Microsoft Surface screen falls short of Retina iPad, but outperforms iPad 2

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A head-to-head comparison of the Surface display with competing tablets has found Microsoft's tablet beats out similarly equipped screens, but can't take down the Retina display on Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.

Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate published his tablet display shootout on Monday comparing the Microsoft Surface RT to competing devices, including Apple's iPad with Retina display and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. His tests found that the Surface display gets Microsoft's product line off to a "great start."

"In particular, on-screen text is significantly sharper, it has a better factory display calibration, and also significantly lower reflectance than the iPad 2 and all full-size 1280x800 Android tablets," Soneira said. "But it is not as sharp as the iPad 3 or 4, nor does it have their large full color gamut."

The Surface has a screen resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels. The relatively low resolution screen, especially compared with Apple's iPad, has been the subject of considerable focus as Microsoft has entered the tablet market.

Surface WiFi


One engineer with the Redmond, Wash., software giant argued last month that the Surface display outperforms Apple's iPad Retina display due to the company's "ClearType" display technology. Steve Bathiche said ClearType maximizes the "perceived resolution" of the Surface screen by cutting down on reflections, among other improvements.

Soneira's tests found that the Surface RT does in fact have the lowest screen reflectance of any tablet tested. He found that the third-generation iPad with Retina display reflects 33 percent more ambient light than the Surface RT, while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 reflects 41 percent more light.

But while the Surface cuts down on reflections, it can't compete with higher resolution tablets in terms of color gamut. The Surface was found to have a 57 percent smaller color gamut than Apple's latest iPad.

But while the Surface can't compete with the iPad's Retina display, Soneira did concluded that Microsoft's tablet has a display superior to the iPad 2. That device, which sells for $399, has a screen resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels.

"The Surface RT outperforms the display on the iPad 2 across the board except for the color gamut," Soneira said. "The Surface RT is comparable or better than the iPad 3 in all categories except two: screen resolution and color gamut."

In all, Soneira found the iPad Retina display beat out the competition in viewing tests, though its major weakness was found to be a higher reflectance than the Microsoft Surface. The iPad Retina display was given a score of "A" while the Surface earned an "A-" and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was graded with a "B+."
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Comments

  • Reply 2 of 32
    Yeah, but...but...you don't need a higher ppi with the ugly Lego block tiles of Windows 8!
  • Reply 3 of 32


    that is nice - now  "screen resolution" is a plus again... the stupidity of the people that make up the iOS part of the Apple community is mind bending

  • Reply 4 of 32
    "It's all in the software, dummy"
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Wow, cutting edge information
  • Reply 6 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    agramonte wrote: »
    that is nice - now  "screen resolution" is a plus again... the stupidity of the people that make up the iOS part of the Apple community is mind bending

    What previous discussion are you referencing here?
  • Reply 7 of 32

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by agramonte View Post


    the stupidity of the people that make up the iOS part of the Apple community is mind bending



     


     


    That's A LOT of people. iOS is now the standard, alongside Android. Remember, iOS is on iPods, iPads and iPhones. That's a big number. And these people and their "stupidity" are also the most satisfied customers year after year, for *every single iOS device that has ever existed to date*.

  • Reply 8 of 32

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by agramonte View Post


    that is nice - now  "screen resolution" is a plus again... the stupidity of the people that make up the iOS part of the Apple community is mind bending



    Yes, screen resolution matters, but it does not make the iPad mini (which I assume you are referencing) worse than the competition solely because of screen resolution. OS, app selection, company support, etc. still trumps the competition, and the sum of all the parts still add up to a much better product, in spite of its screen resolution

  • Reply 9 of 32
    dcj001dcj001 Posts: 301member
    The Surface looks like it works pretty well, until it doesn't:

  • Reply 10 of 32


    We needed a study to find much higher resolution is better than the crappy ol 1366 x 768?? Stop, you're killing me.


     


    I want to see Nexus 10 vs iPad 3/4 screen comparisons 

  • Reply 11 of 32
    No doubt, Microsoft is proud of the fact that its tablet out-performs the iPAD 2. But it's a bit like the Lada car makers being proud of the fact that their car out-performs the Ford model T.....
  • Reply 12 of 32
    axualaxual Posts: 244member
    It out performs the iPad 2. Is this supposed to impress people?
  • Reply 13 of 32


    That's OK.  The ZunePad is only going to be used by business types who can't get any work done with Apple's frivolous iPad.  They don't need a high-quality display to do Microsoft Word and Excel.  Those IT guys shouldn't be watching any movies on their ZunePads.

  • Reply 14 of 32
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    A head-to-head comparison of the Surface display with competing tablets has found Microsoft's tablet beats out similarly equipped screens, but can't take down the Retina display on Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.


    But it goes "click"...image

  • Reply 15 of 32


    Microsoft's Surface sales are now up into the "tens of dozens" per month...! 

  • Reply 16 of 32
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post



    Yeah, but...but...you don't need a higher ppi with the ugly Lego block tiles of Windows 8!


    It's for all the people that grew up with XBoxes, they want to make sure the kids feel comfortable. 

  • Reply 17 of 32
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by axual View Post



    It out performs the iPad 2. Is this supposed to impress people?


    Well, you know those Windows users.  They get impressed because some Windows Ultrabooks are coming with Thunderbolt ports.  And they actually have a Microsoft name on an actual tablet because they aren't allowed to buy what they wanted to buy, which were iPads.  What's funny is that companies like HP, Dell, Microsoft are just making products for themselves with their own name on it. It makes them feel like they have an actual tablet so they can act cool.

  • Reply 18 of 32
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    What's funny is how much room is wasted in the screen. First there is the word Start in a large font so the person across the room can see it.  There is about 50% of the screen are for those child-like tiles.  There is a lot of that screen that's not being used.



    I'm surprised all of the Windows 7 and XP users didn't blast Microsoft for this waste of a GUI.

  • Reply 19 of 32


    The surface is one of these...



     


     


    Soon to be added to this pile of failures...



    The headline to this story has to compare Surface to an iPad 2 to make it look good! What about the currant generation iPad 4? By the time Surface Pro comes out, there will be an iPad 5 that will trump it.

  • Reply 20 of 32
    I am a stern Apple supporter, but I like the windows 8 Pro operating system and give credit to MS for trying something different. I must say though that the operating system works much better on my iMac then my Dell XPS 15 laptop (laptop supposed to have much faster intel processor).

    MS have destroyed a good software with crappy hardware. Come on people WHY HAVE A KEYBOARD???, it makes the tablet lot heavier and people want light manageable tablet to put in their bag.

    Not sure what MS team are smoking and which focus groups have been used to provide customer feedback, but this tablet is a massive FAIL. Before the MS supporters shoot me down, If it was a success, MS would be shouting from rooftops with concern to sales and taking market share from Apple. Please do not call this a 'soft' opening, since when iPad was launched, BOOM it was a success.

    As for Surface Pro, it is not competing with iPad, but with ultrabooks in that price range and if I am going to spend that kind of money, I will go after 13-15" screen instead of 10".

    Majority of consumers only surf the web, play games, read e-mail and are looking for cheap quality apps to support their lifestyle.
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