The Battle of HD Screen: Microsoft Surface vs. Apple iPad

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Source: Microsoft Surface with Windows RT | Wikipedia

After it was reported that the Microsoft Surface features a lower screen resolution compared to the iPad’s Retina Display, one Microsoft engineer argued that the tablet offers a superior picture quality, which is the result of ClearType display technology.

ClearType Display Technology on Microsoft Surface

Microsoft engineer Steve Bathiche pointed out that the tablet’s ClearType feature maximizes the “perceived resolution” of its 1366 x 768-pixel resolution display. His comments came from a Q and A session that was conducted on social media aggregator site Reddit.

The amount of light in a room and the reflections of the screen have a huge effect on contrast of the display. In fact, a small amount of reflection can greatly reduce contrast and thus perceived resolution of the display.

With ClearType display technology, we took a 3 pronged approach to maximize that perceived resolution and optimize for battery life, weight, and thickness.

Bathiche added that the Microsoft Surface’s display reflects between 5.5 percent and 6.2 percent of light, while Apple’s iPad reflects a larger amount of wavelength at 9.9 percent. The side-by-side comparison was made in a constantly lit room, and it shows that people can see more details of their Surface tablet than on the iPad.

But when asked why the company decided to offer a higher resolution display with the upcoming Intel-based Windows Pro Surface, the engineer sort of struggled to give an answer. However, he said that the extra screen real estate with the Surface Pro can be helpful when it comes to office presentation.

Which Has the Best Display Ever?

Since it was released last March, iPad’s Retina Display has been touted as a major improvement from previous models. It is also considered as one of the highest quality screen available on a portable device.

Aside from offering an increased in screen resolution, DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira said that iPad’s Retina Display offers state-of-the-art sharpness and color saturation. He even declared in March that Apple’s third-generation tablet has the “best display ever on a mobile device.”

Joining the Tablet Market

Despite that, it didn’t stop Microsoft from joining the tablet market. In fact, the Surface Tablet with Windows RT will go on sale next Friday, October 26. Hitting the high-end of the market, the device will cost $499.

This only means that the Surface tablet will not undercut Apple’s iPad. Also hitting the stores next week is the company’s latest operating system, the Windows 8.

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