The Display

Like all Windows RT tablets, the ATIV Tab features a 1366 x 768 display. The 10.1-inch screen has great viewing angles (178-degree) and a reasonable contrast ratio. Max brightness is 424 nits, although the bright display does come at the sacrifice of deep blacks (0.48 nits). I did notice one spot of significant backlight bleed on my review sample.

Display Brightness

Display Brightness

Display Contrast

Overall display performance is good compared to most notebook PCs at this price point, but no where near the best tablets we've tested. The big issue, as with most tablets these days, boils down to color accuracy.

Once again I turned to our own Chris Heinonen's CalMAN smartphone/tablet workflow. We'll start off by looking at the calibrated white point for these tablets. What you're looking for here is a number close to 6500K:

CalMAN Display Comparison - CCT

The next three charts look at accuracy represented as a difference between various source colors and what's reproduced on the display. The results are presented as average dE2000, with lower numbers being better.

First up is Grayscale performance, here we're looking at the accuracy of black, white and 19 shades of gray spread in between the two extremes:

CalMAN Display Comparison - Grayscale

Grayscale accuracy is decent, slightly behind Surface RT and the 3rd generation iPad.

First in our color accuracy tests is a saturation sweep. Here we're looking at 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% saturations of red, blue, green, magenta, yellow and cyan.

CalMAN Display Comparison - Saturation Sweep

Start getting into colors and we see the same problem of absent color calibration that we've seen elsewhere. The display looks good, but it's not well calibrated at all. Color reproduction performance is similar to Surface, but behind the Retina iPads.

Gamut CIE Chart


 

Saturation CIE Chart


 

For our final accuracy test we're looking at the difference between a Gretag Macbeth colorchecker chart and the rendered swatches on these displays. Once again, lower numbers are better.

CalMAN Display Comparison - GMB Colorchecker

GMB Color Checker


Charging & Battery Life WiFi & Camera Performance
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  • snoozemode - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Microsoft should really focus on merging WRT and WP8, and that rather quickly. It's a strange idea to try have one OS for every device type when so much converging is going on in the hardware world. As it stands today it seems Microsoft is missing out on the big 5"+ 1080p wave going on in the Android world because of no support for that resolution and also missing out on the now popular 7" tablet format because WRT just doesn't seem made for that experience. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I agree, it's kind of odd. Android runs on both phones and tablets of all sizes, iOS runs on iPhones and two tablet sizes, why does Microsoft feel the need to have a completely separate phone OS and tablet OS? Sure, Windows Phone 8 moved to the newer Windows kernel and got a lot of the same APIs and such as regular Windows, but it's still a distinct OS from RT.
    One OS for both would increase the potential market for developers as well as make developing easier.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Besides that, I also believe that on tablets Windows x86 will become dominant over RT. Reply
  • Silent_Rage - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't be too sure of that: http://hal2020.com/2013/01/02/there-is-no-arm-in-w... Reply
  • ninjacut - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    The big advantage of RT over x86 is the lack of legacy application baggage that could bog down the experience plus the security.

    But to your point, x86 will be preferred choice if legacy applications and in general full compatibility is required.
    Reply
  • B3an - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    You both forget that MS are the only company to have one single OS thats runs on both tablets and PC's. Apple, Linux or Google don't have this.

    Windows Phone is by far the best phone UI out there in my opinion partly because it's specifically made for smaller phones. The Win 8/RT UI wont scale down well for phones with small screens.

    But the Windows Blue update, released later this year, is meant to have support for smaller 7" tablets. It's inevitable that MS will support these at some point anyway. You have to remember they've been busy with the massive task of getting Windows to work well on tablets, porting Windows to ARM, and porting WP to the Windows 8 kernel. They just haven't had time for smaller tablet support yet.

    Being as WP and WIn 8/RT all have the same kernel and most of the same API's, including the same DirectX, then it's already pretty easy for most dev's to support all platforms. Things will be even more toughly integrated across platforms in future updates.
    Reply
  • virtualx - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Ummm... Canonical have been making Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) for smartphones and tablets for quite some time now. And Debian has been available for ARM since ARM began existing. Microsoft has never been the first or only company to do anything.... Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    MS is busy spinning off part of their desktop OS as a tablet OS while keeping their existing phone OS. The goal of a unified interface across all three markets makes sense on paper but MS has to deal with the legacy desktop paradigm hampering their desktop initiatives.

    On the more positive side of things, MS looks to be merging the development side of desktop, tablet and phone rather well. It isn't perfect (unnecessary legacy desktop API's have crept into tablets) but clearly superior to having independent SDK's.

    As for lack of 1080p support in Windows 8/RT tablets, I think that that is more of an OEM issue than a software one on MS side. Atom based tablets should handle it (and the 10W Ivy Bridge ones due out shortly definitely can). There are GPU's on the ARM side that can handle such resolutions, though they would require Windows RT drivers etc.
    Reply
  • snoozemode - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I completely agree that the unified user interface Microsoft is trying to force on to all device types (read desktop) is a bad idea, for example i now have 40 tabs open and 5 programs that i need to switch between to do work, would just be completely impossible to operate with touch and the metro interface. But what is even worse is that they are taking the unified user interface approach with the help of 3 separated operating systems. The best solution would obviously be the complete other way around, one operating system with different user interfaces for different screen sizes and user experiences. Like Anand wrote some time ago, they are doing what they did with Windows mobile, just in reverse.

    I'm quite sure WRT technically supports 1080p, but WP8 is definitely not. And when it comes to form factor it is clear that the user interface in WRT is designed for a ~10" horizontal device wheras WP8's user interface would work with smaller and vertically held tablets. But these are is just two small things why merging WRT and WP8 makes sense. The big things are obviously removal of duplicate developing, for Microsoft themselfs aswell as for developers, easier marketing, less confusion and easier adoption among consumers etc etc.
    Reply
  • Silent_Rage - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I believe this is the general idea behind Windows Blue. It should have happened last year, but I got the distinct feeling (based on various news stories) that Sinofsky was somehow delaying this or playing hardball with the WP division. It has to happen SOONER rather than later, that's for sure. Reply

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