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Wide-Gamut Color Performance

The Complete iPad 3 Review: Retina Display, A5X, 4G LTE, And Camera
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Apple went all-out in its effort to achieve dramatic image quality improvements.
As the first tablet sporting a HD-class resolution (2048x1536), the iPad 3 also impresses with corresponding improvements in pixel density. Significant color performance enhancements are also part of the iPad 3 story, as shown our charts below.

The iPad 3 renders 66.1% of the AdobeRGB 1998 color gamut—a nearly a 35% improvement over previous iPads. A color gamut above 60% is actually quite good, and on par with most desktop monitors. Note the slightly lower LCD gamut quality score of the iPad 2 compared to the iPad in the above chart. Although we'd expect the results to be the same, Apple sourced displays for its second-gen model from both LG and Samsung, so gamut quality performance can vary.

Rendering relative to the sRGB gamut demonstrates more impressive numbers. The New iPad tops this list, and a wide gap separates it from its nearest competitor. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is capable of rendering a respectable 76.2% of the sRGB gamut, but is still roughly 20% lower than the iPad 3.

Gamut percentages and color maps provide quick-and-dirty estimates of LCD panel performance. However, they can be misleading. It's possible for two displays that share the same gamut percentage to look completely different. This is why we examine cross-sections of a 3D gamut map in order to get the real story.

We're comparing four snapshots of the iPad 3's gamut model to maps for the iPad 2 and AdobeRGB 1998 spec. Although the results look like a challenge to interpret, the idea is quite simple. Dark colors are called shadows, and they reside at a lower cross-section on the map. For example, dark blues reside at the 0-25% region. Moving up presents you with brighter colors, typically called mid-tones and highlights. You can click here to view the iPad 3's 3D gamut map.

Better Dark BluesBetter Dark BluesBetter Bright GreensBetter Bright GreensBetter Dark RedsBetter Dark Reds

Because these are 2D snapshots of a 3D model, specific points of analysis are difficult to interpret. In short, though, the new iPad delivers a huge improvement in rendering dark blue, dark magenta, dark reds, blue mid-tones, red mid-tones, and bright green. Interestingly, the iPad 2 does slightly better in cyan shadows and mid-tones.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    aicom , April 16, 2012 6:46 AM
    Tomfreaklol FAIL hard when I see keyboard are displayed on TV as well despite being docked and to make thigns worst one still need to carry the adapter around to plug HDMI......

    +1 to the keyboard thing. But remember that most tablets (all?) don't have full size HDMI so you probably need a dongle 99% of the time anyway.
  • 11 Hide
    alchemy69 , April 16, 2012 11:05 AM
    "Typically, you're looking at a tablet from less than a foot away"

    Really?
  • 11 Hide
    confish21 , April 16, 2012 5:46 AM
    its cool if I lick my finger for page turning right?
Other Comments
  • -6 Hide
    tomfreak , April 16, 2012 5:24 AM
    lol FAIL hard when I see keyboard are displayed on TV as well despite being docked and to make thigns worst one still need to carry the adapter around to plug HDMI......
  • 4 Hide
    confish21 , April 16, 2012 5:38 AM
    Really a solid tablet. Just wish the adapter and outrageous bills could disappear... Great Review!

    100 degrees is damn hot but I think the results are justified.
  • 11 Hide
    confish21 , April 16, 2012 5:46 AM
    its cool if I lick my finger for page turning right?
  • 6 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , April 16, 2012 6:08 AM
    I'm waiting for an x86- Windows 8 tablet.
  • 13 Hide
    aicom , April 16, 2012 6:46 AM
    Tomfreaklol FAIL hard when I see keyboard are displayed on TV as well despite being docked and to make thigns worst one still need to carry the adapter around to plug HDMI......

    +1 to the keyboard thing. But remember that most tablets (all?) don't have full size HDMI so you probably need a dongle 99% of the time anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    tomfreak , April 16, 2012 7:13 AM
    HDMI port is not very thick, I still wonder whats keeping them from putting in on tablet.
  • -1 Hide
    Maziar , April 16, 2012 8:20 AM
    Great article! very detailed.
  • 1 Hide
    aicom , April 16, 2012 8:25 AM
    TomfreakHDMI port is not very thick, I still wonder whats keeping them from putting in on tablet.

    The port isn't all that's needed. There's also a bit of hardware around it for the socket that makes it a tad thicker and a stretch to fit in the chasis of tablets.
  • 11 Hide
    alchemy69 , April 16, 2012 11:05 AM
    "Typically, you're looking at a tablet from less than a foot away"

    Really?
  • 2 Hide
    tomfreak , April 16, 2012 11:37 AM
    aicomThe port isn't all that's needed. There's also a bit of hardware around it for the socket that makes it a tad thicker and a stretch to fit in the chasis of tablets.
    looks like we gonna wait wide adoption for mini display port for TV then.
  • 3 Hide
    bustapr , April 16, 2012 11:45 AM
    more than 5hrs to charge. thats not to my liking. the transformer prime was the only battery life vs charge time tablet I saw.
  • 1 Hide
    Augray37 , April 16, 2012 1:05 PM
    The display is 9.7", not 10.1".
  • 3 Hide
    cknobman , April 16, 2012 1:17 PM
    Alchemy69"Typically, you're looking at a tablet from less than a foot away"Really?


    Yeah I thought that comment was bunk too. Typically I use my tablet 1-2 feet away as less that 1 foot away would have the thing shoved up in my face too much and not give me any arm reach to operate the device properly.

    As for the display in the iPad3 I went to the apple store and looked at it side by side with the iPad2. The colors look great but the super high pixel density was not as big of a difference as these reviews made it out to be.

    The biggest things I noticed when comparing iPad2 and 3 side by side was the increased thickness and weight. Those 2 factors were enough for me to want to choose the iPad2, especially if I could get it a little cheaper than the iPad 3.
  • 1 Hide
    mcd023 , April 16, 2012 2:01 PM
    I am curious, was it just a reduction in pixel size that made the higher gamut? that doesn't really make sense to me. Does anyone have more info?
  • -3 Hide
    nycnut , April 16, 2012 2:10 PM
    The data plan graphic is WRONG! Verizon offers 2GB vs ATTs 3GB for the same $30. Check your facts...
  • 1 Hide
    hoofhearted , April 16, 2012 2:53 PM
    I am not a fanboy of either camp. I have a tf prime and just got the ipad 3. I just wish apple would put a friggin sd slot. Watching my dvd collection while at the gym on the eliptical machine is a must and I am not fond of jumping though hoops to swap content in and out.

    I also am curious about who will get the gaming win (more depends on where the devs go):
    android tegra3, ipad3, vita, 3ds, or maybe microsoft will pull a rabbit out of their hat with win8.

  • -5 Hide
    badtaylorx , April 16, 2012 3:00 PM
    damn....i dont come here for apple news.....
  • 0 Hide
    jamesjones_det , April 16, 2012 3:15 PM
    I'm not supporting and/or dissing the iPad or Tom's hardware but technically there is a "wireless" option with AirPlay and an Apple TV or Mac.

    I'm just saying if we are supposed to be a technology site we should be sure the facts are correct.
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , April 16, 2012 3:52 PM
    give me a 16:9 or 16:10 tablet capable running an independant 1080 or 1200 capable external display with a native miniHDMI connector for easy setup for presentations and video watching (does not need 3D support on external display). I also want removable storage for SD cards as an option, and a USB port or 2 if it is not too much to ask so I can hook up my video camera, or keyboard, or credit card swiper without dealing with a dock. Lastly, I want a minimum 128GB of internal storage on it for $300-400. I will take a slower processor, or lowered graphics for the sake of a minimum 128GB of storage. Lastly, I want full MS office to run on it, none of this web-based office365 junk, especially if I am going to be out and about and not wanting to waste my 4G plan just to run office.

    If I am going to pay $830 for a limited use tablet with 64GB storage and 4G, then I think I would rather spend that money on a notebook or ultrabook. I can still get a touch screen, I still get good graphics, I get a real keyboard/mouse, can still get a 4G option, and I get real x86 programs, removable storage, better connectivity options (USB3, thunderbolt), and (most importantly) real storage space.

    Also, I would prefer win8 over iOS, but iOS is not a deal breaker if they would come out with something that would fit my use.
  • 3 Hide
    acku , April 16, 2012 4:46 PM
    nycnutThe data plan graphic is WRONG! Verizon offers 2GB vs ATTs 3GB for the same $30. Check your facts...

    My fault. Corrected.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
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