The best way to compare two similar products is to buy both, and then test them side by side. There is a difference but it's barely noticeable. I compared the two screens using this 2560x1600 picture: http://www.free-hdwallpapers.com/wallpapers/architecture/56821.jpg From a glance, the quality on both tablets is the same, but if you look closely, and I mean you actually have to look really close, then and only then will you see the differences. The Retina display helps you see the details, in a clear sharp image. These details, however, you wouldn't notice unless your eyes were 3 inches from the screen. I then compared the two playing 1080P trailers from Youtube, making sure both were set to their maximum resolutions. I did not notice a difference between Retina's 1080p from Youtube vs the normal iPad Mini w/o Retina display which maxed out at 720p on Youtube. Don't get me wrong, these are amazing tablets, but unless you have the extra $100 to spare, I'd go with the normal iPad Mini w/o Retina display. The quality of the images even without the retina display was still superb.