Retina iPad mini and Color Gamut

So the more technical reviews of the Retina iPad mini are coming in from Anandtech and from DisplayMate and both point out that the color gamut on the new Retina iPad mini is no better than its predecessor which is no better than the iPad 2. Contrast this with the Verge scoring the Display as "10/10", Daring Fireball and The Loop both saying that there were no compromises between iPad Air and iPad mini, and Engadget saying "All told, this is one of the best displays we've seen on a tablet."

Unless there is a difference in the review units being used here (i.e.: Sharp versus LG versus Samsung made displays), I am starting to wonder how much things like color accuracy and color gamut hit a point where we just pretend we can tell when one is better than the other. I'm sure we've all met those audiophiles who claim to be able to tell the difference between one really good sound system and another and you are tempted to do a blind test to see if they are just making it up. Maybe we know the wine tasters who claim to be able to detect subtle differences between two really good years of the same wine.

Scientifically, the Retina iPad mini units reviewed by both Anandtech and DisplayMate showed a much worse color gamut than competitors and no improvement over the 2012 iPad mini. Certainly, the display color gamut is not the only reason you purchase a display and indeed, the iPad mini of last year was a non-retina display with the same color gamut and yet people found it far more desirable than the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 because of other factors. Certainly, the iPhone 5/5s and iPad 4/Air have trained us to expect the best in color accuracy and Apple has even touted this.

However, given the reviews raving about the iPad mini display it is kinda hard to wonder if the majority of us can only distinguish in broad strokes like:

  • Distinguishing a really low pixel density from a host of others which have a high one
  • Distinguishing a display with low brightness versus a host of others that are relatively high
  • Distinguishing "over saturated" or "washed out" from a host of displays with decent color reproduction
I'm thinking that most of us and the majority of reviewers of these devices can spot the "really bad", but cannot (with the naked eye) distinguish between the really good ones. For those of you who own a Retina iPad mini, what are your thoughts on the display? Does it look like the color reproduction is off to you with the naked eye?