Coffeehouse Thread

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Finally got to see a Windows 8 tablet

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  • cbae

    I was at a Microsoft store last night, and they had Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro (Core i5-based). It was sitting next to the ATIV Smart PC (Atom-based).

    The 1920 x 1080 display on the Pro was very nice. Interestingly though, it appeared that they must have changed the OS-wide text size from Control Panel to 125% or maybe even 150% because the text size was almost indistinguishable between the Pro unit and the 1366 x 768 display of the standard unit sitting next to it. While other graphical UI elements were obviously smaller on the Pro because of the finer resolution, for me, I like having the extra screen real estate of higher resolutions mainly to be able to see more text on the screen. To maximize the screen real estate, I always keep text size at 100% on all of my machines.

    However, I think at this 11.6" display size of the ATIV Smart PC it's getting beyond the capability of my eyes to look at such small text for extended periods of time without discomfort. Even though the Pro could run something like VS2012 like a champ, I can't imagine that I'd want to look at programming code in such tiny text for long periods of time. On tablet-sized displays, I think I'd probably have to opt for the 125% or 150% setting, in which case, the advantage over the 1366 x 768 display is lessened IMHO.

    BTW, I think the 1366 x 768 display is perfectly fine on such a small form factor. People want to compare the display of the Surface RT to that of the retina iPad and say it looks like crap, but the reality is that you actually have MORE screen real estate on Surface RT than you do on the iPad.

  • Sven Groot

    Resolution on small form factor devices isn't about real estate, it's about crispness. The text may be the same size, but it's probably noticeably sharper on the 1080p display of the Pro. That makes a huge difference when reading text for an extended period of time (though to me, e-Ink will always be preferable to an LCD for reading, regardless of how sharp the text on LCD becomes).

  • cbae

    @Sven Groot: The point I'm making is that in order for text to be comfortable enough to read, it has to be large enough to begin with. And when text is large enough to be comfortable to read, the difference in pixel density between 1366 x 768 and 1920 x 1080 matters very little.

     

  • Richard.Hein

    All good points but on a tablet you zoom in and out all the time and any app that doesn't allow that, or website, or handle that well, is getting uninstalled/unread. Wink

  • Retro​Recursion

    @cbae: I wholeheartedly disagree. I have both the Surface and iPad 3 and would rather use the iPad any day for reading just about anything. Although they do some nice work with Clear Type, the Surface doesn't come even close to the pixel density of the iPad. As for display size, the extra inch on the Surface doesn't make up for the 4X less pixel density.

  • evildictait​or

    , Visible = False wrote

    @cbae... Although they do some nice work with Clear Type....

    I thought that Windows RT didn't have ClearType :/

  • Ian2

    +1 for e-Ink for reading

  • cbae

    , Visible = False wrote

    @cbae: I wholeheartedly disagree. I have both the Surface and iPad 3 and would rather use the iPad any day for reading just about anything. Although they do some nice work with Clear Type, the Surface doesn't come even close to the pixel density of the iPad. As for display size, the extra inch on the Surface doesn't make up for the 4X less pixel density.

    With pixel doubling, the iPad forces you to view 1024 x 768 at full screen despite its higher resolution. If you viewed text on the Surface at similar absolute size of what's rendered on the iPad, there's going to be hardly any difference in readability. In all honestly, how closely do you even focus on the tiny serifs of typefaces when you read for this pixel density difference to even matter. Sure, if you put your eyeballs really close to the screen and focus on a single letter rendered on the screen, you can can mesmerize yourself with how awesome the resolution is. I do this every now and then even on my year old Lumia 800, which has near identical pixel density as the retina iPad. But 99.9% of the time, your eyes are scanning the screen while reading and they have little care to whether or not the tiny of the tail of the letter "g" looks slightly more pixelated on one display vs. on another.

  • Sven Groot

    @cbae: You may not consciously notice the difference, but the higher resolution screen will lead to noticeably less eyestrain when you're reading for an extended period.

  • contextfree`

    I dig my Win8 tablet despite its crappy 1366x786 res, but claiming low DPI is just a-ok for reading is INSANE imo Tongue Out For instance, on displays with what is still (unfortunately) "PC-class" DPI serifed fonts that are beautiful in print look so bad in smaller sizes as to be unusable.

  • cbae

    , contextfree` wrote

    I dig my Win8 tablet despite its crappy 1366x786 res, but claiming low DPI is just a-ok for reading is INSANE imo Tongue Out For instance, on displays with what is still (unfortunately) "PC-class" DPI serifed fonts that are beautiful in print look so bad in smaller sizes as to be unusable.

    Claiming that 1366 x 786 resolution on a 10.6" or 11.6" display is low DPI is insane.

  • cbae

    , Sven Groot wrote

    @cbae: You may not consciously notice the difference, but the higher resolution screen will lead to noticeably less eyestrain when you're reading for an extended period.

    Sure, but only when the text size is small enough that the resolution is going to affect the rendering of the minute details of a typeface. As I said before, the retina iPad forces 1024 x 768 objects to render at full screen. If you read a web page on mobile Safari, for example, you can't zoom out any more than what would normally render on a 1024 x 768 sized page. This forces text to be rendered in a large size, so you're not really getting much benefit over a 1366 x 768 display with the text scaled to the equivalent absolute size that the iPad renders the text at.

    OTOH, you CAN make the ATIV Smart PC Pro render a web page in its native 1920 x 1080 resolution at full screen. If you took the standard ATIV Smart PC and shrank the text down to the equivalent absolute size of the text rendered on the Pro version, then, yes, you'd have blurry, illegible, pixelated text.

    But I also said that at this point the text would be so small, no matter how how fine the DPI is, that it would be uncomfortable to read.

  • Retro​Recursion

    , Sven Groot wrote

    @cbae: You may not consciously notice the difference, but the higher resolution screen will lead to noticeably less eyestrain when you're reading for an extended period.

    Agreed. I will always reach for my iPad 3 for anything involving text and reading. Even though the iPad 2 was not too shabby, the amount of eye strain is noticeably less with the retina displays.

  • Retro​Recursion

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    As I said before, the retina iPad forces 1024 x 768 objects to render at full screen. If you read a web page on mobile Safari, for example, you can't zoom out any more than what would normally render on a 1024 x 768 sized page. This forces text to be rendered in a large size, so you're not really getting much benefit over a 1366 x 768 display with the text scaled to the equivalent absolute size that the iPad renders the text at.

    But isn't that a bonus that one gets with a high dpi display? When it comes to scaling, it's always better to have more pixels than are needed as opposed to not enough.

    The Surface's display may be great for you, but there's no doubt it could be greater with a higher dpi display. Even the guys that worked on the Surface's display acknowledges that the lower res screen was used due to battery life and weight concerns; both of which Apple has had to deal with in the iPad 3.

  • Sven Groot

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    Sure, but only when the text size is small enough that the resolution is going to affect the rendering of the minute details of a typeface.

    No, even when the text is large, high DPI still reduces strain. Even for a plain sans-serif font.

  • cbae

    , Visible = False wrote

    *snip*

    But isn't that a bonus that one gets with a high dpi display?

    Sure, but the importance of higher resolution is being completely overblown. People seem to forget that the majority of 13" and 14" notebooks have 1366 x 768 displays, yet they act as if it's a deal breaker when it comes to a 10" tablet.

    When it comes to scaling, it's always better to have more pixels than are needed as opposed to not enough.

    Yes, but that's only the case when you're scaling down to a smaller size. In the case, of the iPad's pixel doubling, it's essentially scaling the size up. And IMHO, the 100% text size setting of Windows on an 11.6" 1366 x 768 in non-DPI scaled rendering is pretty much the right combination of readability and screen real estate that I'd need.

    On the 1920 x 1080 Pro unit, I didn't bother to adjust the text settings back down to 100% from the 125% or 150% it was set at, but I reckon the text would have been too small to be comfortable to read, although it would have been cool to see the clarity of such tiny text on a screen that small. 

    The Surface's display may be great for you, but there's no doubt it could be greater with a higher dpi display. Even the guys that worked on the Surface's display acknowledges that the lower res screen was used due to battery life and weight concerns; both of which Apple has had to deal with in the iPad 3.

    At this small a screen size, I'd prefer better brightness and less glare, which are also factors in eye strain.

    But at 15" or larger, yes, I won't settle for anything less than 1920 x 1080 resolution. Normally, I'd prefer 1920 x 1200, but that resolution is becoming rarer by the day.

    The other day, I saw a 27" AIO from Dell with 2560 by 1440 display. At that size, I'd prefer even higher resolution, but they don't make those yet.

  • gogonow

    does it have thermal touch screen like the ipad with the ease of use ??

  • blowdart

    , gogonow wrote

    does it have thermal touch screen like the ipad with the ease of use ??

    The iPad is capacitive touch, although, apparently with a haptics screen. It's kind of hard to tell, Apple don't use technical terms.

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