As a result of the standout performance of the new iPad's screen, we have recalibrated our standard of excellence for tablet screens. The iPad alone now receives an excellent overall score for display quality. A number of current models, including the iPad 2 (which remains on sale and is a fine performer), that received excellent scores under the past standard will now be adjusted to receive very good scores overall. Likewise, some models that received good scores may also be adjusted downward, and some overall scores have changed slightly.
The new iPad's display does, in at least some applications, serve to magnify imperfections in content designed for lower screen resolution. For example, some text in e-magazines looks worse on the new device than on the iPad 2, as others, including PC World, have noted. Publishers who offer iPad editions, including Consumer Reports, are still weighing how to balance the advantages of increased visual resolution with drawbacks, including lengthening the already considerable time required to download an e-magazine to the device.
On balance, however, the screen quality of the new iPad is a significant plus, especially given the likelihood that content will increasingly rise in resolution to take advantage of it.