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
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  • retnuh - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    Last I read it was a production issue, they wouldn't be able to make enough Qi screens to fill Apple's demand. That seems to be an issue for AMOLED displays as well.

    Anyone know actual numbers on this?
    Reply
  • AverageCustomer - Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - link

    Just a heads-up for all those who live in belgium and are planning to buy an iPad: people always praise Apple customer services.

    But in Belgium, things are not as rosy: Apple does not have stores in the country, they have "Associates". And they have a return policy VERY different from what I have read everywhere.

    I have purchased an iPad 2, unfortunately it suffers from the "backlight bleeding" issue everyone has been talking about on the Apple Forums. (And, to those who doubt, yes it is a real issue. I love Apple products, but defects happen.)

    So I went to exchange it, thinking: "Ok, I got a dud. No big deal. I'll get another one, and that will be the end of it."

    Not possible, according to the store! They HAVE to send all Apple items for repair, and it takes 3 weeks to get a new one!

    The guy in the Apple section of the store then had the nerve to tell me that I should have taken an AppleCare plan to get a replacement in 48 hours!

    All that for a product that was defective right out of the box!!

    So, if you are planning to buy apple gear, and live in Belgium... Watch out. NOT the same quality of service as in France, or elsewhere.
    Reply

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