New iPad Pro 9.7 “Best Performing LCD Display”

Along with full support for not only sRGB/Rec.709 but the latest the DCI-P3 color gamut (used in DCI Digital Cinema) Dr. Ray Soneira’s latest DisplayMate shoot-out proclaims Apple’s new iPad Pro 9.7 as “by far the best performing LCD display” selling to date. Many new display performance records were set by this device according to Soneira, who emphasized the color accuracy for both color gamuts (very accurate, see chart) the low screen reflectance and high brightness plus the display’s excellent performance (particularly contrast) in ambient lighting conditions.

Here’s the quote from the report’s conclusion, “A truly impressive and top performing display and major upgrade to the (9.7-inch) display on the iPad Air2. It is by far the best performing mobile LCD display that we have ever tested and breaks many display performance records,” Soneira writes. Top among those metrics reached include the dual gamut support and dead-on absolute color accuracy (see second chart) with a JNCD (just noticeable color difference) that is “visually indistinguishable from perfect, and is very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, Soneira 2TV or UHD TV,” Soneira said.

Another impressive metric reached by Apple’s new 9.7 iPad Pro came in the screen reflectance performance. This measures the all important screen readability, particularly in high ambient lighting conditions, including outdoors. A new AR (anti-reflective) coating used by Apple on the display means the device reflects just 1.7% of the ambient light, “…so its image colors and contrast in high ambient light will appear considerably better than any other mobile display,” the report concludes.

This is no trivial matter, according to Soneira. He considers this a “major enhancement that reduces the reflected light glare from the screen by a very impressive factor of 3 to 1 compared to most tablets and smartphones. Reflected ambient light washes out the on-screen images, reducing both their contrast and color saturation,” he said.

The key metric benchmarks established by the new 9.7-inch display:

  • Highest absolute color accuracy for any display for both color gamuts (1.35 JNCD)
  • lowest screen reflectance for any mobile display (1.7 percent)
  • highest peak brightness in a full size tablet for any picture level (511 nits)
  • highest contrast rating in high ambient light (301)
  • smallest color variation with viewing angle (all u
  • nder 2.0 JNCD)

The Apple iPad Pro upgrade including the new 9.7-inch diagonal display, uses an IPS photo aligned LCD with the latest metal oxide TFT backplane. The tablet uses a 24-bit color, 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution panel, (3.1 Mega Pixels or a 264 pixel per inch) set in a 4:3 format. The device support a multi-touch screen and uses ambient light sensors, 3-Axis accelerometer, gyro and digital compass plus a Bosch Sensortec (BMP280) barometer sensor.

Analyst Comment

Soneira1So major results from the DisplayMate lab tests conclude Apple (and its trusted vendors) successfully reached the lofty display metrics in the DisplayMate shoot-out, that has become a benchmark goal for most display device manufacturers. Soneira applies a consistent battery of comprehensive and objective scientific lab tests that have tracked the progress of our most popular and beloved devices. For Apple its latest iPad Pro is no exception, delivering an off-the-charts display that tops them all. Kudos to the Apple display team, and its vendors for this groundbreaking work, and (OK, even Ray Soneira) for his consistent work in bringing this to our attention – Steve Sechrist

The fact that Apple can make such a good product with a P3 gamut highlights the disappointing decision by the UltraHD Alliance in specifying its UltraHD Premium logo, to mandate only 90% of P3. I can see the TV advertising now. “Check out our new super premium TV – it’s at least 90% as good as your iPad!”. (BR)