Color Differences Between the iPad mini and the iPad 3

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I wrote yesterday about how the iPad mini is the future of the iPad, and using it for another full day has convinced me that this is going to be the case, at least for most users. (One friend commented on Twitter that, for him, the iPad mini is too small, as his main use of the iPad is for maps.)

There’s one difference that I immediately spotted between the two devices, and that’s the color balance. The new iPad mini has a yellowish tinge to it, and seems to have a bit less gamma. Here is a picture of my home screen, where you can see that the blue background shows a hint of green because of the additional yellow. (Note that both devices are set to maximum brightness.)



It’s hard to tell from photos of displays, especially because the color bleeds a bit around the icons, especially in the dock; it’s much more visible when you can look closely. Another example that may be more obvious is this shot of a page of a book in the Kindle app:



Again, you can see that the iPad mini looks a bit dingy compared to the iPad 3, but I think the yellowness is clear in this photo.

Finally, here’s a photo showing the iPad 3, iPad mini and iPhone 5. Since I shot this with my iPod touch 4th generation, the photo is much poorer, with lower resolution and less brightness. But you can see that the iPhone is clearly the brightest of the three, and it seems to my eyes the whitest of the devices. The iPad 3, compared to the iPhone 5, is slightly bluish (or, again, it might simply be higher gamma), and the iPad mini yellowish.

I don’t know if this yellow tinge is inherent in the iPad mini’s display, or if my unit has a problem with the color balance. If anyone else is seeing different things, please post in the comments so I can figure out if it is normal or not.




5 replies
  1. Benwahwah says:

    It’s really weird, the colour difference is obvious to see in both pics. One of them is white and the other is black.

    Reply
  2. Jon says:

    The “retina” displays have a different colour hue compared to the original iPad 1 or 2.
    I noticed this when I bought my iPad 3.

    Reply
  3. Victor Panlilio says:

    Compared the iPad mini in the Apple Store with my iPad 3 and iPhone 5, using the same photo in Flickr. My iPad and iPhone were very closely matched in colour, the iPad mini seemed a tad warmer.

    Reply
  4. Trina says:

    My iPad Mini displays the white background of my wallpaper in sepia! On my 1st gen iPad, the same wallpaper is a bright white! I am very disappointed as the colours are supposed to be vivid. Also, the wallpaper on the iPad Mini is obviously less sharp.

    Reply

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