Microsoft Surface screen scientifically compared to Apple iPad 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, produce mixed results


Dr Raymond Soneira is President of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation has posted a scientific comparison of the Microsoft Surface screen against a wide variety of other tablets on Gizmodo Australia.

He found the screen did indeed have the best reflectance and the highest contrast ratio, and that Cleartype did indeed do a good job in compensation for the lower resolution, but that the screen only had a 57% colour gamut, which meant the device was not very good at presenting very saturated colours. The screen was however well calibrated, better than the iPad, but text was still sharper on the Retina Display iPads.

He concludes:

The display on the Microsoft Surface RT outperforms all of the standard resolution full-size 10-inch tablets that we have tested in our Display Shoot-Out series. The lab tests and measurements documented in the Shoot-Out Comparison Table below indicate that Microsoft has paid a lot of attention to display performance for the Surface RT. In particular, on-screen text is significantly sharper, it has a better factory display calibration, and also significantly lower screen reflectance than the iPad 2 and all full size 1280×800 Android tablets. But it is not as sharp as the iPad 3 or 4, nor does it have their large full colour gamut. We’ll have to wait for the high resolution Windows Pro tablets that will be launching in early 2013 for direct comparisons with the high-resolution iPads and Android tablets. This is a great start for Windows tablets and brings much-needed competition to the tablet marketplace. In addition, many other manufacturers will be launching their own branded Windows RT and Pro tablets — we’ll include the best of them in futureMobile Display Shoot-Outs.

Read his full and detailed explanation here.

  • disqustingtard

    The Sony Duo 11 screen (full HD with Windows 8) looked awesome in the shop. Not really sure why people are buying the Surface RT. Surface Pro is here in 7-8 weeks.

  • Mr.InTernaTionaL

    Great News..!!!!! Can’t wait for the Surface Pro to come out..!!!!

  • FXi

    Great=10.1-10.6 1080p displays such as the Surface Pro
    Fantastic=10.1 1080p OLED displays (lower weight as well as lower power)

  • ScaryBiscuits

    This isn’t really the test that we have been waiting for. He assesses ‘sharpness’, a measure which subjectively looks at a page of small text. This will obviously favour a higher resolution display with no sub-pixel rendering but it is meaningless. What is really wanted is not an analysis of the hardware in isolation but of how it performs interacting with the user. Useful tests would include drawing various objects and seeing if the human eye can spot the difference, i.e. perceived resolution, and how quickly people can read text. A test like this would tell us whether Microsoft’s claims about their screen being better can be stood up.

    • Bugbog

      Even in ‘isolation’ the Surface RT performs as well, if not better than the others.

      And, actually, some of the tests do account for ‘real world’ usage, like Screen Reflectance, and Ambient Contrast (i.e. Visibility under in-door/out-door lighting). Test that show the RT to come out head and shoulders above!

      • ScaryBiscuits

        I’m happy to believe that. However, the scientist in me says none of the tests given above support your assertions on real-world performance. Show me the data!

        • Bugbog

          Er.. isn’t that what I just listed?

          Text readability; sharpness just a tad below the iPad3/4’s vaunted Retina display?
          Screen reflectance; lowest reflectance of your face/background than all tablets currently on the market?!
          Ambient Contrast? best screen ‘viewability’, viable under real lighting?

          What other performance tests do you want conducted?

          • ScaryBiscuits

            Bugbot, The stats you list concern the hardware specification, not its performance. It is a bit like giving the horse power of a car’s engine rather than the whole car’s acceleration (0-60 time etc). As I say above, text ‘sharpness’ is meaningless and biased towards Apple. The result I would like to see is how that translates into productivity, that is how quickly a human eye can read 1,000 words on different devices. Similarly, what is the smallest perceived pixel in a given ambient light? If what Microsoft say about the better layer bonding is true then the performance of the Surface is not a bit below the iPad 3 but better. However, I have yet to see any test results verifying this or quantifying it.

  • Bugbog

    Busts the myth that the Surface RT has a “low quality” screen!

    Could it be even Better?


    Do I consider it Low/Poor/lesser to the iPad 3/4 or Nexus 10?

    Hell NO!!!

  • Sunovavic

    Wow I’m really impressed with iPad’s 20/20 Retina Display to 13 inches viewing… since I’m crossed eyed so that really works for me.