updated 12:50 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
2012 iPad LCD given top marks
Continuing some of the more in-depth examinations of the new iPad, a detailed screen comparison at DisplayMate has shown a major improvement in Apple's tablet display quality, albeit at a cost. While the 2048x1536 resolution is an obvious advantage, the display analysis team saw that the new screen saw big improvements in other areas, most of all color accuracy. While the iPad 2's display got just 61 percent of the standard color range, the new iPad's screen was near-flawless, with 99 percent accuracy on top of "perfect" contrast and gamma levels.
The 9.7-inch display was better than its predecessor in cutting back on screen reflection, and didn't lose any significant ground in brightness, black levels or a resistance to color shifting when off-angle.
Going to the much higher resolution display has delivered a major hit to power efficiency, researchers saw. It uses 2.5 times power backlighting power to keep up performance, jumping from a maximum of 2.7W on the iPad 2 to 7W on the newer tablet. It helped narrow down the power consumption issues to the backlight and not the quad-core graphics by themselves. Supporting this, battery life was comparable at a halfway setting, but shrank considerably when both were put at their maximum power.
While a direct hardware comparison wasn't available, DisplayMate was confident enough to say that the new iPad's screen "decisively beats" any other tablet previously mentioned, including the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It was likewise "much better" than most TVs and computer-sized displays, and was to the point where the study considered the iPad virtually good enough to be used for pro color proofing. "With some minor calibration tweaks the new iPad would qualify as a studio reference monitor," the group said.
Other companies like Acer and ASUS are expected to respond with higher resolution displays and will often use IPS, but they may not have the same color accuracy.