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Display Quality: Color Gamut

Sony Tablet S Review: The Media Enthusiast's Dream Tablet

In our opinion, the Tablet S' viewing angles are excellent; they're at least as good as competing models like Asus' Eee Pad Transformer and Apple's iPad 2. That's to be expected, though, since all three tablets employ IPS technology.

Sony Tablet S: LCD Color Gamut (IPS Panel)

Even though mobile operating systems don't honor ICC color profiles, native color management does occur at the hardware level. When a GPU sends 10 different hues of blue to an LCD only capable of displaying three, the subpixels display the closest matching color. So, in a way, smartphones and tablets behave as if they’re using relative colorimetric rendering. For more information, read Tom's Hardware Benchmarks Inkjet Printer Paper!

Most tablets still deliver less color quality than the cheap TN panels seen on the desktop, which is why the Tablet S' performance falls in as expected. Overall color gamut is extremely close to the Thrive, while the Galaxy Tab 10.1's Super PLS panel still sets the standard when it comes to display quality. There isn't a tablet we've seen able to match it.

These gamut measurements are accompanied by a couple of caveats. First, we disable dynamic brightness because it doesn’t allow us to get an accurate (or reproducible) measurement of the display’s potential. Second, brightness is set to the highest value. If you don't use the same settings, your color gamut is going to look smaller than what we show here.

The tablet's IPS display is near the standard 6500 K. But many of its colors appear slightly washed out due to a relatively low gamma.

Understand that gamma doesn't affect black or white performance, but it does affect midtones. If gamma is set too high, the midtones appear dark. If it's set too low, they're pale. Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft all recommend a gamma of 2.2. It's an arbitrary value carried over from the NTSC standard, but it was originally chosen because it allows colors to appear more natural in slightly dim environments. 

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