Screen resolution-wise, it’s exactly what I expected for a 163 PPI display in 2012: noticeably nicer than the 133 PPI iPad 1/2, noticeably worse than the 266 PPI iPad 3/4. The iPad Mini display seems brighter and to have better contrast than the iPhone 3GS display, but unsurprisingly, rendered text looks exactly like it does on the 3GS.
Yuck. No really, I am so tainted by having my three primary computing devices using retina quality displays that I really don’t think I would be OK with such a screen. So, though it is against every inkling in my bones, I think I am going to pass on the iPad mini this time around. Instead I will probably upgrade my iPad, or wait to see the iPad mini in the store.
I didn’t expect the retina display in the iPad mini, but I also expected the screen to look a touch better than the 3GS. I use a 3GS everyday for my daughter’s noise machine at night and I can’t imagine buying a new device with such a fuzzy looking screen. I’m not trying to be down on Apple or the iPad mini — I want one — but I am the guy that got rid of his mint 24″ LED Cinema display because it looked too fuzzy compared to my retina displays.