If you have an iPad, an iPhone or any other handheld device with a screen on it, you'll know how important its screen quality is. We spend hundreds of hours staring at (and touching) those displays; they are the primary means of interaction with our devices. Therefore, it's no wonder that frustrations arise (a poor viewing angle, limited brightness, ambient light reflection, to name a few) when displays don't perform the way we want them to.
Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies, has compiled a very interesting "Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out" between the iPad 2, Motorola Xoom and Asus Transformer. We've previously covered Dr. Soneria's thoughts on the iPad 2's display, but now he compares it to the competition.
Dr. Soneria's objective test uses the following criteria: screen reflection, color and intensity, brightness and contrast, viewing angle, the display backlight, power consumption and, finally, the running time on the battery.
Each display's performance was summarized and put into a comparison chart. The report concludes that the iPad 2's display is the clear winner in all categories. The Asus Transformer comes in at a solid second (which is impressive, as it costs US$100 less than the iPad 2), and finally, the Motorola Xoom arrives as a "distant third."
Interestingly, the report also looks head-on at some of the rumors surrounding next generation displays in tablets. Most notably, the report dismisses the likelihood of a quadrupled resolution of 2048x1536 in the next generation iPad as well as detailing what an iPad Retina Display, similar to that found in the iPhone 4, would likely look like.
Dr. Soneira says, "...to make the iPad 3 a Retina Display does not require the same pixels per inch (ppi) as the iPhone 4 Retina Display because it is typically held much further away from the eye, whose visual sharpness is based on angular rather than linear resolution. The iPad is typically held 15-18 inches away as opposed to the iPhone 4's 12-15 inches. As a result, to meet the 300 ppi Retina Display specification made by Steve Jobs at WWDC for the iPhone 4, an iPad Retina Display would need only 240 ppi. So an iPad Retina Display could start anywhere above 1862x1397 pixels. That is still a major overkill that carries a significant performance and cost penalty – so it would be primarily a marketing ploy."
The full article can be found here, and it's definitely worth a read.