Despite boasting a Retina display like its bigger counterpart, the iPad mini 2's screen still doesn't quite match up to the quality of the iPad Air, according to new reports.

Apple's Retina iPad mini 2 has the same 2048 by 1536 resolution as the iPad Air, but with a higher pixel density of 326 pixels per inch (ppi) compared with the iPad Air's 264ppi. However, according to tests carried out by AnandTech, the colour gamut in the iPad Air is wider than that of the Retina iPad mini 2, which means the smaller tablet shows fewer colours.

In direct comparisons between the iPad Air and iPad mini 2, there's a noticeable difference in the brightness of colours, particularly when comparing reds, blues and magentas.

Other tablets that compete with the Retina iPad mini in the 7in market, such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX, provide the sRGB coverage that Apple's offering lacks due to its narrower gamut, notes the report.

AnandTech suggests that it's possible that Apple believes those who are looking for an iPad with better colour reproduction will opt for the larger of the two tablets anyway, as they're likely to be photographers who'll benefit from the bigger screen size, for example.

On the plus side, the tests did find that the iPad mini 2 shows an improvement in colour accuracy over its predecessor, bringing it much closer to the accuracy of the iPad 4 and iPad Air.

See also:

Still got a first-gen iPad? Don't ditch it yet

Apple to discontinue iPad 2 early next year?

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Complete guide to buying an iPad