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Is the Microsoft Surface’s Display as Good (or Better) Than the New iPad?

According to Microsoft, the display in the upcoming Microsoft Surface is supposed to be sharper than the Apple’s retina display. Considering the Surface has a resolution of 1,366 x 768 (which isn’t all that high by today’s standard), how is that possible? It lies in the ClearType technology utilized by the Microsoft Surface and other Windows 8 devices- so says Microsoft. Any truth to the claim, though?

According to Screen expert Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies, the answer is “Yes and no”. Sure, ClearType really does work and will likely make the Surface have a much better display than the iPad 2. As for beating out the Retina display in the 3rd generation iPad? It seems much less likely.

You might wonder how the screen expert “knows this”. He doesn’t, at least not for sure. No one has really gotten much time with the Surface yet, but he was able to compare it to a Asus netbook with ClearType technology and the same resolution. While he says it is conceivable that Microsoft has further refined the technology, the Asus device and Surface should still be about the same ballpark.

If the analyst is correct, the iPad 3 is probably going to win when it comes to display clarity. Considering the two tablets are priced the same, why choose the Surface? It has less apps and an unproven ecosystem, so why go with it? Some possible reasons include the touch covers that can be added on, the existence of USB ports – and a large array of potential devices that will work with it – and storage. The Surface had 32GB of storage and microSD for the same price as the iPad 3rd generation’s 16GB version.

Depending on the pricing, those who want the best of both worlds might want to wait until the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Pro will not only work with older Windows software, it also will likely have similar storage advantages and has a display of 1,920 x 1,080 with ClearType technology.

More than likely, that means the Pro will have the best display and will likely be the best device for productivity. Keep in mind that this ‘better model’ will also more than likely start at around $800-$1000 dollars, so it will be quite a bit pricier than the iPad 3rd generation and the Surface RT.

What do you think about the Surface, interested or not?

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7 comments

  1. Yeah, the Retina display is going to be hard to beat. We’ll see though.

  2. How much of a head start does Apple have on Windows 8/Mobile 8. And the app store? Come on, Apple has 275,000 apps written solely for the iPad. Personally, I am VERY invested already in the Apple system with 4 iPads and 4 iPhones in my house. Why would I ever look at a Microsoft product? I can think of only one reason: HALO 4. :)

  3. The Surface sounds very interesting. I think its success will largely depend on how well Windows 8 is received. If Windows 8 sells millions of copies like Windows 7 did, it will be hard for developers to ignore the Windows App Store. If the Windows App Store takes off, the Surface becomes much more attractive.

    • Its a vicious circle really. Apps need Devices. To sell devices, Microsoft needs more Apps.

      • Microsoft wants to break that circle with Windows 8 – the idea is that applications bought in the Windows App Store will directly feed the Surface market.

        • That really does not break the cycle. It just ties the cycle together within two platforms, Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone 8. Both will still need apps to sell, and the apps will need devices to sell to get more robust.
          HOWEVER, where this is sort of broken is that the shared kernel allows for a fairly easy port between the two, so you’re getting a larger potential pool–PC developers and phone developers.

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