Microsoft Surface RT tablet appears to have 1366x768 display

The Surface tablet by Microsoft is one of the most incredible devices Microsoft has created, and they were quick to tout the new innovations onboard. However, the company was incredibly coy about specifics on some specifications such as battery life and screen resolution.

A PDF posted by Microsoft notes that the resolution is "HD" for the Windows RT (ARM) model, and "Full HD" for the Windows 8 Pro model. Unfortunately, "HD" doesn't actually translate well, and actually means the device is likely to end up with a 1366x768 display at 10 inches for the Windows RT edition. On the other side of the fence, Apple's "new iPad" features a 2048-by-1536 display at just 9 inches. The notable comparison here is price wise, the new iPad and the Windows Surface RT are in the same ballpark. 

There's a huge difference there, but it's clear Microsoft doesn't think that will matter to potential buyers, and many probably don't even know what the number means. But Microsoft does hit all the right buzzwords with HD in the tagline, the real question is, will the consumer care?

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TBH I still believe the retina resolution to be more of a nice number that an actual real life improvement.

For me playing video will be a main purpose of getting a tablet and as such the iPad will show your average HD movie at 2048x1152 with fugly black borders. The Surface will show these at full screen. If the ARM model is HD as I interpret it it will be a 16:9 1366x768 screen which will be a much better experience IMO..

The Pro models show FullHD which would imply a 1920x1080 resolution if the above assumption would be true. That said there's really not that much of an actual + on the retina screen, especially since the Pro models will run rings around the iPad performance wise.

Paul

the dpi of the ipad is pointless. it takes effort to see any difference which is the sign that it is all but marketing bluff. the cosumer won't care as long as they don't use a telescope to read their tablet. as usual, apple is just a load of crap marketing. Just like they used to try to overhype the benefits of power PC, they now try to overhype resolution you don't even notice.

Funny how every thread / topic where Apple releases something, people are usually the first to jump to the "it doesn't have googoogaagaa" latest nVidia/ATI hardware but when a PC product gets released that features already out of date hardware, the apologists come out of the woodwork.

Pretty hilarious.

This is why I'm not that interested in Windows RT, the resolution is too low, 1366x768 -- the lowest Windows 8 can go down too.

Surface with Windows 8 Pro is running at 1080p!

I'll look at Windows RT once there are tablets with higher resolutions (and a lot of apps in the Store).

A340600 said,
This is why I'm not that interested in Windows RT, the resolution is too low, 1366x768 -- the lowest Windows 8 can go down too.

Surface with Windows 8 Pro is running at 1080p!

I'll look at Windows RT once there are tablets with higher resolutions (and a lot of apps in the Store).

Other OEM's will be releasing tablet for RT with higher resolutions for sure, MS just wants to set the bar with making these. They are fed up with crappy product from OEM's and making windows look bad. OEM's will have to step it up a notch now, so all in all is good for everyone that MS will be releasing these tablets.

A340600 said,
This is why I'm not that interested in Windows RT, the resolution is too low, 1366x768 -- the lowest Windows 8 can go down too.

Surface with Windows 8 Pro is running at 1080p!

I'll look at Windows RT once there are tablets with higher resolutions (and a lot of apps in the Store).

The resolution could change before they ship.

However, also consider the market and targeted consumer for each device. As nice as the Windows RT Tablet is with a fast ARM based processor, the 'Pro' version with the i5 processor is going to be 15 to 30 times faster. (That is several years of Moore's Law difference. So the Windows RT would be like a nice fluid Pentium 4m from 2001/2002 in terms of raw performance.)

So for people viewing the web, watching videos, doing things like they do on Android or iPads, that is the target audience of casual user where 100ms of response time is never going to be noticed.

MS clearly arent chasing specs here with the RT and what will capture consumers imaginations is going to be how this integrates with their Xbox (smartglass) PC and WP, I think MS is on the verge - or perhaps not till the next version of windows combined with the next xbox - of achieving a unified Home/Work/Play experience...

Considering that (nearly) no one has a Windows Phone, integrating with WP doesn't matter for consumers. And Windows 8 doesn't have any special integration with WP anyways...

iPad has that smartglass thing too. So that's no advantage.

MS could make it successful if they released several exclusive killer games on it. That's the only way I see this ever having a chance competing with an iPad. Otherwise its sells will just be mehh.

(Now to the tech crowd, sales will be pretty great since this is an actual tablet PC. But we've seen how badly tablet PC's sell to the real world).

andrewbares said,
Considering that (nearly) no one has a Windows Phone, integrating with WP doesn't matter for consumers. And Windows 8 doesn't have any special integration with WP anyways...

iPad has that smartglass thing too. So that's no advantage.

MS could make it successful if they released several exclusive killer games on it. That's the only way I see this ever having a chance competing with an iPad. Otherwise its sells will just be mehh.

(Now to the tech crowd, sales will be pretty great since this is an actual tablet PC. But we've seen how badly tablet PC's sell to the real world).

How do you know Windows 8 doesn't have integration with WP8, have you seen all the final products for these???? You would and will be surprised I think what MS hasn't shown everyone in Windows 8, Windows RT ( and RT for phone) or Windows Phone 8, just wait till the final product to see what it actually has.

andrewbares said,
Considering that (nearly) no one has a Windows Phone, integrating with WP doesn't matter for consumers. And Windows 8 doesn't have any special integration with WP anyways...

iPad has that smartglass thing too. So that's no advantage.

MS could make it successful if they released several exclusive killer games on it. That's the only way I see this ever having a chance competing with an iPad. Otherwise its sells will just be mehh.

(Now to the tech crowd, sales will be pretty great since this is an actual tablet PC. But we've seen how badly tablet PC's sell to the real world).

So much wrong with everything you said, I'm just going to give you a FAIL, and move on.

There's a huge difference there, but it's clear Microsoft doesn't think that will matter to potential buyers, and many probably don't even know what the number means. But Microsoft does hit all the right buzzwords with HD in the tagline, the real question is, will the consumer care?

They may not know what the numbers mean but they know which one has an Apple logo. So at $499 for the 3rd generation iPad or at $399 for the second generation iPad, it will come down to how low can Microsoft price this tablet at.

BIGGEST FACTOR!!!!

Will these models come with or without 3G options and still offer good battery life....

I dont know about you guys but i think its a Must in todays day and age for 3G in tablets out of the box. This will determine if i go with one or not.

Cut the crap Microsoft and from day one have your new device that is on par with competitors.

No one wants their tablet to be spewing out hot air because the CPU of choice is a desktop model CPU and to be rather thick. At least it doesn't weight much, and on par with the iPad.

I do think their version of the smart cover is excellent, being home to a keyboard and track pad. That was a good move.

I run Windows 7 on a first generation Netbook, so a slow as Intel Atom, with a lousy graphics chip. The tablet should in no need be equipped with an Intel i5.. Drop the i5 for a ultra low voltage i5 at least, giving users better battery life and they will never notice the performance difference.

That should drop the need for any fans and then make the device thinner.

To top it off, sell it that under cuts the iPad pricing, and you may have yourself a winner.

watchthisspace said,
Cut the crap Microsoft and from day one have your new device that is on par with competitors.

No one wants their tablet to be spewing out hot air because the CPU of choice is a desktop model CPU and to be rather thick. At least it doesn't weight much, and on par with the iPad.

I do think their version of the smart cover is excellent, being home to a keyboard and track pad. That was a good move.

I run Windows 7 on a first generation Netbook, so a slow as Intel Atom, with a lousy graphics chip. The tablet should in no need be equipped with an Intel i5.. Drop the i5 for a ultra low voltage i5 at least, giving users better battery life and they will never notice the performance difference.

That should drop the need for any fans and then make the device thinner.

To top it off, sell it that under cuts the iPad pricing, and you may have yourself a winner.

There are TWO tablets, the first one is using the same ARM technologies used in iPad and Android tablets, so your argument against the 'heat' and 'desktop' CPU is kind of lost there.

Secondly it is the 'Pro' tablet with the i5 processor, and there will be a more heat and weight.

However, when you consider the 'Pro' version with the i5 is forty (40) times faster than the iPad in pure hardware specifications, do you think people MIGHT not care about a tiny amount of weight and a bit of heat?

(Especially when the iPad3 was burning the hell out of people when it was first released, and isn't even using a high power processor.)

thenetavenger said,

There are TWO tablets, the first one is using the same ARM technologies used in iPad and Android tablets, so your argument against the 'heat' and 'desktop' CPU is kind of lost there.

Secondly it is the 'Pro' tablet with the i5 processor, and there will be a more heat and weight.

However, when you consider the 'Pro' version with the i5 is forty (40) times faster than the iPad in pure hardware specifications, do you think people MIGHT not care about a tiny amount of weight and a bit of heat?

(Especially when the iPad3 was burning the hell out of people when it was first released, and isn't even using a high power processor.)

Why do you need a desktop CPU in a tablet? If you read what I said, I said to drop the I5 for an Ultra Low Voltage I5. You'll still have performance that's a lot faster than the iPad's ARM SoC (for example) AND you'd get more battery life and less heat.

The iPad has had a crappy 1024x768 for two years, and that has not prevented it from being successful.

And suddenly, tech journalists are complaining that 1366x768 is not enough?

Come on, even the newest 13" MacBook pro are running at this resolution, and we're talking about a 10" tablet here. Resolution is definitely not a problem.

link8506 said,
The iPad has had a crappy 1024x768 for two years, and that has not prevented it from being successful.

Come on, even the newest 13" MacBook pro are running at this resolution, and we're talking about a 10" tablet here. Resolution is definitely not a problem.


Most Business Grade laptops use this resolution.

IMHO using 1080p on smaller screens is only good for sites etc as any bigger most ppl just up the zoom which in turn looses the resolution benefits until you open a website or image...

It matters if you're using a magnifying glass to count pixels!

Seriously, I agree with you. The "rectum displays" are nice, but hardly a requirement. It's just marketing telling you that you have to have the highest resolution screen available or you aren't cool enough to be a barista.

Enron said,
Seriously, I agree with you. The "rectum displays" are nice, but hardly a requirement. It's just marketing telling you that you have to have the highest resolution screen available or you aren't cool enough to be a barista.

It's already a scientific fact that your eye can't even handle all the DPI apple has in the retina display, thus making the extra DPI unnecessary. Around 300 is the sweet spot.

link8506 said,
The iPad has had a crappy 1024x768 for two years, and that has not prevented it from being successful.

And suddenly, tech journalists are complaining that 1366x768 is not enough?

Come on, even the newest 13" MacBook pro are running at this resolution, and we're talking about a 10" tablet here. Resolution is definitely not a problem.

The extra 'pixels' on the iPad and Macbooks are just too little too late.

If you are a PC User, 1024x786 became a very common and standard resolution around 1992/1993 with the low cost of the first generation of accelerated video cards from ATI and others that picked up from the IBM 8514.

So back in 1993, 1024x768 was impressive, when the iPad was released, it was, meh.

Apple also doesn't seem to get the benefit of a HD aspect ratio, for productivity and for displaying movies/videos properly (Maybe because of the lack of HD iTune content at the time.)

In 2005, the COMMON resolution on 17" notebooks in the PC world was 1920x1200. Apple called this 'overkill' and 'silly' as they will shoving out Macbooks with 1440x900 and later 1680x1050. (Let alone in 2002, a majority of 15" PC notebooks shipped with 1600x1200 displays.)

Toshiba has been trying to get the world to jump to 2K 4K and 8K displays for several years, being one of the companies that make a flat panel technology that is 'better' than the Apple Retina display.

However the adoption of HD and BluRay has held back the desire, and 1920x1080 became a common display.

There are 2048 and 4095 monitors out there, and if consumers ask for them, and aren't scared of 'things being too tiny' because of the old non-scalable OS UIs, production will increase and become more common outside of the graphic designers, gamer and hobbyist.

Apple has NO place to talk about resolution, especially when their Macbooks with 2048 displays are being shipped with Video Card (GPU) technology that is 3 times slower than the equivalent GPUs in PC notebooks (Which isn't even the 'high end PC notebook GPUs.)

So good luck shoving those pixels around playing games, unless they are still counting on the 2005 generation of games like WoW (which they are btw).


Ironically, Apple gets praise for a freaking DISPLAY... In contrast, Microsoft created the GPU architecture used in all PC and Macs, created the GPU technologies from DirectX used in Macs, PCs and even the iPads, created the I/O technologies that allow OpenCL to even work on a GPU, created the user programmable shader languages and models used in all games today (even OpenGL games).

But Apple is the 'graphics' leader... *cough*

brent3000 said,
IMHO using 1080p on smaller screens is only good for sites etc as any bigger most ppl just up the zoom which in turn looses the resolution benefits until you open a website or image...

You also lose the ability to see you added an extra "o" to "loses" at lower resolutions.

Darth Tigris said,
So this will be the 'negative' people rally around, right? It's always gotta be something ...


Next news will be about complaining with the fact that it will ship with an unfinished version of office (Surface for Windows RT includes Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview).

"how dare MS ship a beta product!!"

link8506 said,


Next news will be about complaining with the fact that it will ship with an unfinished version of office (Surface for Windows RT includes Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview).

"how dare MS ship a beta product!!"

I love how all these "other" tablet users always complain about not having a decent keyboard or this and that, MS has made a very good design here and they still complain. On Thursday they will be back complaining about windows phone.

deadonthefloor said,
Now my question is Why the Surface moniker?

Surface sees you.
V1 had IR sensors, V2 had Pixelsense.

Does this have something comparable?

I would guess it's because Microsoft has built Surface into a good, positive brand. And the huge 40 inch version isn't for consumers anyway - not at $7000+.

deadonthefloor said,
Now my question is Why the Surface moniker?

Surface sees you.
V1 had IR sensors, V2 had Pixelsense.

Does this have something comparable?

Im pretty sure they ended up using the surface name as to not unveil they they were building a tablet. All of this was hidden within surface.

Comment over in the other articles suggests 1080p for the Pro version.

Of course, that is considering the weight and cost bump.

Denis W said,
Comment over in the other articles suggests 1080p for the Pro version.

Of course, that is considering the weight and cost bump.

Ya, but for the fairly 'small' bump in weight/size, the performance of the Pro is a massive bump.

The Slate Pro in just raw hardware it is 40 times faster than the new iPad (3).

Microsoft really needs to ship the devices as soon as you announce them… not a vague date like 3 months after RTM… Which is Oct, Nov, Dec or next year? If the software is not ready why show it today instead of when everything is done and ready??

botham said,
Microsoft really needs to ship the devices as soon as you announce them… not a vague date like 3 months after RTM… Which is Oct, Nov, Dec or next year? If the software is not ready why show it today instead of when everything is done and ready??

I agree. They lose all the hype and attention by waiting so long to release things. They need to take a lesson from Apple.

andrewbares said,

I agree. They lose all the hype and attention by waiting so long to release things. They need to take a lesson from Apple.

I bet Microsoft want to steal all the hype and hope from Google Nexus 7 tablet expected to launch during Google I/O next week

Windows 8 is not ready for RTM yet, and I'm pretty sure Microsoft want to target holiday shopping season

Eins.MY said,

I bet Microsoft want to steal all the hype and hope from Google Nexus 7 tablet expected to launch during Google I/O next week

Windows 8 is not ready for RTM yet, and I'm pretty sure Microsoft want to target holiday shopping season

Not just the hype, they are trying to get people to wait for the Windows 8 tablet instead of buying a Google Tablet. If they waited to announce later, tons of people would already be buying iPads and Nexus and not want to wait for some future unknown tablet.

Not an amazing screen but at the same time they are playing catchup to Apple so I imagine they will deliver a higher resolution display that compares well to the iPad 3's in the next revision.

I have to say though I love the physical design of it. I think that keyboard looks great the whole tablet in general looks really really nice. I'd be happy to own that.

Vice said,
imagine they will deliver a higher resolution display that compares well to the iPad 3's in the next revision.

Doubtful.

Being that they stated more than once that they are 'Cleartype' hd displays, I wouldn't expect anything in the 'retina' category until the next Windows OS at the earliest.

Cleartype is the technology for making less than retina displays look good.
Is it any wonder why Apple chose to go the retina route, as opposed to licensing the patents around the technology?

deadonthefloor said,

Doubtful.

Being that they stated more than once that they are 'Cleartype' hd displays, I wouldn't expect anything in the 'retina' category until the next Windows OS at the earliest.

Cleartype is the technology for making less than retina displays look good.
Is it any wonder why Apple chose to go the retina route, as opposed to licensing the patents around the technology?

I don't want to get in to a big thing with you about this (which sometimes happens) but you seem confused about what ClearType actually is. It is basically a type of font sub-pixel antianalising which adjusts the pixels around letters to be different shades of the main font colour so that to your eye it appears that the letters are more crisp. It is just a software feature which utilizes sub-pixel addressing of many many different LCD displays. Pretty much all conform to it by telling the OS where their sub pixels are.

Apple have the exact same thing. It is not a Microsoft exclusive feature. Apple included a retina display because it is even better than using ClearType on a normal 100 DPI display. And it also affects images and video not just font clarity.

deadonthefloor said,

Doubtful.

Being that they stated more than once that they are 'Cleartype' hd displays, I wouldn't expect anything in the 'retina' category until the next Windows OS at the earliest.

Cleartype is the technology for making less than retina displays look good.
Is it any wonder why Apple chose to go the retina route, as opposed to licensing the patents around the technology?

Metro does not use cleartype, or even directwrite. A flatter more direct font approach.

http://www.istartedsomething.c...k-seat-for-windows-8-metro/

deadonthefloor said,

Doubtful.

Being that they stated more than once that they are 'Cleartype' hd displays, I wouldn't expect anything in the 'retina' category until the next Windows OS at the earliest.

Cleartype is the technology for making less than retina displays look good.
Is it any wonder why Apple chose to go the retina route, as opposed to licensing the patents around the technology?

ClearType was developed with Adobe, and then enhanced later on; Apple's Advanced Typography (AAT) was based on that foundation.

Both are great technologies and work well no matter what ppi/dpi your display has -- although obviously it is more noticeable on lower res screens.

John Freiman said,

ClearType was developed with Adobe, and then enhanced later on; Apple's Advanced Typography (AAT) was based on that foundation.

Both are great technologies and work well no matter what ppi/dpi your display has -- although obviously it is more noticeable on lower res screens.

No and No

ClearType was developed by Microsoft and has NOTHING to do with Adobe.

AAT in OS X has nothing to do with ClearType, and is ONLY a modified font rendering technology to display ligatures and glyphs in OS X, which is very important in many languages as well as more advanced fonts.

OpenType is what was developed my Adobe and Microsoft, that is a combination of font technologies of the early 90s and advancing them to support a far richer set of features and capabilities like how Glyphs and ligatures and contextual aspects of fonts work, along with working with computer display technologies like smoothing and hinting.

OS X does not fully support OpenType features, and AAT is a partial implementation of more advanced OpenType features, even though OS X has previously tried to handle things like ligatures. Even as OS X exists today, it lacks a large portion of OpenType features that are needed to use and display several language character sets, making OS X in native language support problematic.


ClearType is a rather advanced set of technologies, that work from features of OpenType, like hinting and smoothing to properly apply anti-aliasing without breaking the display grid. It was first seen in Microsoft Reader around 98 if I remember right, and was turned on in WindowsXP.

The difference between OS X and Windows font smoothing has been a point of argument for many years, as even without the Cleartype aspect.

Windows specifically adheres to and maintains pixel compliance, keeping fonts 'consistent' and crisp. They do not bleed and show more accurately as to the screen as to how they will print, especially with regard to weight and kerning aspects.

OS X using a very loose smoothing process, that allows fonts to bleed into adjacent pixels and can cause rendering difference between the display and printed output if not properly compensated for by the software. (For example, an extra bleeding of a straight letter like 'l' can shift into a nearby pixel on the screen, and look to merger with graphical elements on screen, but on paper would not be touching the graphical element.

There are people that 'prefer' the way OS X smooths fonts because they look darker, but they are far less accurate, which means they are 'less' preferred when it comes to graphic designers that work with type and fonts, as they are not accurate at lower resolutions.

It is the lower, resolution issue that has been a 'problem' with OS X and font rendering, and is behind Apple's push for more pixels and with higher density, this pushes the fonts beyond the rendering sizes where they distort as much and become more accurate.


Windows provides a 'crisper' but less bold font smoothing experience, but it highly accurate when rendering fonts. So higher resolution displays for Fonts have been less in need on PCs, especially when added together with ClearType, that provides an additional level of rendering resolution.

If you do the math on ClearType, fonts are crisper on a 1920x1200 (a common 17" PC notebook display since 2005) than they would be on OS X with a new 2048 pixel display.


So Apple is getting closer to Font purity and the accuracy and resolution that Windows has offered for years by offering higher resolution displays. At the end of the day, beyond fonts and vector lines in illustrator, the additional pixels Apple is providing is 'lost' and a wasted resource at this point because of the lower powered GPUs and inability to render scenes well at the full resolution of the display.


So a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 display that can play HD video content pixel for pixel is as far as Apple should have went, with the exception of the fonts clarity and the marketing. (Especially when Apple still is not addressing larger display issues in OS X and iOS that prevent it from display more colors or handling advanced GPU features, and it doesn't look like Apple will be providing these features for a few years, even though Windows 7 has since 2009.)

The best analogy for Fonts on OS X. Take a screenshot of fonts that have no 'smoothing' and then doing a quick vertical resample of the image at 50% of the size. This is about the quality of the font you get with OS X, except it bleeds and is not as accurate as a direct resampling process because of how OS X renders the font in the actual space.

Font rendering in Vista and Windows 7 is one area Microsoft uses the GPU that Apple does not, and is why Microsoft can afford the 'overhead' of the extra quality in adjusting the hinting and pixel alignment in font smoothing.

This also applies to WP7 that uses the GPU of the device instead of the CPU for font rendering and smoothing,, and is one of the secrets behind its speed over Android and iOS.

With regard to the Surface Tablets, Microsoft has a few revisions to ClearType that is not in use yet, and with the naming of the Surface 'displays' I wonder if we will see this new version of ClearType that goes beyond 'fonts' and can directly happen in hardware, even at the display controller level. (Especially with the changes to ClearType in Windows8 that removes some of the subpixel color techniques, but is still a variation of Cleartype.)