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Surface Display Quality Bests iPad, Says Microsoft

Tags:
  • iPad
  • Surface
  • Microsoft
  • Displays
Last response: in News comments
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October 18, 2012 2:07:40 PM

personally I think they are taking a big gamble at $500. The only way this will take off is if it is extraordinary. Soon we shall see.
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October 18, 2012 2:09:53 PM

Quote:
Surface Display Quality Bests iPad, Says Microsoft


Yeah, pretty sure any company who makes a product is going to promote it. Although, I wish MS would promote a higher res screen - makes it more believable. Then again, it's RT - hope the next model up supports something better.
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Anonymous
October 18, 2012 2:11:46 PM

Back to my Fire. Maybe a Fire HD hack to run Windows 8 RT.
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October 18, 2012 2:26:05 PM

Is this another "you're holding it wrong" argument?? LoL

Depending on which angle you hold it, and how the light is reflected ... will Apple sue for iPad defamation?
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October 18, 2012 2:34:21 PM

Comparing to the majority of laptops out there now, surface has a very decent resolution at its display size.
With it's productivity app(such as office), it'll thrive.

Actually, tbh, I'm rooting for anyone who does not have a fruit logo.
And yes, I'm an Apple hater and a proud sSheep(owner of SGS2, SGS3 and Nexus 7).
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October 18, 2012 2:36:18 PM

I think this is where all personal computing is heading. (with a USB port and A/V out)

But it'll be years before widespread adoption.
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October 18, 2012 2:39:35 PM

"Surface Display Quality Bests iPad, Says Microsoft"

To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, "Well, they would, wouldn't they?"
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October 18, 2012 3:46:00 PM

....well, of course, according to MS, it will be better than the iPad. Duh....

How is this remotely useful info?
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October 18, 2012 3:59:23 PM

ittimjonesI think this is where all personal computing is heading. (with a USB port and A/V out)But it'll be years before widespread adoption.


Nope. There will always be room for the bigboy desktop PC. It will always be exponentially faster at many tasks than your tablet. Sure, its big, heavy, and kind of loud when you've got crysis at full tilt - but tablets aren't going to be encoding 4K videos or playing Star Citizen any time soon.
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October 18, 2012 4:09:04 PM

1366x768 is pretty disappointing... $200 mp3 players have comparable resolutions. Hopefully the win8 version has at least 1920x1080.
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October 18, 2012 4:09:08 PM

jkflipflop98Nope. There will always be room for the bigboy desktop PC. It will always be exponentially faster at many tasks than your tablet. Sure, its big, heavy, and kind of loud when you've got crysis at full tilt - but tablets aren't going to be encoding 4K videos or playing Star Citizen any time soon.


I agree that there will always be room for a desktop PC, but disagree about the "any time soon" comment. Tablets are getting faster quickly and will continue to do so, although because of the nature of the desktop you can simply put more hardware in there, so while tablets may soon be doing 4k video encoding, a desktop will be doing a lot more.
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October 18, 2012 4:35:42 PM

I just don't get how the RT version makes sense. At least, not without 3g... It is basically WP8.5 without the app ecosystem...
Surface Pro makes sense, but just doesn't seem to have the battery life, etc...
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October 18, 2012 4:36:52 PM

I don't give a damn how good the colors look. If the resolution is shit, the screen is shit.
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October 18, 2012 4:43:57 PM

I feel like most people with negative comments on this are either not reading or not actually thinking about this.
1. People saying 500 is a big gamble.- It is already sold out.
2. Resolution. There is literally nothing about ipads resolution that makes it usable besides picture viewing and reading. and considering in side by side test every tech company that was allowed to view these stated that surface looked better, I would say that resolution doesn't matter.
3. The product looks great, was well thought out, and done correctly. No other company has put this kind of time into a product outside of apple.
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October 18, 2012 4:59:15 PM

Surface screen is small enough where that resolution is more than fine. I don't have a problem with that resolution at all...
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October 18, 2012 5:30:24 PM

The iPad doesn't have a 60Hz refresh rate, cleartype display, or the high contrast ratio of the Surface. You guys need to actually research something beside spouting your typical iPad talking points.
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October 18, 2012 5:31:58 PM

yep very true besides with a small screen 1920x1080 really wont matter
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October 18, 2012 5:37:58 PM

phamhlamThe iPad doesn't have a 60Hz refresh rate, cleartype display, or the high contrast ratio of the Surface. You guys need to actually research something beside spouting your typical iPad talking points.

Except that it does have a 60hz refresh rate and you don't need cleartype with a 2048x1536 resolution because you don't have any discernable aliasing at that resolution.
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Anonymous
October 18, 2012 5:55:10 PM

There are more than 3 times the number of pixels in the ipad vs this tablet... 3.15million vs 1.05 million
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October 18, 2012 6:27:54 PM

There comes a price with high resolution.

1- As pixel density gets higher, you'll need a brighter backlight to push the light through smaller pixels. So the screen will drain battery a bit faster.

2- The amount of processing power needed to utilize a higher resolution display is much higher than one with lower resolution. Especially when you run 3d applications such as games. (There is a noticable FPS difference between playing a game in 720p and 1080p. Imagine the same thing between a 1280x800 and a 2048x1536 display and the gap is HUGE) You'll need more processing power, and that will drain battery faster and make the device run hotter.

Not saying that a high PPI display looks sweet. But if Surface uses these trade-offs to it's advantage and have better battery life, I can definitely see it become successful.
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October 18, 2012 6:29:43 PM

Quote:
Meanwhile, another user posed the question of why Microsoft implemented a higher resolution for the tablet's Pro version.

It's simple really... The WinRT version will be running on the trashy Tegra 3 chip that can barely even handle 720p thanks to its single channel memory controller.

It's sad this thing will be released with an outdated and crappy performance SoC. I'll stick with the Pro version thank you.
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October 18, 2012 6:50:57 PM

Title: Surface Display Quality Bests iPad, Says Microsoft
Subtitle: Light reflected off Surface has a measurement lower than that of the current generation iPad's.
My reaction: hahahahaha xD Come on, I know marketing's gotta do its thing but this seems desperate xD
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October 18, 2012 6:59:55 PM

aragisThere comes a price with high resolution.1- As pixel density gets higher, you'll need a brighter backlight to push the light through smaller pixels. So the screen will drain battery a bit faster.2- The amount of processing power needed to utilize a higher resolution display is much higher than one with lower resolution. Especially when you run 3d applications such as games. (There is a noticable FPS difference between playing a game in 720p and 1080p. Imagine the same thing between a 1280x800 and a 2048x1536 display and the gap is HUGE) You'll need more processing power, and that will drain battery faster and make the device run hotter.Not saying that a high PPI display looks sweet. But if Surface uses these trade-offs to it's advantage and have better battery life, I can definitely see it become successful.



The solution here seems to be to just switch over to OLED, such as with the ZuneHD.
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October 18, 2012 8:45:41 PM

This is a bold statement from Microsoft, and I don't think it's too valid. While light reflection is a factor, I think resolution means a good bit more. I'd take a glossy 2560x1600 monitor over a less glossy 1920x1080 monitor any day.
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October 18, 2012 9:06:18 PM

alexthagerThis is a bold statement from Microsoft, and I don't think it's too valid. While light reflection is a factor, I think resolution means a good bit more. I'd take a glossy 2560x1600 monitor over a less glossy 1920x1080 monitor any day.

I would agree if that were a desktop monitor, however for a tablet that I am walking around with perhaps in the daytime with sunlight, etc, a very reflective screen is not a prefered option
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October 18, 2012 10:33:57 PM

I don't understand why so many people think a Retina Display makes that much difference... most professional displays around 24" size hover around 100ppi, far cry from what would be required for a Retina Display, yet professionals use them every day to do High Quality Color Intensive Art. The Surface is 139ppi, around which 180ppi would make it "Retina". That's a resolution of 1558 x 876 or better... oh look they make a 1920 x 1080 version with a "Retina" display.
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October 19, 2012 4:05:45 PM

marcusmurphyI don't understand why so many people think a Retina Display makes that much difference... most professional displays around 24" size hover around 100ppi, far cry from what would be required for a Retina Display, yet professionals use them every day to do High Quality Color Intensive Art. The Surface is 139ppi, around which 180ppi would make it "Retina". That's a resolution of 1558 x 876 or better... oh look they make a 1920 x 1080 version with a "Retina" display.


Depends on how you use your display. Most 24" displays and 30" displays are at more than arm's distance away. Tablets are almost ALWAYS within 2/3 an arm's distance away.

If you are looking at photos, there is really no difference between Retina iPad and iPad 1. I was just looking at both of these last night for comparison at my in-laws... HOWEVER, when READING, it made a HUGE difference, as the resolution made text just so much more crisp. In the short run, no big deal. But if you read on your iPad all day it makes a HUGE difference.

TBH, I have a 1366x768 15" Laptop at work that I use at just a little more than arm's length away. I can't stand the pixelation. Compared to the 1080p screen right next to it, it is just horrible.

But at home, I have a 1366x768 11.6" laptop, and the screen couldn't be crisper. I love it.
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October 19, 2012 4:26:38 PM

jacobdrjDepends on how you use your display. Most 24" displays and 30" displays are at more than arm's distance away. Tablets are almost ALWAYS within 2/3 an arm's distance away. If you are looking at photos, there is really no difference between Retina iPad and iPad 1. I was just looking at both of these last night for comparison at my in-laws... HOWEVER, when READING, it made a HUGE difference, as the resolution made text just so much more crisp. In the short run, no big deal. But if you read on your iPad all day it makes a HUGE difference. TBH, I have a 1366x768 15" Laptop at work that I use at just a little more than arm's length away. I can't stand the pixelation. Compared to the 1080p screen right next to it, it is just horrible.But at home, I have a 1366x768 11.6" laptop, and the screen couldn't be crisper. I love it.


Trust me, I know all about how distance etc plays a role discerning pixelation. But what you don't understand is the quality of the screen also plays a role in that perception. A 24" screen at over an arms length away is not a "Retina" screen at 100ppi. How do they display with no perceived pixelation?
BTW, the Surface is 1366x768 @ 10.6", so your argument here is moot, since your 11.6" laptop is also not "Retina" quality and it is larger than the Surface. 139ppi on a 10.6" tablet is fine, especially with the high quality screen that Microsoft put in it.
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October 19, 2012 4:35:07 PM

I was never suggesting that my laptops was over 200 ppi. I was merely pointing out that there are differences in usage patterns.

From my experience, at 1366, on screens smaller than 12", this resolution is fine. I didn't say that it couldn't be better, but it is good enough.
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October 19, 2012 5:23:53 PM

marcusmurphy said:
Trust me, I know all about how distance etc plays a role discerning pixelation. But what you don't understand is the quality of the screen also plays a role in that perception. A 24" screen at over an arms length away is not a "Retina" screen at 100ppi. How do they display with no perceived pixelation?
BTW, the Surface is 1366x768 @ 10.6", so your argument here is moot, since your 11.6" laptop is also not "Retina" quality and it is larger than the Surface. 139ppi on a 10.6" tablet is fine, especially with the high quality screen that Microsoft put in it.


For you that may be the case... for me it is not. Not liking the performance of lower resolution displays is why I ditched the iPad1, it's why all my laptops are at least 1920x1080, and why my desktop displays are higher than that.

I like being able to read an entire web page on my phone... it comes in very handy, I hate 'mobile' versions of web sites... I find them borderline useless. I suppose if you're too old to take advantage of the resolution then your argument is perfectly valid... but that doesn't mean a blanket '139ppi is fine' holds water .

As far as quality goes... the quality of the screen is definitely important... but the iPad 2 screen is not a "bad" display, and since the MS screen is by all reports still based on LCD tech, I don't believe it's going to be possible for it to be of sufficiently higher quality to make up for the loss of valuable (to me) resolution. I'll of course have to reserve judgement until I can look at the Win8 version, but I'd rather have a 1080p display with a glossy glare inducing screen than a 1366 screen that looks great in direct sunlight.
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October 19, 2012 9:24:43 PM

d_kuhnFor you that may be the case... for me it is not. Not liking the performance of lower resolution displays is why I ditched the iPad1, it's why all my laptops are at least 1920x1080, and why my desktop displays are higher than that. I like being able to read an entire web page on my phone... it comes in very handy, I hate 'mobile' versions of web sites... I find them borderline useless. I suppose if you're too old to take advantage of the resolution then your argument is perfectly valid... but that doesn't mean a blanket '139ppi is fine' holds water . As far as quality goes... the quality of the screen is definitely important... but the iPad 2 screen is not a "bad" display, and since the MS screen is by all reports still based on LCD tech, I don't believe it's going to be possible for it to be of sufficiently higher quality to make up for the loss of valuable (to me) resolution. I'll of course have to reserve judgement until I can look at the Win8 version, but I'd rather have a 1080p display with a glossy glare inducing screen than a 1366 screen that looks great in direct sunlight.


I really don't think you understand the concept of pixelation in your retina (ie what your eye sees). When it comes to "jaggies", they don't appear without holding or moving the screen close enough for your retina to perceive the actual pixels throwing off light. If you think your desktops are "great" at over 1920 x 1080 resolution then you are mistaken. Unless you dropped 10K on a super res monitor, your monitor is only about 100ppi. The reason it looks fine is because it's far enough away for your eyes not to be able to discern the pixelation. I suppose if you are too old to hold the screen far enough away to not see this pixelation then you would agree that on a 10.6" screen when viewed at about 20" away on average would indeed have the visual clarity of a Retina display based up on pixelation alone. Throw in the fact that you don't have glare and other factors refracting the light in ways the expose perceived pixelation and you have a much better quality display. Please understand that resolution statistics are not the end all be all of monitor quality, just like processor GHz speed is not the end all be all of determing which CPU to use.
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October 21, 2012 4:01:22 AM

marcusmurphy said:
I really don't think you understand the concept of pixelation in your retina (ie what your eye sees). When it comes to "jaggies", they don't appear without holding or moving the screen close enough for your retina to perceive the actual pixels throwing off light. If you think your desktops are "great" at over 1920 x 1080 resolution then you are mistaken. Unless you dropped 10K on a super res monitor, your monitor is only about 100ppi. The reason it looks fine is because it's far enough away for your eyes not to be able to discern the pixelation. I suppose if you are too old to hold the screen far enough away to not see this pixelation then you would agree that on a 10.6" screen when viewed at about 20" away on average would indeed have the visual clarity of a Retina display based up on pixelation alone. Throw in the fact that you don't have glare and other factors refracting the light in ways the expose perceived pixelation and you have a much better quality display. Please understand that resolution statistics are not the end all be all of monitor quality, just like processor GHz speed is not the end all be all of determing which CPU to use.


I think I understand imaging it pretty well... since my background prior to moving into management is Machine Vision. The perception of pixellation depends on a number of factors including resolution, viewing distance, display performance (things like contrast), user and content... which is exactly what I was saying. For me, I like the fact that I can display a lot of content on my handhelds when desired, and that's based on resolution and viewing distance primarily. I can focus pretty darn closely (benefit of being near sighted) and clearly read text on a 'retina' display that is not displayable on a lower res display at any viewing distance. For dense data displays I'm holding the display a lot closer than 20", in fact I hold it close enough that I can clearly read the content... so a lower resolution display will only have undistinguished performance if the pixels are at my minimum noticeable difference level... and I can make out individual pixels on an iphone. Hence when I say that a tablet with 1300x800 or so is not sufficient, it's because I know how 148ppi looks on a handheld - my 1st gen iPod touch had 160ppi or so and it is VERY noticeably pixellated at close to mid viewing distances. The 27" screen I'm typing on now has 109ppi and black text on white is noticeably pixellated at 15-17" and that's WITH cleartype. Optical tricks like cleartype can help with the apparent pixellation of lower resolution displays... but they do it by using adjacent pixels to smooth the black to white transition - and that doesn't work if the text your displaying is near the lower limit of the display.

148ppi is not going to work on a handheld for me... I'm hoping for closer to 200.
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October 21, 2012 4:29:35 AM

No one is telling you not to buy what you choose, but the fact is most people aren't going to use their electronics like you do. Based on screen size people will be using devices at different viewing distances and the Surface's screen resolution will be of "Retina" like quality for most of the average eyesight public. If you need a better resolution then buy the Surface Pro, which will give you over 200ppi density that you desire.
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