The Display: Multiple Vendors, Nearly Identical to iPad 1

Apple built the iPad 2 with a similar 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 IPS panel as the original iPad. Side by side the two panels appear to have similar qualities in terms of brightness, black level and contrast ratio. Once we started measuring however we noticed a trend: there appear to be multiple panel vendors in play here.

Between Brian, Vivek, Manveer and myself we have four iPad 2s. Brian and I have two 3G models (AT&T and Verizon), while Vivek and Manveer have two WiFi models. All four are white and all four have 16GB of NAND. The results from our baseline display testing are below:

Display Quality Comparison
  White Level Black Level Contrast Ratio
Apple iPad 2 #1 (AT&T 3G) 406 nits 0.42 nits 966:1
Apple iPad 2 #2 (VZW 3G) 409 nits 0.49 nits 842:1
Apple iPad 2 #3 (WiFi) 352 nits 0.45 nits 778:1
Apple iPad 2 #4 (WiFi) 354 nits 0.41 nits 859:1

There seem to be two different values for white level: either around 400 nits or 350 nits. Black level is pretty variable between 0.41 nits and 0.49 nits, there doesn't seem to be a correlation between white and black levels in our admittedly limited sample size. For our display graphs we simply averaged all four together:

Display Brightness

Display Brightness

Display Contrast

On average the iPad 2 seems to be marginally brighter with a bit worse black levels than the original iPad, resulting in a lower contrast ratio. The display is pretty close to what was in the original iPad and very tough to tell apart. There's still a visible advantage in contrast ratio over the Motorola Xoom.

The GPU: PowerVR SGX 543MP2 WiFi + AT&T 3G


View All Comments

  • rom0n - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    The reason why Ipad webloading tests may be better is that it is missing flash. It is not rendering the full web page.
    Unless anandtech is using initial Xoom firmware without flash. The new android 3.0.1 brings Flash 10.2 as well as other performance and stability improvements.
  • tipoo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I was going to bring that up too. If the Xoom has Flash enabled, its numbers are more impressive. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    The test is run apples-to-apples, there's no Flash enabled :)

    Take care,
  • VivekGowri - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Apples to Androids? Reply
  • arthur449 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    zing! Reply
  • iwod - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I really hope the A9 is true. Since there are reports they are Dual Core A8. ( Yeah i know ARM doesn't have that basic design ). But if we get A9 now, there is every chance the Apple A6 will be A15 plus Power VR 6. ( The same as Sony Ericsson ) on there next iPhone / iPad.

    But why apple only said 2x CPU Power when clearly Dual Core 1Ghz A9 should be at least 2 - 3 times faster. And test results doesn't always show the IPC improvement in A9.
  • winterspan - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    There is no Cortex-A8 multi-core ... Its either a Cortex-A9 or a modified custom-core like Qualcomm's Snapdragon that is a bastard child of A8 and A9 that supports SMP.
    Given the fact that despite the Intrinsity/PA SEMI purchases, the iPad/iPhone ARM chips have all looked like standard Samsung ARM parts, I highly doubt the iPad 2 is running a custom core. It is far more likely it is a standard Cortex-A9, with some custom power IC and other stuff.

    Regarding the benchmarks, there are many other examples where going from Cortex-A8 to dual-core Cortex-A9 doesn't show >100% improvements...
  • metafor - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Because 2x the cores does not translate to 2x the performance under all but the tiniest fraction of circumstances. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    They were probably being conservative, as very few apps will scale 100% performance wise across both cores. Reply
  • LeTiger - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    "Other hardware chances are the addition of front and rear facing cameras for FaceTime and taking pictures, but unfortunately, they seem to be pieces lifted from the iPod touch and nothing near the iPhone 4's 5 megapixel shooter."

    "chances" might actually trying to be "changes"?

    Just a thought. Thanks again for the write ups lately, It felt ridiculously relieving to get Anand's take on the new mbp and ipad line, I felt like I couldn't trust any other news site's objectivity until I had the scoop with Anandtech :) (and as always, this is the only place I go for legitimate reviews with ACTUAL analysis instead of spec-chimping)

    Keep em' coming!

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