Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2012 23:20 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft's applied sciences department manager Stevie Bathich explains why the 1366x768 Surface RT screen is actually better than the iPad's Retina display - fancy display technology talk. Conclusion? "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." I'm sure there's some truth behind the sciency talk, but I highly doubt that the Surface's display bests the iPad's. Seeing is believing, but since The Netherlands is not important, I won't get the opportunity to compare for a long time to come.
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Wow, look at the incompetence
by WereCatf on Wed 17th Oct 2012 12:34 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Hey this is Stevie. Screen resolution is one component of perceived detail. The true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not Pixels. MTF is a combination of both contrast and resolution. There are over a dozen subsystems that effect this MTF number.. Most folks just focus on one number out of dozens that effect perceived detail. Without good contrast resolution decreases.


(Bold mine)

No, resolution is resolution. It doesn't increase or decrease with contrast. Your ability to see details obviously diminishes as contrast goes down, but the resolution stays the same.

Mr. "Stevie" here is just trying to set a stage for the extraordinary claims he's going to present later on by claiming that your ability to perceive difference between colours somehow affects resolution.

Basically, as resolution/DPI increases the eye has becomes less sensitive.


Bullshit. As long brightness, contrast and color-accuracy stays the same then the display with higher DPI offers higher clarity.

So as a result, the amount of light in a room and the reflections off the screen have a huge effect on the contrast of the display.


Has absolutely nothing to do with resolution. Slap a 32x32 pixel screen there and you'll STILL see the same effect, something that shouldn't be possible if we were to go along with "Stevie's" arguments.

With the ClearType Display technology we took a 3 pronged approach to maximize that perceived resolution and optimize for battery life, weight, and thickness. First prong, Microsoft has the best pixel rendering technology in the industry (cleartype 1.0 and 2.0)


Subjective. Also, this only applies to text, and well, not all content visible on the display will be text. When you're displaying anything besides text ClearType won't help you. Not to mention that I remember Microsoft themselves saying that ClearType won't be used on Windows 8 RT anyways; if this has changed I atleast am not aware of it.

Lastly we optically bonded the screen with the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market..


Any proof to back up this claim?

While this is not official, our current Cleartype measurements on the amount of light reflected off the screen is around 5.5%-6.2%, the new IPad has a measurement of 9.9% mirror reflections (see the displaymate link: http://www.displaymate.com/iPad_ShootOut_1.htm). 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.


So, basically he is saying that their display has better colour-representation and contrast than the iPad. While that may or may not be true that's totally misleading in this context. Yes, good colour-representation, brightness and contrast are obviously good things to have they're still not the same thing as resolution and as such the whole article starts off from the wrong foot and seriously undermines their credibility.

That is not to say that the display can't have better colour gamut and all than the iPad's one, but given how Microsoft sets the stage and intentionally tries to mislead here I atleast would rather wait for 3rd-party comparisons.

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"Hey this is Stevie. Screen resolution is one component of perceived detail. The true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not Pixels. MTF is a combination of both contrast and resolution. There are over a dozen subsystems that effect this MTF number.. Most folks just focus on one number out of dozens that effect perceived detail. Without good contrast resolution decreases.


(Bold mine)

No, resolution is resolution. It doesn't increase or decrease with contrast. Your ability to see details obviously diminishes as contrast goes down, but the resolution stays the same.
"

It is possible that, rather than display resolution, he's actually talking about optical resolution (the capability of an optical system to distinguish, find, or record details) - which is effected by contrast. And given that he talks about "perceived detail" and "resolvability" early in the paragraph, I think it's fairly likely that it's optical resolution he's talking about.

I would still fault "Stevie" for using imprecise wording, though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

It is possible that, rather than display resolution, he's actually talking about optical resolution (the capability of an optical system to distinguish, find, or record details) - which is effected by contrast.


That would still be a no -- the optical resolution doesn't change when contrast changes, the resolution still stays the same. The ability to tell one colour from another obviously is affected by contrast, but that doesn't change resolution at all, contrast is literally all about telling one colour from another. Of course you will be able to more easily tell details the better contrast you have, but just as well if you were given two displays with the exact same brightness, colour gamut and contrast you'd be more easily tell details on the one with higher DPI.

And given that he talks about "perceived detail" and "resolvability" early in the paragraph, I think it's fairly likely that it's optical resolution he's talking about.


No, he is talking about colour gamut and contrast.

Reply Parent Score: 2