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Microsoft: Our Surface Display is “Better” Than Apple’s Retina!

Microsoft: Our Surface Display is “Better” Than Apple’s Retina!

Many raised their curiosity when Microsoft unveiled their Surface tablets, and revealed that the display had a resolution of just 1366 x 768. So far, Microsoft hasn’t said much about that – until today. Microsoft’s latest comments claim that the Surface display is actually better than the Retina display in the 3rd-gen iPad!

AppleInsider reports on comments made by Microsoft engineer Steve Bathiche on Reddit today:

Even though Microsoft’s new Surface has a lower resolution screen than the Retina display on the new iPad, one Microsoft engineer has argued that the Surface offers superior picture quality because of “ClearType” display technology. […] Steve Bathiche said Microsoft’s ClearType maximizes the “perceived resolution” of the 1,366-by-768-pixel display found on the new Surface. 

“The amount of light in a room and the reflections of the screen have a huge effect on the contrast of the display,” Bathiche said. “In fact, a small amount of reflection can greatly reduce contrast and thus the 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 went on to say that the Surface display is superior because it reflect’s less light, and claimed that many people reported seeing more detail on a Surface RT tablet than on an iPad, even though the iPad has a greater resoluition, and a higher DPI, allowing for more detailed and sharper images and text.

Don’t you see? It’s all about “perceived” resolution – it doesn’t matter if it’s actually better, as long as Microsoft tells you it is! I’m sure that will make a tremendous amount of difference to all of Microsoft’s “perceived” customers who paid $500-600 for a device that can really only do a fraction of what the iPad is capable of…

And some people thought Apple was trying to weave a “reality distortion field!”

Update: AppleInsider reports that DisplayMate Technologies president Raymond Soniera has put Microsoft’s marketing stunt to the test, concluding that the display in the Surface RT is almost certainly NOT visually sharper than the 3rd-gen iPad Retina display:

In a brief device shootout, President of DisplayMate Technologies Raymond Soneira pitted Apple’s iPad 2 and New iPad against what he believes to be a device comparable to the as-yet-unreleased Surface RT, an ASUS netbook.

“The Windows ClearType 768p display on the Asus Netbook was significantly sharper than the iPad 2 768p display but also significantly less sharp than the new iPad 3 1536p display,” Soneira wrote. “It is certainly possible that the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet will perform better than the Asus Netbook, but it is very unlikely that it will turn out to be visually sharper than the new iPad 3.”

For the test, Soneira ran the New York Times website in Safari on all three displays, comparing and contrasting each screen’s reproduction of the publication’s small text.

“All 3 displays have the same 5.9 inch screen height in Landscape mode, so it was an excellent and very fair comparison.,” Soneira said.