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Microsoft Surface display isn’t as sharp as iPad’s



Experts have been testing the assertion that the new Microsoft Surface tablet will have a sharper display than the new iPad. The result: no it won’t.

Microsoft recently claimed that its Windows 8 RT-powered Surface tablet’s display would appear sharper than the latest iPad’s to many people. This despite the fact that the Surface display has a mere 1366×768 resolution compared to the latest iPad’s mighty 2048 × 1536 Retina display.

The difference in pixel density is vast - 148ppi versus 264ppi respectively - but the Surface does have a form of technology that gave rise to these claims.

The Surface sports a ClearType display, which utilises sub-pixel rendering. This means that the little red, green and blue sub-pixels that make up a single pixel can be treated as independent image elements, rather than being bound to a rigid pixel shape. In certain cases this can make the screen appear to have up to three times its true resolution.

As with the majority of other LCD displays, the iPad’s Retina display uses standard pixel rendering, so it’s more limited than the Surface in this one way.

Because of this distinction, Microsoft engineer Steven Bathiche claimed that “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 with more resolution.”

However Raymond Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies, recently put these claims to the test - and dismissed them out of hand. According to AppleInsider, he claimed that it was “very unlikely that [the Surface] will turn out to be visually sharper than the new iPad 3.”

He reached this conclusion by taking an Asus netbook that uses a similar ClearType display to the Surface, and comparing it to the iPad 2 and the iPad 3.

He found that while the screen was “significantly sharper” than the iPad 2’s, it fell some way short of the new iPad’s sharp display.

However, Soneira does accept the possibility that the Microsoft Surface Pro, with its 208ppi 1920×1080 ClearType display, could well outshine the latest iPad when it finally launches.

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October 19, 2012, 10:07 pm

This is sloppy reporting. I expect better from TrustedReviews.
The 'test' was comparing another device and then concluding that the Surface couldn't be better.
If you had made the effort to read Steven Bathiche comments, you would have realised that this was a bogus test as they don't just rely on ClearType


October 19, 2012, 11:04 pm

What poor reporting!

"Experts", turns out to be just *one* "expert"

And he didn't actually test a Surface either - just a notebook with a 'similar' technology.

And yet based on that rather thin premise you declare "Microsoft Surface display isn't as sharp as iPad's"


October 20, 2012, 5:35 pm

TBH, I only ever visit TR website out of habbit now, everything seems so biased towards apple while i can accept i lean more towards Google and Microsoft, the sheer bombardment of Pro Apple articles on this site is ridiculous.

I can accept people read them so you write them, but I have a interest in Android, Google, and there is no comparison in the number or articles Apple products get.

Hell EVERY laptop, andriod tablet review you throw in a Apple reference, I just went back to the Ipad Mini article fromt he 17th October, not one Android reference, how there taking a page out of other companies books, how Apple themselves once said tablets under 10" were stupid.

You seem to continuously want to compare and reference Apple in every article you do dear god in the article about the Memjet printer you reference a damn iPad Mini, how is that relevant at all? I mean seriously what hell?

Then you wonder why your comments section is dying, go back to reporting, and stop trying to force your opinions on people, your not Fox News

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