from surrounding sources. It has the best performance of the three, retaining its readability even with other bright lights hitting its screen.

DisplayMate says that this particular area of Ambient Light performance will be the focus of the next generation of LCD displays, now that most have gotten pixel density and brightness down to a T. Fortunately, the display experts believe that Apple is already at the forefront of that thrust, having the industry's top performers in ambient light and reflectance behavior.

SOURCE: DisplayMate