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Surface Display Quality Bests iPad, Says Microsoft

By - Source: Reddit | B 33 comments

Light reflected off Surface has a measurement lower than that of the current generation iPad's.

Despite featuring a lower resolution on its Surface tablet, a Microsoft engineer has offered his take on why the device's display beats the iPad's resolution.

With Microsoft due to release Windows 8 and the tablet next week, several engineers from the firm conducted a Reddit IamA recently. One user asked what consumers think of Surface vs the iPad's different screen resolution.

Surface for Windows RT delivers a resolution of 1366x768, with the third-generation iPad boasting a resolution of 2048x1536. Steven Bathiche, the director of research for the firm's Applied Sciences division, referred to Surface's Modulation Transfer Function, which combines both contrast and resolution. "Without good contrast, resolution decreases," he said.

"The amount of light in a room and the reflections off the screen have a huge effect on the contrast of the display," Bathiche explained. "In fact, a small amount of reflection can greatly reduce contrast and thus the perceived resolution of the display. With the ClearType Display technology we took a 3 pronged approach to maximize that perceived resolution and optimize for battery life, weight, and thickness."

Bathiche continued on to say how the light reflected off Surface was measured at around 5.5 percent to 6.2 percent, while the light reflected off the iPad 3 is measured at 9.9 percent.

Meanwhile, another user posed the question of why Microsoft implemented a higher resolution for the tablet's Pro version. Bathiche seemingly struggled to provide an adequate response, with the director suggesting Microsoft may not be as concerned in regards to preserving battery power. He also said that since the Pro version has predominately been designed for a "professional environment," the extra screen space could be required to deliver presentations.

Surface, which launches on October 26, will compete against the imminent arrival of the iPad Mini, a device that is said to outshine the current generation iPad's design.

 

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    shortyg83 , October 18, 2012 4:43 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.
  • 13 Hide
    chomlee , October 18, 2012 2:07 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.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    chomlee , October 18, 2012 2:07 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.
  • Display all 33 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    igot1forya , October 18, 2012 2:09 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.
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 18, 2012 2:11 PM
    Back to my Fire. Maybe a Fire HD hack to run Windows 8 RT.
  • -9 Hide
    katfishgr , October 18, 2012 2:26 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?
  • 9 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , October 18, 2012 2:34 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).
  • 3 Hide
    ittimjones , October 18, 2012 2:36 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.
  • -1 Hide
    alchemy69 , October 18, 2012 2:39 PM
    "Surface Display Quality Bests iPad, Says Microsoft"

    To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, "Well, they would, wouldn't they?"
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , October 18, 2012 3:46 PM
    ....well, of course, according to MS, it will be better than the iPad. Duh....

    How is this remotely useful info?
  • 3 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , October 18, 2012 3:59 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.
  • -4 Hide
    d_kuhn , October 18, 2012 4:09 PM
    1366x768 is pretty disappointing... $200 mp3 players have comparable resolutions. Hopefully the win8 version has at least 1920x1080.
  • 1 Hide
    dameon51 , October 18, 2012 4:09 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.
  • -1 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 18, 2012 4:35 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...
  • -7 Hide
    math1337 , October 18, 2012 4:36 PM
    I don't give a damn how good the colors look. If the resolution is shit, the screen is shit.
  • 16 Hide
    shortyg83 , October 18, 2012 4:43 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.
  • 5 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 18, 2012 4:59 PM
    Surface screen is small enough where that resolution is more than fine. I don't have a problem with that resolution at all...
  • 8 Hide
    phamhlam , October 18, 2012 5:30 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.
  • 2 Hide
    glitch19 , October 18, 2012 5:31 PM
    yep very true besides with a small screen 1920x1080 really wont matter
  • -3 Hide
    christarp , October 18, 2012 5:37 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.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 18, 2012 5:55 PM
    There are more than 3 times the number of pixels in the ipad vs this tablet... 3.15million vs 1.05 million
  • 4 Hide
    aragis , October 18, 2012 6:27 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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