Microsoft’s Stevie Bathiche, the “co-inventor” of the Surface RT Windows 8 tablet, has taken a Reddit Q and A session to defend the Surface tablet’s low-resolution screen, claiming that it in fact offers more detail than the high-resolution Retina display found on iPads/
Despite having just a 1366 x 768 screen compared to the new iPads 2048 x 1536 Retina display, Bathiche, director of research at Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group, claims that the Surface is in fact easier to read. He stated that it’s down to more than just a higher resolution when it comes to making a screen that’s easy on the eye.
“The true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not pixels,” Bathiche wrote.
“MTF is a combination of both contrast and resolution.There are over a dozen subsystems that affect this MTF number. Most folks just focus on one number out of dozens that affect perceived detail. Without good contrast resolution decreases.
“Basically, as resolution/DPI increases the eye becomes less sensitive. So as a result, the amount of light in a room and the reflections off the screen have a huge effect on the contrast of the display.“In fact, a small amount of reflection can greatly reduce contrast and thus the perceived resolution of the display.”
Bathiche added that Microsoft’s in-house testing has apparently proved that less light is reflected by the Surface RT’s screen compared to the iPad, meaning that it’s easier for users to pick out finer details than even with the hi-res Retina screens:
“While this is not official, our current Cleartype measurements on the amount of light reflected off the screen is around 5.5-6.2 percent, the new IPad has a measurement of 9.9 percent mirror reflections.
“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.”
The Microsoft Surface RT tablet hits stores next week, so it won’t be long now until users can put Bathiche’s claims to the test.