Retina Display iPad addresses two 'major weak points' of iPad 2 screen - report

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


An in-depth analysis of the Retina Display on the new iPad claims Apple has addressed two of the "major weak points" of the second-generation iPad, sharpness and color saturation, and has upgraded them to be "state-of-the-art."



Dr. Raymond Soneira, display expert and president of DisplayMate, put the new iPad's display through its paces and agreed with Apple that it is the "best display ever on a mobile device." He also noted that the new iPad's picture quality, color accuracy and gray scale are even better than most HDTVs, laptops and monitors.



Soneira found Apple's own definition of a "Retina Display" to apply to the new iPad, assuming the device is held 15-18 inches away from the eyes. He did, however, take issue with Apple's use of the term "Retina," as he has in the past, because the "true acuity" of the retina would require at least 458 pixels per inch for them to be indistinguishable at that distance.



According to the report, the new iPad "decisively beats (blows away)" all of the other tablets DisplayMate has tested.



"As expected, all of the images, especially the text and graphics, were incredibly and impressively razor sharp. In some photographs, that extra sharpness made a significant difference, especially in close-ups and when fine detail like text was photographed," Soneira said.





Credit: DisplayMate.







The analysis discovered that the new iPad has "a virtually perfect 99 percent of the Standard Color Gamut." By comparison, the iPad 2 has just 61 percent of the gamut.



"The colors are beautiful and accurate due to very good factory calibration – they are also “more vibrant” but not excessively so or gaudy like some existing OLED displays," he said.



The new iPad is so accurate that Soneira believes that it could function as a studio reference monitor with some "minor calibration tweaks." The device's very accurate colors and picture quality make it "really shine," he noted.



One area the new iPad was not as strong in was screen reflectance. Reflecting 7.7 percent of the light from all directions on average, the iPad was listed as in "the middle of the range" seen for tablets and smartphones.





Magnified photos showing screen reflectance. Credit: DisplayMate







The tablet is also not as efficient as its predecessor. According to Soneira, the new iPad "uses 2.5 times the Backlight power of the iPad 2 for the same screen Brightness."



Soneira was, however, impressed by how Apple managed to preserve the 10-hour battery life of the first- and second-generation iPads without significantly adding to the device's weight and thickness. The new iPad's battery has a 42.5 watt-hour capacity, 70 percent more than the iPad 2. At full brightness, the third-generation iPad had a running time of 5.8 hours, compared to the iPad 2's 7.2 hours, but at medium brightness, the new iPad lasted for 11.6 hours, nearly identical to the iPad 2.



"Apple has taken the very good display on the iPad 2 and dramatically improved two of its major weak points: sharpness and color saturation – they are now state-of-the-art," Soneira concluded.



He awarded the new iPad the Best Mobile Display award for his company's video hardware guide and also gave the device the Best Mobile Picture Quality award. Soneira said the new iPad is now "qualified" for professional level applications, such as professional photography, medical imaging and field service technicians.



Alongside the high praise heaped upon the iPad, the report listed some areas where the Apple and other manufacturers could see further improvement. Screen reflectance, ambient light sensor, automatic brightness, display user interface, RGB LED backlights, OLED displays and size were all mentioned.



Apple's new iPad was released last Friday and quickly became a hit with three million units sold in its first weekend on the market. In just a few days, the device has already been subjected to teardowns and infrared heat tests.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Soneira found Apple's own definition of a "Retina Display" to apply to the new iPad, assuming the device is held 15-18 inches away from the eyes. He did, however, take issue with Apple's use of the term "Retina," as he has in the past, because the "true acuity" of the



    This sounds like a lame definition to me.
    Quote:

    However, Apple’s definition of a “Retina Display” is actually for 20/20 Vision (defined as 1 arc-minute visual acuity). 20/20 Vision is just the legal definition of “Normal Vision,” which is at the lower end of true normal vision. There are in fact lots of people with much better than 20/20 Vision, and for almost everyone visual acuity is actually limited by blurring due to imperfections of the lens in the eye. The best human vision is about 20/10 Vision, twice as good as 20/20 Vision, and that is what corresponds to the true acuity of the Retina.



    Do we measure the normal gait based on the longest recorded gait? Do we measure the normal height of a person based on the tallest record height? Do we measure the average IQ by the highest recorded IQ? No, no and no. So why would Apple take the maximum presumed acuity on the Snellen test in order to define marketing term for normal vision? The idiom isn't "hindsight is 20/10" it's "20/20" so why market a term to a scale that means nothing to your consumer base? Is the point to show vision can be better than 20/20 or just to be pedantic for pedantic's sake?



    PS: When I read something that seems mathematical and scientific I get turned off by the use of "lots of people" as the foundation for a definition.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    I am totally loving the new iPad - the screen is incredible to say the least. But one thing I'd like to mention in the hope of saving anybody else the hassle - the high resolution is not very friendly to anti-glare screen protectors at all, pretty much negating the upgrade to retina. I assume it's because of the way that anti-glare protectors use a microscopic surface of raised dots to bounce light off in all directions. I'm guessing on the older iPads the screen pixels could each fit a whole bunch of these micro dots, so it averaged out and still made a white pixel look white, for example. The new screen has such tiny pixels it looks like each micro dot is now magnifying a whole pixel - all the white areas on the screen are now a "red, green and blue snow" to continue my example. So much so that I'd say if you need to use an anti glare protector for whatever your personal iPad use case is, don't bother getting the new iPad, stick with the old iPad 2. That all said, I would love to hear if anybody finds an anti glare screen protector that works on the new iPad and proves me totally wrong.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mccdyl001 View Post


    I am totally loving the new iPad - the screen is incredible to say the least. But one thing I'd like to mention in the hope of saving anybody else the hassle - the high resolution is not very friendly to anti-glare screen protectors at all, pretty much negating the upgrade to retina. I assume it's because of the way that anti-glare protectors use a microscopic surface of raised dots to bounce light off in all directions. I'm guessing on the older iPads the screen pixels could each fit a whole bunch of these micro dots, so it averaged out and still made a white pixel look white, for example. The new screen has such tiny pixels it looks like each micro dot is now magnifying a whole pixel - all the white areas on the screen are now a "red, green and blue snow" to continue my example. So much so that I'd say if you need to use an anti glare protector for whatever your personal iPad use case is, don't bother getting the new iPad, stick with the old iPad 2. That all said, I would love to hear if anybody finds an anti glare screen protector that works on the new iPad and proves me totally wrong.



    I can see how that would be the case. You should try other brands though, or look up recommendations for other brands as they are added.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    This sounds like a lame definition to me.



    I wish Apple had just picked another word to call their higher-resolution displays... or at least not brought all this math and science into it.



    Then again... it's only a handful of people on internet forums who even discuss this topic... compared to the millions of Apple's other customers.



    Dell calls some of their monitors UltraSharp? and it's simply a brand name. Dell didn't try to explain what "ultra" means.



    Apple uses the term "iSight" for some of their cameras. That seems simple enough.



    Why not "iDisplay" for these high-resolution screens?



    Some good news... in a few years Apple won't be making low-resolution screens anymore. So the "Retina display" can simply be called "the display"
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    This sounds like a lame definition to me.

    Do we measure the normal gait based on the longest recorded gait? Do we measure the normal height of a person based on the tallest record height? Do we measure the average IQ by the highest recorded IQ? No, no and no. So why would Apple take the maximum presumed acuity on the Snellen test in order to define marketing term for normal vision? The idiom isn't "hindsight is 20/10" it's "20/20" so why market a term to a scale that means nothing to your consumer base? Is the point to show vision can be better than 20/20 or just to be pedantic for pedantic's sake?



    PS: When I read something that seems mathematical and scientific I get turned off by the use of "lots of people" as the foundation for a definition.



    I think the point being made is clear. If you are going to define/market a devices capabilities relative to the capabilities of the user based on the overall limits of human abilities then the retina display is simply "normal" in it's capabilities.



    It would be like Nike marketing a shoe for marathon running realizing that "normal" people usually just run in 5ks therefor making the shoe capable of just simple 5k races comfortably.



    So yes, Apple defined their screens to match the capabilities of the human retina but the true capabilities of the screen fail to match the highest extreme. Is it nit picking considering how many people have 20/10 and would notice? Yes, but it doesn't invalidate the point either. It just sets a higher benchmark for the Apple TV to hit.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post


    I think the point being made is clear. If you are going to define/market a devices capabilities relative to the capabilities of the user based on the overall limits of human abilities then the retina display is simply "normal" in it's capabilities.



    It would be like Nike marketing a shoe for marathon running realizing that "normal" people usually just run in 5ks therefor making the shoe capable of just simple 5k races comfortably.



    So yes, Apple defined their screens to match the capabilities of the human retina but the true capabilities of the screen fail to match the highest extreme. Is it nit picking considering how many people have 20/10 and would notice? Yes, but it doesn't invalidate the point either. It just sets a higher benchmark for the Apple TV to hit.



    A more accurate marketing situation would be advertising a router as a "whole house" router, when it only had a 1000' range. Many mansions are larger then 1000' long, so it would not be an accurate term.



    If you think we will ever see a TV with over 450 ppi, then you have very high expectations for a company that doesn't provide consumers with technology that isn't useful or cost effective.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


    I wish Apple had just picked another word to call their higher-resolution displays... or at least not brought all this math and science into it.



    Then again... it's only a handful of people on internet forums who even discuss this topic... compared to the millions of Apple's other customers.



    Dell calls some of their monitors UltraSharp? and it's simply a brand name. Dell didn't try to explain what "ultra" means.



    Apple uses the term "iSight" for some of their cameras. That seems simple enough.



    Why not "iDisplay" for these high-resolution screens?



    Some good news... in a few years Apple won't be making low-resolution screens anymore. So the "Retina display" can simply be called "the display"



    The reason is that Apple chose something that actually MEANS something. Dell is a great example. What does 'Ultrasharp' mean? Absolutely nothing. It does not tell the consumer anything.



    "Retina Display" has a real meaning - it says that the pixels are small enough that the average person can not distinguish them. That's a real, measurable thing, not simply a silly marketing term. I'd much rather have Apple using terms that mean something rather than simply make things up and expect the brand to add value.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post


    I think the point being made is clear. If you are going to define/market a devices capabilities relative to the capabilities of the user based on the overall limits of human abilities then the retina display is simply "normal" in it's capabilities.



    It would be like Nike marketing a shoe for marathon running realizing that "normal" people usually just run in 5ks therefor making the shoe capable of just simple 5k races comfortably.



    So yes, Apple defined their screens to match the capabilities of the human retina but the true capabilities of the screen fail to match the highest extreme. Is it nit picking considering how many people have 20/10 and would notice? Yes, but it doesn't invalidate the point either. It just sets a higher benchmark for the Apple TV to hit.



    Yes, it's nit picking. 'Normal' vision is defined as 20/20 (that is, in fact, the definition of '20/20'). Apple's Retina Display definition clearly applies to the average or normal vision. It makes absolutely no sense to claim that they can't use the term just because some people have abnormal vision. Heck, if you go down that route, why not say that some people wear magnifying lenses for reading, so they need to consider that?



    Using your definition would be akin to not allowing speaker manufacturers who have 20-20,000 Hz output to claim 'full range sound' because some rare individuals can hear sounds up to 24,000 Hz.



    It is not reasonable to expect someone defining a normal characteristic to cover 100% of every single bizarre situation with their claims (unless they specifically claim that it applies to everyone).
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post


    I think the point being made is clear. If you are going to define/market a devices capabilities relative to the capabilities of the user based on the overall limits of human abilities then the retina display is simply "normal" in it's capabilities.



    It would be like Nike marketing a shoe for marathon running realizing that "normal" people usually just run in 5ks therefor making the shoe capable of just simple 5k races comfortably.

    ........



    nonsense

    It would be like Nike making a shoe that fit the majority of people, and allowed them to run it in their best time, knowing however shoes progressed, they would never find a better shoe! That would permit them to run faster





    The retina is a good term, better than ultra, or mega, or hyper, because it DOES have a meaning, and is not a superlative. It means that w hat ever dell et al, even apple do in the future, the average person will not, under normal use be able to percieve the difference in the pixels
  • Reply 9 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cloud30000 View Post


    A more accurate marketing situation would be advertising a router as a "whole house" router, when it only had a 1000' range. Many mansions are larger then 1000' long, so it would not be an accurate term.



    If you think we will ever see a TV with over 450 ppi, then you have very high expectations for a company that doesn't provide consumers with technology that isn't useful or cost effective.



    We agree it is nit-picking. And a smiley implies that the previous statement is made somewhat in jest.



    That said, 4k Super OLED is being made now. Necessary? Nope. Is there anything to watch at 4k? Nope. But it will designate the floor of what resolution numbers people will hear and expect. The iPad 2's screen is usefull. The new iPad screen is a luxury in relation. But considering that most of your activity with the device is staring at it, the resolution becomes pretty important.



    Apple simply tries to market their specs relative mostly to just their own products. And for the most part, considering they control the OS and the hardware that is fine to do, but they have always appealed to people's senses. Design, touch and feel, screens, etc.



    If, and it is still a "if", they make a TV, they will most likely not market it as the floor benchmark in specs, I.E. 1080p. If the best screen they can reasonably produce and sell at a profitable price they will. Quite frankly, the most "useful" part of a TV is its screen. The navigation scheme they can come up with will be super and the icing on the cake but the TV is still, and always will be about the picture. The question is, can Apple make it the best TV and at a reasonable price?
  • Reply 10 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post


    nonsense

    It would be like Nike making a shoe that fit the majority of people, and allowed them to run it in their best time, knowing however shoes progressed, they would never find a better shoe! That would permit them to run faster





    The retina is a good term, better than ultra, or mega, or hyper, because it DOES have a meaning, and is not a superlative. It means that w hat ever dell et al, even apple do in the future, the average person will not, under normal use be able to percieve the difference in the pixels



    I am not defending the article. But the point that the article is making is that the screen is built for the limits of the average normal viewers capabilities, but by its definition it is marketed as theoretically designed for the "limits" of the human eye.



    It makes it a nit picking argument to say the least, but not necessarily a invalid one. I doubt that 4 out of 1000 people with 20/10 would complain if they noticed in the first place. The articles point is both accurate and irrelevant.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Nice to see Apple's claims reviewed.



    For some reason I don't desire the iPad. Still waiting for the need to replace my Macbook. The Kindle Fire satisfies my causel game play and other media requirements.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    Accurate color reproduction i regard as most important, high pixel density is a nice to have feature for me. I preordered (still waiting) the new iPad and after reading this my excitement went from to



    regards
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Nice to see Apple's claims reviewed.



    For some reason I don't desire the iPad. Still waiting for the need to replace my Macbook. The Kindle Fire satisfies my causel game play and other media requirements.



    There are likely a lot of people like you.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    This sounds like a lame definition to me.

    Do we measure the normal gait based on the longest recorded gait? Do we measure the normal height of a person based on the tallest record height? Do we measure the average IQ by the highest recorded IQ? No, no and no. So why would Apple take the maximum presumed acuity on the Snellen test in order to define marketing term for normal vision? The idiom isn't "hindsight is 20/10" it's "20/20" so why market a term to a scale that means nothing to your consumer base? Is the point to show vision can be better than 20/20 or just to be pedantic for pedantic's sake?



    It sounds like you missed the point of his complaint. "Retina" refers to a particular part of the eye, which has basically the same "resolution" for everyone. His point is that using the adjective "retina" implies that the pixels are indistinguishable by the retina. What we don't all have is a perfect lens. He, presumably, would have preferred the name "20/20 display" or something.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jukes View Post


    It sounds like you missed the point of his complaint. "Retina" refers to a particular part of the eye, which has basically the same "resolution" for everyone.



    That's like saying Foot Locker is a scam unless it has shoes for every possible sized foot.



    Quote:

    His point is that using the adjective "retina" implies that the pixels are indistinguishable by the retina.



    And they are for those with normal vision and when holding the display x many inches from your face. For a marketing term Apple has qualified it with both required factors



    Quote:

    What we don't all have is a perfect lens. He, presumably, would have preferred the name "20/20 display" or something.



    There is nothing sketchy or incorrect about the term. Apple has never once said that it is impossible that someone on Earth will vision so sharp that they will not be able to discern pixels fro x inches away.



    You and Soneira are getting hung up with the word retina as if using a medical term means it can no longer be a marketing term and you have to go with what is deemed the best possible vision every recorded. Which by the way appears to be 20/8 as i found while trying to locate, unsuccessfully, the percentages of the population that have visual acuity at various levels.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mccdyl001 View Post


    I am totally loving the new iPad - the screen is incredible to say the least. But one thing I'd like to mention in the hope of saving anybody else the hassle - the high resolution is not very friendly to anti-glare screen protectors at all, pretty much negating the upgrade to retina. I assume it's because of the way that anti-glare protectors use a microscopic surface of raised dots to bounce light off in all directions. I'm guessing on the older iPads the screen pixels could each fit a whole bunch of these micro dots, so it averaged out and still made a white pixel look white, for example. The new screen has such tiny pixels it looks like each micro dot is now magnifying a whole pixel - all the white areas on the screen are now a "red, green and blue snow" to continue my example. So much so that I'd say if you need to use an anti glare protector for whatever your personal iPad use case is, don't bother getting the new iPad, stick with the old iPad 2. That all said, I would love to hear if anybody finds an anti glare screen protector that works on the new iPad and proves me totally wrong.



    I'm not sure this is the screen protector. I don't use one and I've noticed the same effect.



    Reading a page of black text on a white background on the new iPad where one word has a red underline (because of the lame un-editable dictionary), the whole area around the word appears pink in many lighting situations. I've noticed quite a lot of situations where white areas are actually blue, red, or green tinged as a result of adjacent coloured elements. I'm thinking it's more a trick of the eye than a physical flaw of the device.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post


    That said, 4k Super OLED is being made now. Necessary? Nope. Is there anything to watch at 4k? Nope. But it will designate the floor of what resolution numbers people will hear and expect. The iPad 2's screen is usefull. The new iPad screen is a luxury in relation. But considering that most of your activity with the device is staring at it, the resolution becomes pretty important.



    You are countering with a different argument. 4K does not exist to make small devices higher resolution. 4K exists to make HUGE displays (theater sized) not have HUGE individually visible pixels. Different purposes, different cost strata.



    Regular consumers didn't go out and buy 70mm cameras and projectors because they could get higher resolution images. They stuck with 8mm and 16mm because that gave roughly the same screen resolution as 70mm when projected on a small screen at home and watched from only a few feet away.



    Also don't confuse major capability with luxury. Text sharpness is FAR better, which will have a significant effect in reducing eyestrain and reader comfort. Just because that made other graphics better too does not make it a luxury.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    The resolution of the new screen is nice but I think the other things mentioned are are equally significant. Accurate grayscale and color saturation are more important to me. I can't read really small text no matter how crisp it is. I used to have perfect vision. Not so much anymore.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jukes View Post


    .... His point is that using the adjective "retina" implies that the pixels are indistinguishable by the retina. ...



    While we are being incredibly picky and nit-picky ...



    "Retina" is not an adjective and taking it as such is the source of the problem.



    "Retina Display" is a single, whole, marketing term.



    This is not a display that is being defined as "having the quality of retina-ness" but simply a "Retina Display" defined in the exact way that Apple defines it.



    Before Apple came up with the term there was no one talking about making displays "more retina" as using retina as an adjective is meaningless and stupid. Just eliminate the tiny space between the words with your mind and all the so-called problems with the definition disappear like magic.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    You are countering with a different argument. 4K does not exist to make small devices higher resolution. 4K exists to make HUGE displays (theater sized) not have HUGE individually visible pixels. Different purposes, different cost strata.



    Off topic FYI: I tested a 4k video downloaded from YouTube (100.2MB for 20 seconds) on the new iPad. It would load into iTunes but not sync over. Then I tried to load it in Dropbox and then tried to stream the video but it wouldn't load.
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