Apple’s iPad Air is currently being lauded as the best thing since sliced bread, but as DisplayMate’s Dr. Raymond Soneira points out, numerous aspects of the just-released slate fall short when compared to Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX. There’s no doubt that a new iPad was always going to make a little more noise upon announcement and subsequent release than the retail giant’s latest export, but as Soneira’s in-depth comparison shows, the Retina panel is noticeably outperformed by that of the new Amazon slate.
Apple may have started the push towards high-res displays by going all Retina with the iPhone 4 and iPad 3, but with most other vendors of high-end mobile devices now having caught on, it would seem that Apple’s display’s just aren’t as crisp and awe-inspiring as they once were.
The Kindle Fire HDX may be an unlikely source of an iPad killer, but in several departments, it more than gives the Cupertino’s slate a run for its money. In fact, DisplayMate Dr. Soneira even went as far as to describe the HDX’s display as the best he’d seen and tested in a tablet, and although the iPad Air’s display is an improvement on the iPad 3, those particular about display quality should perhaps look elsewhere.
The 2048 x 1536 resolution of the iPad Air, which at 9.7 inches in diameter offers 264ppi, is significantly lower than that of the HDX. In fact, as far as resolution alone, the difference is very significant, with the 8.9-inch tablet offering an almighty 2560 x 1600, translating to 339ppi. That’s almost 25% higher an overall resolution on the iPad, but this is not the only key area in which the Amazon slate earns its stripes.
As any display aficionado will know, there’s much more to the contest than how many pixels can be squeezed into a certain area, but even in categories such as brightness, contrast ratio and power efficiency, the Kindle Fire HDX outdoes the iPad Air.
It’s worth pointing out that these results, shown below in a table, come in spite of the fact that the iPad Air’s display has improved peak brightness, significantly less glare and a better contrast rating. Of course, if sales battles were won on paper, the market would be a very different place, but if you’re hell-bent on getting a new tablet with a high-end display, there’s little argument that the HDX trumps the iPad Air.