"Doing a side by side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the Ipad (sic) with more resolution," he wrote.
sounds counterintuitive, and cringeworthy excuse. But it might not be entirely impossible to pull off a perceptual prank on the human brain.
There are a couple of ways to tweak a lower resolution display to appear to have a higher resolution: assuming the photos are exactly the same and contain sufficient resolution. I'm assuming that they didn't display the photos at 1:1 ratio between photo pixels and display pixels. They probably took a full sized photo (12-24MP for typical DSLR) and allowed the device's software to scale the photo down to fit the device's screens. Depending on the algorithm used, this downscaling can affect the perceived sharpness of the image. If Microsoft boosted the contrast, or even applied tricks such as unsharp masking to the image as part of the downscaler, it would create the perception of "more detail." People perceive "detail" when there's high frequency changes in the luminance channel, so it could be something as simple as Microsoft's downscaler subsampling (as opposed to averaging the luminance of neighboring) pixels.
Either way, it sounds like the same arguments that we heard when Samsung swore PenTile = more resolution. Let it go, Microsoft. You don't have a retina display.
Edited by Suddenly Newton - 10/17/12 at 2:24pm