Display Expert: Surface RT Display Isn’t Better Than iPad’s Retina Display

BY Jason

Published 13 Nov 2012

During a Reddit IAmA event in October, Microsoft engineer Steve Bathiche had claimed that Surface RT has a better display than iPad’s Retina display.

He explained that while screen resolution was one of component of the perceived detail, the true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not Pixels. He claimed that during their tests, many people saw more details on Surface RT than on the iPad with more resolution.

But we wanted display experts like DisplayMate to do a detailed analysis of Microsoft’s ClearType Display to find out if he was making a valid argument.

Display experts – DisplayMate have just posted the results of an extensive analysis of Surface RT’s display and also published detailed comparison between iPad 3 (iPad 4 comes with the same Retina Display) and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, which has the best display performance for the standard resolution 10-inch Android based tablets. They’ve come to the following conclusion:

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 Color Gamut. 

DisplayMate has given iPad’s Retina Display an “A (Excellent)” grade, Surface RT’s Display an “A- (Very Good)” and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 a “B+ (Good)”.

Check out their overall assessment chart below:


[via DisplayMate]