Today’s announced Nexus 7 update sports a 323 pixels-per-inch IPS 1920×1200 display starting at $299 for the 16GB WiFi model. Unless we later find out that there’s some cheat involved in this display (maybe in color reproduction since IPS implies great viewing angles and 3 sub pixels per pixel unlike super AMOLED’s shared green) or that Google is selling these at a loss or near cost, Apple has no marketable excuse for releasing another 1024×768 iPad mini. (Let’s assume we know from history that Apple continues its trend of fixed logical resolutions and that a retina mini will be 2048×1536 at the same physical size.)
Recent reports are suggesting that the fall refresh will lack an iPad mini and will instead focus on a redesigned much thinner 9.7″ retina iPad while the new mini (retina or not) will be later, perhaps March 2014. I’ll admit that with the delayed launch of updated retina MacBooks and the Mac Pro due to the released of Thunderbolt 2.0 that the fall is more crowded than usual, but I hope that’s not seen as a reason to delay a retina iPad mini that’s ready today.
Prior to beta 3, iOS 7 used Helvetica Neue Light and Ultralight as system defaults even on the non-retina iPad mini and iPad 2. iOS doesn’t offer sub pixel antialiasing (like the Surface RT and full sized Macs). The size 9 or 10 status bar was incredibly difficult to read with the lightly stroked font. While their backpedaling to regular stroked Helevetica Neue is attributed to user reactions, the fact remains that iOS 7 was likely designed with retina only devices in mind.
With the retina cinema display coming this fall one more product line will make the transition, making the mini’s non-retina display even more out of place. The only new non-retina device1 Apple should be announcing this fall should be the iPad 2 with lightning port equivalent device occupying the $399 price point.
1 I suppose it might be too early for iMacs based on 4K panel pricing so far and how much trouble they had making last year’s machines. It is time for a retina 11″ Pro or Air though.
OK so the Nexus 7 2013 gets lame battery life, but knew there was this tradeoff with the iPad 3/4. I wouldn’t mind a slightly thicker mini, just like I don’t mind the Retina Pro form factor compared to the Air “Wedge” form factor… now where’s my retina 11″ MacBook Pro…