Tuesday, November 05, 2013

See this? Apple's iPad Air loses display shootout to Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

Apple has always touted its iDevice displays, particularly since it "invented" the so-called Retina display (it trademarked the term, but one display expert called it "marketing puffery"). All that being said, the results of a new test, issued on Monday (via Cnet) said that the iPad Air lost a display shootout to Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX.

The results come from a test run by DisplayMate Technologies. That shouldn't be unsurprising, as it was Dr. Raymond Soneira, who runs DisplayMate Technologies, that gave the "marketing puffery" term to Apple's Retina display, which the company claimed had a PPI (pixels per inch) value so high that an end user couldn't discern the individual pixels.

Soneira said to really be a retina display, the display would have to have a resolution of 477 pixels per inch at 12 inches. The iPhone 4 -- and succeeding iPhones -- have a resolution of 326 pixels per inch at 12 inches.

DisplayMate Technologies tested the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, the iPad Air, and Google's (2012) Nexus 10. According to the results, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 had far and away the better display. DisplayMate said that the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9:
leapfrogged into the best performing Tablet display that we have ever tested, significantly out-performing the iPad Air in Brightness, Screen Reflectance, and high ambient light contrast, plus a first place finish in the very challenging category of Absolute Color Accuracy.
Stil, the iPad Air received applause from DisplayMate. While the aging, year-old Nexus 10 performed relatively poorly, both the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and the iPad Air have very accurate picture quality, colors, and image contrast, DisplayMate commented.
They are most likely better and more accurate than any display you own (unless it's a calibrated professional display).
DisplayMate went a little further than most people would care about, indicating far more than just that the displays looked "purty." DisplayMate delved into the technology behind the

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 uses high performance Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS LCDs while the iPad Air uses high performance IGZO Metal Oxide LCDs. Both are significantly better than the a-Si amorphous Silicon LCDs used in most current displays -- and are a handful to say, too.

As far as the Nexus 10, the fact that the device is a year old explains its relatively poor performance. For 2012, its 2,560 x 1,600 10-inch display was a standard bearer. Now, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 has the same resolution packed into a smaller display.

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