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.