Apple's iPad Pro boasts 'top tier display,' but falls behind iPad mini 4 & Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2015
A showdown pitting the new iPad Pro display against the rest of the tablet market has found that Apple's new 12.9-inch Retina display is an excellent panel, though it can't outmatch the new iPad mini 4 screen, and even ranks slightly lower than the new Microsoft Surface Pro 4.




The results of the test, published on Tuesday by Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate, ranked the iPad Pro display as being "very good" or better in all test categories. In all, the iPad Pro panel was ranked with an "A-" score.

Dings against the larger tablet came as a result of "slightly irregular" results when measured on DisplayMate's logarithmic intensity scale. Soneira said that was an unusual distinction, considering each iPad and iPhone display tested by the company since 2012 has featured "near perfect" Log-Straight Intensity scales.

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the iPad Pro also performed at a slightly lower level on some tests than Microsoft's Surface Pro 4. With respect to color accuracy, the iPad Pro was described as "very good" but with small color errors, while the Surface Pro 4, in a recent test, earned an "excellent" rating.


Credit: DisplayMate.


The Surface Pro 4 earned an overall display grade of "A," equaling the outstanding rating also given to the iPad mini 4 and besting the "A-" for the iPad Pro. Despite the blemishes, DisplayMate still categorizes the iPad Pro as a "top tier display."

The iPad Pro did best Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 in one key category: screen reflectance. Apple's reduced glare panel on the iPad Pro had a reflectance rate of just 2.6 percent, easily topping the 5.6 percent reflectance of the Surface Pro 4.

Of the three iPad models tested, the iPad mini 4 was the clear winner, earning a "Best" rating in every test category aside from Contrast Ratio. Soneira described Apple's smallest tablet as "unquestionably" having the best and most accurate display of any LCD tablet they've tested.

Tied with the iPad Pro earning an "A-" score was Apple's iPad Air 2. The 9.7-inch tablet, first released in 2014, was given a "Very Good" rating, but in almost every test and measurement came behind both the iPad 4 and iPad Pro.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    Doomed. Don't buy one. Apple is "loosing" /s
  • Reply 2 of 58
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Surface Pro got an A, iPad Pro got A-. Sell your Apple stock now.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Nice job.

    Microsoft's check is in the mail.

    Total and utter bullshit.  I've seen both and the Pro totally destroys the Surface screen.  I don't need some nerd in a lab to tell me what my eyes are seeing.

    Yeah but the geeks that read tech sites do. Apple is Doomed™.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Nice job.

     

    Microsoft's check is in the mail.

     

    Total and utter bullshit.  I've seen both and the Pro totally destroys the Surface screen.  I don't need some nerd in a lab to tell me what my eyes are seeing.




    And your anecdotal evidence isn't tainted by any subjectivity!

  • Reply 5 of 58
    It gets this close, it's more a subjective rating.. meaning DisplayMate's subjective view is that it's not an A screen.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    bocboc Posts: 72member
    I value productivity, not perfection.
  • Reply 7 of 58

    My response to this review is a great big "so what"?  It's an interesting collection of test results, but is it meaningful to anyone other than Apple engineers working on the next-generation displays?

     

    Does anyone thing an iPad customer will switch to a Surface because of these display differences?  Would an iPad customer looking for buy a 12" model really choose to buy the 6" model because its display ranks slightly higher?

     

    Unless the display is complete trash, its not going to be a factor in anybody's purchase decision.  The other factors (CPU, speed, display size, app compatibility, app availability, etc.) are going to massively overwhelm display differences.

  • Reply 8 of 58
    Explains the LOOOOOONG lines at the Microsoft Store. Going around the entire mall.

    (Ooops, sorry, just got closer, it's actually the Apple Store a few doors down. Parallax effect.)
  • Reply 9 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Nice job.

     

    Microsoft's check is in the mail.

     

    Total and utter bullshit.  I've seen both and the Pro totally destroys the Surface screen.  I don't need some nerd in a lab to tell me what my eyes are seeing.


    I agree. I was at the Apple Store yesterday checking out the iPad Pro. There is no way the Surface screen is better. The iPad Pro's display looks amazing. The Surface Pro display isn't bad by any means, but it doesn't come close to the iPad Pro display in my opinion. 

  • Reply 10 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

    Because I won't be using someone elses eyeballs to use my iPad.

    Not with that attitude you won't!

     

    (is it possible you only think the iPad has a better screen because you like Apple?  I've seen neither, but I have an iPad Mini 4 and its excellent)

  • Reply 11 of 58
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 358member
    If absolute quality of viewing really mattered to people then Panasonic would still be producing plasma TV's and Samsung would have been out of business a long time ago.
  • Reply 12 of 58

    I just love these report. First can anyone under normal use case see any difference they are claiming. The simple fact that most consumers go into a wall of TV store and buy the TV with the brightest and prettiest colors tells me most people have not idea what they are looking at.

     

    I know enough to know there are trade offs with video, to optimize one things means you are giving up another thing. In Apple case we do not know what the trade off are, may it cost yeah they can get a Surface color accuracy but it cost more thus the reason the Surface cost more. Maybe quality yield are higher if Apple was willing to except something a little less.

     

    If you really want to see how good a display is, have it display nature scenes, why most people have a very good idea what nature looks like and what the colors should be. You know how green a tree should be or grass or the color of lake or ocean. Most display show some artificial image with exaggerated colors so most people have no frame of reference to compare against. 

  • Reply 13 of 58

    Honestly, I tried both and couldn't see a difference. Maybe because I wasn't geeking over the screen trying to nitpick. And even if the Surface's screen is better, it won't make a difference either way, because those who fancy an iPad Pro aren't going to buy a Surface and vice versa.

  • Reply 14 of 58
    boltsfan17 wrote: »
    sog35 wrote: »
     
    Nice job.

    Microsoft's check is in the mail.

    Total and utter bullshit.  I've seen both and the Pro totally destroys the Surface screen.  I don't need some nerd in a lab to tell me what my eyes are seeing.
    I agree. I was at the Apple Store yesterday checking out the iPad Pro. There is no way the Surface screen is better. The iPad Pro's display looks amazing. The Surface Pro display isn't bad by any means, but it doesn't come close to the iPad Pro display in my opinion. 

    I don't keep up on Uncle Fester's products like I do Apple's, but the last I heard the Surface tablet has the color dots arranged for sharpest text in landscape mode only. While the above tests, don't measure such things, I'd think subtle color variations should play second fiddle to readability in both orientations.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    My understanding is that mobile displays in general (whether it be laptop, tablet or phone) are typically quite far behind desktop monitors when it comes to colour accuracy. So if you need a highly accurate display for your work you're probably not going to be using a mobile device to begin with. But within that context, comparisons don't hurt. The Surface is quite an expensive device remember.

  • Reply 16 of 58
    I don't buy the nearly perfect iPhone screens. I'm going to my local Apple Store today to get this brand new phone exchanged with one that has a more uniform brightness and color tone. It's pretty annoying.
  • Reply 17 of 58

    Really?  There is no way the average person whom they are selling these devices to can tell the difference to any degree.  Focus on the important points please.

  • Reply 18 of 58
    joelsalt wrote: »

    And your anecdotal evidence isn't tainted by any subjectivity!

    Not sog. Not ever.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    Explains the LOOOOOONG lines at the Microsoft Store. Going around the entire mall.

    (Ooops, sorry, just got closer, it's actually the Apple Store a few doors down. Parallax effect.)

    Brilliant!
  • Reply 20 of 58
    I would like the BlendTec YouTube channel to rate both iPad Pro and Surface on their ability to be pulverized into dust. These are important tests, folks.
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