Reflections on the iPad's Screen

(aka The most loved and hated screen)

One of the most beautiful aspects of the iPad is its screen, glossy, large, beautiful, vibrant color. It is a sight to behold and one of the first things that draws people to the iPad. As gorgeous and wondrous as it is, the screen is also one of the most hated parts of the iPad. Yet there isn’t much anyone can do about it, yet.

Glossy screens give deeper blacks and more saturated colors (just think back to those laptops of 5 years ago with the anti-reflective coatings and how amazed you were the first time you saw a glossy screened laptop), the consumers have spoken and glare is an acceptable trade off for these beautiful glossy screens. Besides who really computes outdoors?

I do, or tried too.

I work from home on Fridays, I live on the top floor of a southwest facing condo with a large balcony. Now in Seattle that means I get sun (if there is sun) all day long, which is great. Since I have a Macbook Pro with a glossy screen I can’t take it outdoors. In the past on Fridays I had spent lunch on the balcony reading my Kindle. Now I have the iPad (wife took the Kindle) and so I went out to the balcony on this beautifully sunny day. Guess what?

I could not see the screen at all.

I tried dozens of positions and angles to try and make the device usable. I found a few, but none that were comfortable enough to use for an extended period of time. I came inside and started writing this.

If you want the bottom line on the iPad here it is: the iPad’s worst feature is also one of it’s biggest marketing features, it is the screen. It is a fingerprint magnet, it is a glare monster, but it is amazingly clear, crisp, vibrant, and beautiful.

Even with all it’s drawbacks, I would not want a matte screen, nor will I put on an anti-glare film. It is too pretty to mess with.

I hate this screen for so many reasons, but the good far out weighs the bad.

Originally posted for members on: May 9, 2010
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