There have been countless comparisons done between the iPad 2 and competitors like the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook, but I’ve never seen anything as extensive as Dr. Raymond Soneira’s tablet display shootout. Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation of Amherst, New Hampshire, made it his goal to find out which consumer tablet has the best overall display. He looked at everything from Screen Reflections, Brightness and Contrast, Colors and Intensities, Viewing Angles, Display Backlight Power Consumption, and Running Time on Battery.
The full report is quite long, but here are some of the highlights:
- Standard that all other tablets are compared to
- Display identical in performance to “impressive” iPhone 4 display
- IPS (in plane switching) LCD display is fairly well calibrated, delivers bright images with excellent contrast
- Reasonably accurate colors, very good Viewing Angle performance with small color shifts but a large decrease in Brightness, which is the case even for the best LCDs
- Major shortcoming is the reduced Color Gamut, but it’s made up for by image color saturation and a steepening in the intensity scale
- Fairly good display comparable to iPad 2 and Nook Tablet, but has two major flaws
- Screen is very reflective – 70 percent higher than the iPad 2, and more than double the Nook Tablet
- Gray scale in Gallery app is overdriven, making even bright pictures look washed out
- Gallery app only supports 16-bit color, even though the display is capable of 24-bit color
- Menus in Gallery app take up 100 pixels of the screen, so photos only get 500 of the screen’s 600 vertical pixels
- Display has lowest reflectance of any Tablet ever tested by DisplayMate tech – great for reading in bright/sunny environments
- Great factory display calibration - gray-scale more accurate than most living room HDTVs, White Point slightly more yellowish to increase the screen’s maximum brightness, power efficiency, and battery run-time
- Runs on version of Android, but entire UI is displayed in 24-bit color on-screen
- UI for the gallery is “primitive” and unorganized
And the winner is… the Nook Tablet!
- “Nook Tablet was the leader in more categories — both in the lab tests and the viewing tests — so it is the declared winner in overall display performance and picture quality, at least for this round…”
- iPad 2 was very close in performance to Nook Tablet, but came in second place in lab tests
- Kindle Fire came in decidedly last place
Personally I was surprised that the iPad 2 didn’t win, just because the display on Apple’s tablet is so highly praised and well performing. To be fair, though, I’ve never used a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, so I can’t really be objective here. Check out the full comparison chart below for a more detailed look at the shootout!
What are your thoughts on this experiment? Are you surprised by the results, or perhaps you wished it covered an aspect of the displays that didn’t appear in the study? Weigh in down below in the comments or hit me up on twitter!