updated 10:40 am EDT, Wed March 16, 2011
DisplayMate iPad 2 LCD test calls for antialiasing
An LCD examination for the iPad 2 has shown both its quality but has also called out for major improvements in software and, eventually, in hardware. Like with the original iPad and the iPhone 4, DisplayMate gave the iPad 2's screen praise for having an IPS-based, 24-bit color panel but said it needed better antialiasing to improve the perceived smoothness of text and other elements. As an example, company president Dr. Soneira put it next to a netbook and noticed that a similar pixels-per-inch ratio still netted smoother fonts due to Windows' ClearType.
Future iPads needed to get a pixel density upgrade, he said. The iPhone 4 won a display showdown last year in part because of its extremely dense 326PPI, 960x640 3.5-inch screen, which eliminated much of the need for antialiasing. Most don't expect a higher resolution panel until the iPad 3, when a sufficiently cheap 2048x1536 LCD, quad-core processors, and matching graphics could all be available at the same time.
The company chief also chastised Apple for not properly using automatic brightness detection in either the iPad 2 or the iPhone 4, but he added that most mobile device makers had the same problem. Many devices get stuck on the brightest ambient light since the device was unlocked and don't drop if the user moves to a more dimly-lit area.
Most of the compliments to the new iPad's screen were given to its high relative brightness, black levels and contrast. DisplayMate saw the iPad 2 even having an edge as its 6,999K white color temperature was nearer the D6500 reference point many use for photos or video where even the iPhone 4 was at 7,781K and had a slightly blue color cast.
Apple has lately focused on image quality as a selling point and has had the advantage of competing against rivals with at times poor color output, such as the oversaturation of Samsung's original Super AMOLED screen in the Galaxy S or the relatively weak LCD on the HTC Evo 4G.