Intrigued by Microsoft’s claims that due to the use of new ClearType technology in Microsoft Surface tablet, its display is even sharper than the new iPad’s Retina, Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, put both displays to the test and has reported that Microsoft’s claims are incorrect (via PC World). He found that Windows ClearType made the 768p display on the Asus Netbook look significantly sharper than the iPad 2′s 768p display but also significantly less sharp than the new iPad’s 1536p display.
Dr. Raymond said that though is certainly possible that the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet will perform better than the Asus Netbook he tested for ClearType, but it is very unlikely that it will be visually sharper than the third generation iPad’s Retina. The Surface will come in a 10.6-inch, 366-by-768-pixel display, while the third-generation iPad has a 9.7-inch screen with 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution.
Microsoft’s Applied Sciences group, claimed “Microsoft has the best pixel rendering technology in the industry” and “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.”
Dr. Raymond Soneira, tested the theory by running the Safari browser on the new iPad, iPad 2, and an Asus tablet with a 1366-by-768-pixel 130 PPI display that uses Microsoft’s implementation of sub-pixel rendering, called ClearType.
In some cases sub-pixel rendering can make the screen appear to have up to three times the resolution of pixel rendering, as individual red, green, and blue sub-pixels are treated as independent image elements and are not all bound together into specific pixels.
Following this report, Steven Bathiche, director of research for Microsoft’s Applied Sciences, edited his Reddit post, saying, “I hope folks understand that I am not saying that one resolution is better than the other. Nor that one display is better than the other”. He added that in some cases ClearType will look better and in other cases (darker environments) the iPad retina will look better.
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