iPad 2 has the best display

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The first thing you notice about a tablet is its display. Even when a tablet is powered down, its display is what jumps out first, since the screen is the most dominant part. The quality of the display is a critical component of a tablet, just as image quality is essential to any screen, be it for a laptop, a monitor, a smartphone, or even an HDTV.

I’ve had dozens of tablets cross my desk, and their display quality has varied dramatically. When I look at a tablet’s display quality, I judge it on a number of criteria: brightness, color accuracy, contrast, and image clarity. The last point is a tricky one, as it covers image sharpness and detail as well as text sharpness, areas that can be influenced by how well a mobile operating system renders those elements in software.

Rewind to the debut of the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets–those early models running Android 3.0 all suffered from a bug that caused digital images to render improperly in Google’s Gallery app, the default program for viewing pictures. Images looked fuzzy, with little detail. Google quietly fixed the bug later, in Android 3.1; nevertheless, image reproduction could be better, and the Gallery still natively displays images in just 16-bit color.

So where does that leave the discerning buyer hoping to get the best tablet display possible? To find out, the PCWorld Labs lined up eight tablets and compared their image quality side by side.

Head over to the website to see the comparison

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