Friday, November 2, 2012

iPad mini: the best, despite without its Retina screen - II

The screen of an iPad 2

If the tests are unanimous on the manufacturing quality of the iPad mini, they all emphasize also the absence of Retina display. The general conclusion is: Apple has not integrated its Retina display without visible pixels to the tablet, and it shows. The Verge points to the problem:

    Even with the naked eye, there is no doubt that this screen has a lower resolution than its direct competitors. Pixels are visible, especially on web pages, books and reading mails, and they can be annoying at times.

The screen selected by Apple is not bad, IPS correctly restores the colors and the glass plate is glued to the screen, which gives the impression of being in direct contact with what we see . Nevertheless, the feeling persists: Apple accustomed us better, writes John Gruber of Daring Fireball:

It's disappointing return to a non-Retina screen after using an iPad Retina for seven months. All the advantages of Retina screens appear as disadvantages. I love the size and shape of the iPad mini, but I also love the Retina display on my iPad.

Joshua Topolsky and to drive the point home: "Since Apple is the company that we used to not see through the pixels Retina screens, it is difficult to go back and not notice. "If all the notes are about the lack of Retina, most tests also stress that this is not necessarily very annoying. As rightly said Cnet, the impact of this lack depends directly on the time you spent with a Retina display. If you've never had iPad 3 or iPhone 4 or later, you should not be too embarrassed. Engadget goes very quickly on this and prefers to emphasize the quality of the slab chosen by Apple, while Daring Fireball says wait impatiently Retina version, but note that it will not, according to him, a barrier to purchasing for the majority of users.

     The screen of the iPad mini is not bad. [...] After a week of using my iPad as principal, visible pixels are not as annoying. The lack of Retina is the only complaint I have with this iPad mini and it is a problem that will only exist for those with the iPad with Retina display.

Apple has chosen to take the resolution of the iPad 2 for this new product. The iPad mini displays and 1024 by 768 pixels on a surface of 7.9 inches, which has two consequences identified by these tests. All iPad applications are, firstly, immediately compatible with this new tablet, the developers have to provide any additional work. A distinct advantage, particularly emphasized by TechCrunch:

       The biggest argument in favor of the iPad mini is probably its ecosystem of applications. Because the iPad uses the same mini version of iOS than any other iPad, it can run the same applications as any other iPad. And because the resolution is the same, it can be rotated in exactly the same way. The number of pixels is the same, but the screen is smaller iPad mini. As noted by Engadget, this means that the first pixel density is better than the iPad 2, even if it is light (163 ppi for iPad mini, against 132 ppi). More generally, it also means that all interface elements are smaller texts, such as photographs or buttons. To Cnet, this is not a problem:     Even more impressive, perhaps, almost all the iPad apps I used seemed usable and comfortable with this smaller screen. Board games with small buttons, editing applications, games with virtual joysticks and even the virtual keyboard.  This is the size of a book, but the applications are largely the same. Other tests still raise some problems for some applications that require a partial rewrite. Overall, the user experience is very good and sometimes even higher: Cnet and TechCrunch note that this format is best to play with the camera in both hands (for a racing game for example), while a SlashGear test is the tablet to a child two years with success. It must be said that beyond the screen, it is also the weight of the iPad mini which had its effect. The interface of iOS 6 is unchanged, but smaller, and this poses a problem for some testers for the keyboard. Opinions are divided on this point: to John Gruber, text entry is easier in portrait mode on the iPad standard, but less comfortable in landscape mode where buttons appear too small. Conversely, Walt Mossberg prefers the keyboard in landscape mode and on the contrary, the portrait too uncomfortable. The opinion of the latter joined Joshua Topolsky, this is a point that will in any case with a test model in hand. The Loop test highlights the portrait mode most commonly used tests for the landscape mode: 
     Unlike the iPad 4 that I use most often in landscape mode, I found myself almost permanently in portrait mode with the iPad mini, even when I'm not traveling. The tablet seems more natural in this direction simply. In this mode, the edges around the screen are very thin and the fingers tend to put on the screen to properly hold the tablet. There is no way not to do according to Jim Dalrymple, it will happen, but it does not matter. Apple has changed its mobile system to overcome the lack of sufficiently large borders on the sides and iOS 6 can detect if you want to make a tap, or simply hold the tablet. The system seems to work pretty well, although it may be problematic in some cases, rather in the sense that a tap is not always recorded as evoked by the test The Verge:   
     In return, however, it happens that the system compensates too and rejects taps you want to do - in other words, that the applications do not always react properly. It was not a huge problem, but it can sometimes become painful.

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