The Tablet Conundrum - Part 3 - Geek Guru

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The Tablet Conundrum – Part 3


In this instalment of the Geek Guru blog, we take a look at the various types and resolutions of screens available on tablets.


Most tablets now come with an IPS panel display, which is a type of LCD. This type of display has been in development now since the late 90s and had advanced quite far, it offers improved viewing angles and better contrast than a standard LCD screen, and also no “trailing”, which is what happens when you touch a regular TFT LCD display. Super AMOLED, OLED and Apple’s Retina (which is based on IPS) are other similar quality types of competing technology, all offering something slightly different.

IPS panels, including Apple’s Retina displays, offer better longevity, which is often paramount for tablet users. These types of LCD display can withstand many thousands of hours of use without degrading. They offer accurate colour reproduction, but this can be “tuned down” in order to increase power efficiency.

OLED and Super AMOLED screens are more often used in smartphones than tablets (Super AMOLED is just the name of Samsung’s iteration of OLED technology). This is because they have better power efficiency, only requiring power to display white and colours – the default state for them is black, so to display a black area requires no energy. They are often brighter than LCD / IPS displays, although their colour accuracy is lower, and they sometimes suffer from overly saturated green levels.

You’ll likely be looking at tablets between 7” – 10”, and while the resolution of 7” tablets at the budget end can be as low as 800×480, most decent 7” tablets will now come with 1280×800 resolution displays. Resolution determines how crisp and clear things are on a given size screen, but with different sizes of screen available, a better measure of clarity and image quality is pixel density, often known as “PPI” or Pixels Per Inch. The greater this number, the better quality the image will be (as images are displayed using pixels, the greater the number of pixels in an inch of screen space, the better quality the image will be). Because of the varying sizes of screen, resolution has become a confusing way to compare tablets, and most mainstream manufacturers now include the pixel density of their screens to allow people to compare with other manufacturers and models.

200+ is a good PPI number to aim for on budget tablets (with many 7” models coming in at around 216 PPI), whereas with mid-range and high-end tablets, you’ll be looking more around the mid or high 200s, with the iPad Air sitting at 264 PPI and the new Nexus 10 coming in at 300 PPI.

The display is often the most expensive single component in a tablet, so you really get what you pay for. There are some good deals from various manufacturers, but generally speaking – the higher the cost, the better the screen will be.

Next time we’ll be looking at different screen sizes and the various types of covering material they have to protect them – and what may best suit your tablet usage type.


If you’d like more help, advice or information on choosing a tablet, if you’d like to discuss joining one of our support packages, or if you’d like to talk about anything else IT-related with us, give us a call or drop us an email!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at

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Posted on by Emily
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