We all know the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet can't compete with the iPad when it comes to overall performance and functionality. They're not designed to--at $200 and $250, they cost far less than Apple's industry-leading device. All three have one thing in common, however: IPS displays. The display technology experts over at DisplayMate have stacked many tablets up against the iPad 2's IPS screen, and few have been able to compete.
This time around, DisplayMate compared the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet to the iPad and made a surprising discovery: Barnes & Noble picked a fantastic piece of glass for the Nook. Turns out the $250 Nook Tablet has the lowest screen reflectance of any tablet they've tested--and it absolutely blows the Kindle Fire's screen out of the water.
The Nook Tablet had 28 percent lower screen reflectance than the iPad 2 and a better greyscale than most HDTVs DisplayMate had tested.
DisplayMate found that the Kindle Fire had the one of the most reflective screen of any tablet they'd tested, despite Amazon's claims of an anti-reflective treatment. The screen was more than twice as reflective as the Nook Tablet and 70 percent more reflective than the iPad 2. And that was just the beginning of the Fire's problems: the greyscale was poorly calibrated, and the Gallery app only displays in 16-bit color (which is a problem that has exited in Android since the beginning).
The Nook Tablet, on the other hand, had 28 percent lower screen reflectance than the iPad 2 and a better greyscale than most HDTVs DisplayMate had tested. Only the white balance was slightly too yellow--the Kindle Fire's screen came closer to a neutral white tone. The Nook matched or outperformed the other two tablets in almost every other category.
DisplayMate noted that the Nook Tablet's user interface needed a lot of work, but at least the display is sound. If you've been considering one for Android hacking, the Nook Tablet looks like it's worth the extra $50.