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Display expert says iPad 2 LCD nearly as good as iPhone 4

post #1 of 83
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An in-depth scientific analysis of the iPad 2 display reveals that Apple's latest tablet, despite having significantly lower pixel density, delivers "almost identical" performance to the iPhone 4.

Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, conducted the tests in a "shoot-out" between the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4.

According to Soneira, the iPad 2 "has excellent LCD display hardware," but could benefit from a software update to improve anti-aliasing and automatic brightness controls. Soneira's overall assessment concludes that "other than PPI resolution the iPad 2 display delivers similar performance to the iPhone 4 Retina Display."

The report suggests that anti-aliasing enhancements to iOS would compensate for the iPad 2's lower pixel density. The iPad 2 maintains the same density, 132 pixels per inch (ppi), as the original iPad, while the iPhone 4 boasts a Retina Display with 326 ppi. Soneira sees the iPhone 4's high pixel density "as something of an overkill (and primarily there for App compatibility)" because anti-aliasing methods can reduce pixelation at lower resolutions and ppi.

Soneira also notes that a "bug" in Apple's automatic brightness controls locks brightness based on "the brightest ambient light sensor value that has been measured at any point starting from the time unit was awakened," even after a substantial decrease in ambient light. This issue, however, occurs across all iOS devices, and could be a simple software fix.



According to the report, Apple will likely upgrade the resolution of the iPad in the next-generation version. AppleInsider reported last month that cost and manufacturing restraints had led Apple to push back a Retina Display upgrade to the iPad 3.

It had previously been suggested that Apple planned to double the resolution of the iPad to 2048 x 1536 on the second generation of the tablet.

Though rumors have surfaced(1, 2) that the Cupertino, Calif., iPad maker had planned a tablet upgrade for later this year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs seemed to quash speculation when he declared 2011 the "Year of iPad 2" at a media event unveiling the device earlier this month.

The iPad 2 is set to have a blowout launch after drawing record lines last Friday. Checks by analysts revealed on Tuesday that new shipments of the device have sold out immediately, prompting speculation that Apple could delay the planned March 25 international launch of the iPad 2, as it did with the original iPad last year.

Shipping times for online orders of the iPad 2 have slipped to 4-5 weeks from launch day estimates of 2-3 weeks.
post #2 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Soneira also notes that a "bug" in Apple's automatic brightness controls locks brightness based on "the brightest ambient light sensor value that has been measured at any point starting from the time unit was awakened," even after a substantial decrease in ambient light. This issue, however, occurs across all iOS devices, and could be a simple software fix.

This is not a bug and is the intended usage of the automatic brightness controls.
I think in the original iPhone Keynote, from back in 2007, Steve Jobs said something about it being weird for your phone's display to constantly go in and out, so it only changes in high brightness to remain readable.
post #3 of 83
I suspect it is like the difference between 720P and 1080p on most 40" - 50" TVs, many people can't tell the difference. We all know NTSC sucked but above a certain level of pixel density it simply comes down to marginal improvements visually. The difference will be greater for dealing with fine lines and precision curser placement in apps that require that but these are probably few and far between as of yet.
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post #4 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Soneira sees the iPhone 4's high pixel density "as something of an overkill (and primarily there for App compatibility)" because anti-aliasing methods can reduce pixelation at lower resolutions and ppi.

He couldn't be more wrong about this. The iPhone 4's pixel density is probably one of its best qualities and what really sets it apart from everything else on the market. Anti-aliasing can make things a little better, but it can also wash out detail. I don't think the iPhone 4 would be nearly as usable at 132ppi.
post #5 of 83
Looking at an iPad 2 the other night it still suffers from some awkward font renderings on web pages. The anti aliasing method he mentions must only work on some sites.
post #6 of 83
If you are half blind or only using the iPad at arms length, then maybe he is right. But the ability to move the pad closer to your face like the phone would make the display differences immediately obvious.

The macbook Pro and Macbook Air have similar pixel densities to the iPad, and when held side by side with the iPhone 4, the differences are immediate and obvious.

I am not buying a pad until there is a retina display on it.

Sheldon
post #7 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

He couldn't be more wrong about this. The iPhone 4's pixel density is probably one of its best qualities and what really sets it apart from everything else on the market. Anti-aliasing can make things a little better, but it can also wash out detail. I don't think the iPhone 4 would be nearly as usable at 132ppi.

I agree. I heard much the same song and dance when HDTVs arrived but resolution did make a difference to consumers. --Even in the much debated 720p - 1080p comparisons. Higher res always won the day.
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post #8 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

If you are half blind or only using the iPad at arms length, then maybe he is right. But the ability to move the pad closer to your face like the phone would make the display differences immediately obvious.

The macbook Pro and Macbook Air have similar pixel densities to the iPad, and when held side by side with the iPhone 4, the differences are immediate and obvious.

I am not buying a pad until there is a retina display on it.

Sheldon

I own the original iPad and plan to pick up another one but am waiting for the Retina display. I was disappointed that the iPad2 did not have this. I was hoping to buy one this Spring but will have to wait a bit longer now.
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post #9 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

He couldn't be more wrong about this. The iPhone 4's pixel density is probably one of its best qualities and what really sets it apart from everything else on the market. Anti-aliasing can make things a little better, but it can also wash out detail. I don't think the iPhone 4 would be nearly as usable at 132ppi.

Exactly right. I'm reading this on my iPhone4 now, and the pixel density of the Retna display is simply amazing. Text that would be unreadable on previous iPhones or the iPad is crisp and clear.

Anti-aliasing is good for pictures, but it can't create detail for vector or line art like text where the detail simply isn't diaplayable. Luckily with the larger screen of the iPad I don't have to have small text as I do on the iPhone because of the physical display size of the iPhone, but I do hope one day they do offer a high resolution display because even for it's small size the iPhone 4 display is increadibly easy on the eyes.
post #10 of 83
Amazing!
post #11 of 83
"despite having significantly lower pixel density, delivers "almost identical" performance to the iPhone 4."

That statement makes as much sense as stating that a Honda Civic has "almost identical" performance to a Maybach because they both have wheels

I'm not in a hurry (READ: not sucked up into Apple's hype vortex) and can wait until the display is a bit higher quality. F.Y.I.W., I've been purchasing and using Apple products since the IIe; don't want to be accused of being a Troll And Booga's right about the iPhone 4 Retina Display; I can read easier and see better on it than either the iPad 1 or 2.
post #12 of 83
I'm waiting for iPad 3 before any upgrade. The current DPI is just brutal. I struggle to do any reading on an iPad as text looks truly dreadful unless blown up to jumbo sizes.

Hopefully by next year GPUs will have improved enough to allow a doubling of the DPI while retaining the same or better performance.
post #13 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple 1984 View Post

I agree. I heard much the same song and dance when HDTVs arrived but resolution did make a difference to consumers. --Even in the much debated 720p - 1080p comparisons. Higher res always won the day.

HDTV is a bad comparison since you are typically 6 or more feet away from them - the further away you are, the less relevant resolution is. Also, you don't tend to read lot's of small point text on a TV.

High resolution on HDTV "won" more due to hype and the checklist feature spec-oriented mentality than any actual real advantage.

It's the opposite with devices like the iPhone and iPad that are typically a foot or less from your eyes - differences in resolution are readily apparent and appreciatable.
post #14 of 83
Soneira is quite simply an idiot, and I'm ashamed of AI for wasting space with this no-talent hack's sputtering garbage.

iPhone 4 overkill? Lol no

iPad almost as good? Lol No

Anti aliasing? Wtf? What an idiot
post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An in-depth scientific analysis of the iPad 2 display reveals that Apple's latest tablet, despite having significantly lower pixel density, delivers "almost identical" performance to the iPhone 4.

Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, conducted the tests in a "shoot-out" between the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4.

According to Soneira, the iPad 2 "has excellent LCD display hardware," but could benefit from a software update to improve anti-aliasing and automatic brightness controls. Soneira's overall assessment concludes that "other than PPI resolution the iPad 2 display delivers similar performance to the iPhone 4 Retina Display."

The report suggests that anti-aliasing enhancements to iOS would compensate for the iPad 2's lower pixel density. The iPad 2 maintains the same density, 132 pixels per inch (ppi), as the original iPad, while the iPhone 4 boasts a Retina Display with 326 ppi. Soneira sees the iPhone 4's high pixel density "as something of an overkill (and primarily there for App compatibility)" because anti-aliasing methods can reduce pixelation at lower resolutions and ppi.

Soneira also notes that a "bug" in Apple's automatic brightness controls locks brightness based on "the brightest ambient light sensor value that has been measured at any point starting from the time unit was awakened," even after a substantial decrease in ambient light. This issue, however, occurs across all iOS devices, and could be a simple software fix.

According to the report, Apple will likely upgrade the resolution of the iPad in the next-generation version. AppleInsider reported last month that cost and manufacturing restraints had led Apple to push back a Retina Display upgrade to the iPad 3.

It had previously been suggested that Apple planned to double the resolution of the iPad to 2048 x 1536 on the second generation of the tablet.

Though rumors have surfaced(1, 2) that the Cupertino, Calif., iPad maker had planned a tablet upgrade for later this year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs seemed to quash speculation when he declared 2011 the "Year of iPad 2" at a media event unveiling the device earlier this month.

The iPad 2 is set to have a blowout launch after drawing record lines last Friday. Checks by analysts revealed on Tuesday that new shipments of the device have sold out immediately, prompting speculation that Apple could delay the planned March 25 international launch of the iPad 2, as it did with the original iPad last year.

Shipping times for online orders of the iPad 2 have slipped to 4-5 weeks from launch day estimates of 2-3 weeks.


'Tis truly amazing how many posts are just copy, paste ... over and over ... doesn't make sense, the iPAD display as noted above is gorgeous. Read over anandtech.com review of the GPU ... read all the comments ... super technical ... then give up repeating the iPAD is getting Retina . It is not practical, nor cost effective and will degrade overall performance. That is not the Apple Plan. Maybe the plan of the fanbois. but they live in a dream world anyway.
post #16 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

I am not buying a pad until there is a retina display on it.

Same here, but even then I may not buy one. Why can't I attach files to an email from Apple's default email program? Let's take pictures for example. I can't reply and attach something to an email chain. No, I have to open the photo app first, browse for the pic and then choose share, which creates a whole new email. Dumb. Granted this is an iOS limitation and not an iPad limitation, but it's still basic functionality.

I guess I am one of those who has no need for a tablet. I'll stick to my trusty 17" MacBook Pro.
post #17 of 83
132dpi isn't bad at arm's length, but you can see the individual pixels and you lose detail - especially on scaled-down images with text in them, and smaller font sizes.

Personally I'd like it if some desktop monitors were given 132dpi, never mind 260+.

I don't know if it's a major reason to not get an iPad 2 unless you will be doing a lot of reading on it - the extra crispness will make a difference here, and possibly reduce eye strain (pixellated text can cause eye strain as the eye has to do more work to interpret what it is seeing).

It's a shame that the iPad doesn't support 1.5x scaling - a 1536x1152 display would be a good compromise, and probably be more manufacturable.
post #18 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Same here, but even then I may not buy one. Why can't I attach files to an email from Apple's default email program? Let's take pictures for example. I can't reply and attach something to an email chain. No, I have to open the photo app first, browse for the pic and then choose share, which creates a whole new email. Dumb. Granted this is an iOS limitation and not an iPad limitation, but it's still basic functionality.

I guess I am one of those who has no need for a tablet. I'll stick to my trusty 17" MacBook Pro.

Well you could hit reply, then using the multitasking ability, go into your photos, long press on the photo you want, hit copy and then switch back to mail and paste into the reply. It's not perfect but it does work.
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post #19 of 83
Soniera was the guy who said the "retina display" was false marketing. I don't hold much stock in what he says.
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post #20 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I'm waiting for iPad 3 before any upgrade. The current DPI is just brutal. I struggle to do any reading on an iPad as text looks truly dreadful unless blown up to jumbo sizes.

Hopefully by next year GPUs will have improved enough to allow a doubling of the DPI while retaining the same or better performance.

lol. You'll find another excuse not to buy next year.
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post #21 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter61 View Post



'Tis truly amazing how many posts are just copy, paste ... over and over ... doesn't make sense, the iPAD display as noted above is gorgeous. Read over anandtech.com review of the GPU ... read all the comments ... super technical ... then give up repeating the iPAD is getting Retina . It is not practical, nor cost effective and will degrade overall performance. That is not the Apple Plan. Maybe the plan of the fanbois. but they live in a dream world anyway.

They wouldn't get the Ipad2 even if it did have retina display. That crap about "I'm waiting for retina display" is a crock. What they really mean is "I don't want the Ipad2 and nothing is going to change that".
post #22 of 83
Ι think they should have fused the glass to the screen. This display is good in terms of comparing to the non existent (let's be frank) competition, but it does leave a lot to be desired, esp. to those like myself who can't read a book comfortably on the ipad. For the time being to me the only way to go is an ereader and an ipad.

Shame about not fusing it to the glass at least, but I am sure that with the money apple have invested in screen tec in years time (seems long don't it?) we will very much like what we, er, see, and in a couple or so years they ll blow our minds with the quality of these screens, but so far, that's all we got.
post #23 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

Soniera was the guy who said the "retina display" was false marketing. I don't hold much stock in what he says.

good memory, so it's that idiot who was universally rebutted for the rubbish he was talking about the retina display.
post #24 of 83
I must respetfully disagree with the notion that the screens are relativly the same. I truly enjoy the iPad 2 but the iPhone 4 display is far superior.
post #25 of 83
Soneira is talking out of his ass. Software tricks like anti-aliasing are used to make up for a lack of sufficient resolution to display text clearly at all sizes. I, for one, am looking forward to the day that the iPad has a razor sharp display like the iPhone 4.
post #26 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

This is not a bug and is the intended usage of the automatic brightness controls.
I think in the original iPhone Keynote, from back in 2007, Steve Jobs said something about it being weird for your phone's display to constantly go in and out, so it only changes in high brightness to remain readable.

Whether it's a bug or not is semantics to some degree.

It's enough of a bug for me (and for most folks I know with iPhones), that we turn off automatic brightness altogether. Let's face it, if it doesn't actually work, it's a bug, irrespective of whether the developers think it's a "feature," instead.
post #27 of 83
Once again, to all those out there wanting an iPad Retina Display... please look up how huge that pixel and rendering demand is first.

Google this: 2048 × 1536 ... and find out that there is not even a desktop display under 24" with that resolution, let alone coming to an iPad any time soon. You want a 1gb overclocked card with twin fans to go with that too?

Retina display is: a perception of display in regards to a printed page, at a size relative to "normal" reading conditions based upon the device and how far or close that device is to the eyes.

Considering that a sub 4" screen showing a web page, book, or data... while it's fantastic for the iPhone, you just don't need it on the 10" size of an iPad.

Although in due time, it certainly will be simply "amazing and magical" when it gets here
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post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

They wouldn't get the Ipad2 even if it did have retina display. That crap about "I'm waiting for retina display" is a crock. What they really mean is "I don't want the Ipad2 and nothing is going to change that".

More like "I can't afford the iPad 2 and my Mum won't buy me one either, so I'm going to find some picky reason to justify to myself why I don't really want it anyway."

See also: The Fox and the Grapes.
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

lol. You'll find another excuse not to buy next year.

Exactly. Because the person doesn't have the money to buy an iPad, he badmouths it. This is called "sour grapes".

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post #30 of 83
Adding anti aliasing to make up for pixel density would only make it run worse. This guy's a quack.
post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Soneira also notes that a "bug" in Apple's automatic brightness controls locks brightness based on "the brightest ambient light sensor value that has been measured at any point starting from the time unit was awakened," even after a substantial decrease in ambient light. This issue, however, occurs across all iOS devices, and could be a simple software fix.

It didn't take an expert to see this. It's been around since iOS 1.0
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post #32 of 83
A retina display isnt practical now (for many reasons, Id guess; cost, manufacturing quantities, and RAM/GPU burden) but when it finally is2012?it WILL make a difference. It may not be as noticeable on the iPad as much as the iPhone, since you dont always hold it as close, but it WILL be noticeable and it will be great!

Thats not to say the iPad screen isnt nice already. Im still getting an iPad 2. Theres always something new coming, and I cant wait forever...
post #33 of 83
Quote:
...differences in resolution are readily apparent and appreciatable.

Whatever works for you dude. Same song and dance. My point made.
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post #34 of 83
Prof. Peabody, you just took the words out of my mouth!

What I wonder is how the iPad 2's display compares to the original. Have seen a number of videos comparing the graphics power of the two, but no mention was made of the optical quality. However it appeared to me that the new model was noticeably sharper, the older iPads looking a bit more yellowish and dimmer. Could that be attributed just to their being about a year older? Or has the manufacturing process been significantly changed?

But even though the iPad still has only 1024x768 resolution, that is still more information than the iPhone can display, so there is at least some advantage. On the other hand, it seems a lot of iOS publications are not making very good use of the screen real estate on the iPad, and are delivering text in fonts so small and spindly that they are barely legible and look just terrible. MNSHO.
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post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

...differences in resolution are readily apparent and appreciatable.

Whatever works for you dude. Same song and dance. My point made.
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post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Whether it's a bug or not is semantics to some degree.

It's enough of a bug for me (and for most folks I know with iPhones), that we turn off automatic brightness altogether. Let's face it, if it doesn't actually work, it's a bug, irrespective of whether the developers think it's a "feature," instead.

Yes, it is a matter of semantics, entirely. It's a 'bug', by the definition of the word in this context, only if it doesn't work as intended. If it works as intended but you don't like the way it's designed to work, it's simply something you don't like, or, at most, a poorly designed feature. While this may seem a bit pedantic, it's also not useful to dilute the meaning of words so that they in fact lose all useful meaning.

Personally, I think the brightness controls work fine in most situations.
post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Once again, to all those out there wanting an iPad Retina Display...

In 12 months from now we're probably going to be hearing a lot of moaning and whining.

Bahwawawa..........I'm not getting an iPad3, I'm waiting for the iPad4 and the retina display.

As I said on a previous thread, I'd love to be proven wrong, but I just don't see it happening.

The iPhone 4 resolution is nothing amazing, it's only 960 x 640. The thing that makes it special is that they managed to pack that into a little 3.5" midget screen.

As for the "display expert", he doesn't sound like much of an expert. I think that the iPad2 display is pretty good, but to claim that there's little difference between 132 PPI and 326 PPI is just insane.
post #38 of 83
Text with sharp edges on the iPad is more about achieving technical parity with analog technology. As with music, compromises were made in the transition to digital. Some compromises have since been made up.

It's not just a "nit-picky", "hater" detail and if I'm not mistaken Apple helped make great strides in font rendering. If it was important for them years ago, I'm sure it's important now.

I'm not a big fan of losing "analog niceties", but it's reality. I know plenty of people who obsess over the quality of their movie and music files. Apple has made their fair share of compromises when it's come to that sort of thing, so it's really not a surprise that the current screen is sufficient, especially for a market that hasn't even seen one. Until they could compare it to something better, most people would never notice. The ipad screen is pretty amazing, except for one detail.

I have my own selfish and wishful desires for a "2K" ipad display as well.

The addition of "1080 support" on ipad2 is promising for ipad3's possible native screen rez bump however. Who's voting for iPad Pro? Anyone?
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post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


The addition of "1080 support" on ipad2 is promising for ipad3's possible native screen rez bump however.

If I'm not mistaken, Apple doesn't even offer 1080 movies to download on iTunes. Apple must not think that 1080 is all that important at the moment.
post #40 of 83
Once again AI puts out the bait and so many people are quick to get on the hook. Do they not teach reading comprehension in school anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

He couldn't be more wrong about this. The iPhone 4's pixel density is probably one of its best qualities and what really sets it apart from everything else on the market. Anti-aliasing can make things a little better, but it can also wash out detail. I don't think the iPhone 4 would be nearly as usable at 132ppi.

Let's be a bit more objective about the statement he made. He said 326 ppi was overkill, but that doesn't mean he said it wasn't better than 132. Could Apple have made it 250 ppi and achieved the same great display qualities. Would you notice the difference between 250 and 326? (I'm just using 250 as an example. Maybe we use 280 or 300.)

So he said 326 was "overkill" but used for "app compatibility". So Apple could have used 280 ppi or 300 ppi and achieved the same stunning results, but they went to 326 because it scales better to the iPad dimensions to make scaling iPhone apps to iPad screen easier.

Your assumption that he is saying 132 = 326 is just plain wrong. And his assessment is likely correct. There is a good chance that scaling the iPhone's screen resolution to the iPad size was a consideration for Apple when determining what ppi to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

As for the "display expert", he doesn't sound like much of an expert. I think that the iPad2 display is pretty good, but to claim that there's little difference between 132 PPI and 326 PPI is just insane.

Did you miss the part where he said "except for the ppi"? There are many display characteristics. Brightness, color accuracy, viewing angle. PPI is just one thing, and he qualified his statement in that regard.
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