Surface is built around a 10.6-inch HD display with Microsoft's ClearType subpixel rendering technology. According to Microsoft, technology in this custom-made display makes it impossible for the human eye to distinguish individual pixels when held at the optimal distance of 17 inches, less than an arm's length. Sounds a little like Apple's jargon with regard to Retina. Put plainly, the Surface display supports 1,366 x 768, and that ain't much. While Apple makes similar vision-related claims about its Retina display, its 9.7-inch IPS panel puts out 2,048 x 1,536. That calculates to 264 pixels per inch compared with Surface's meager 148. The difference to the human eye can indeed be striking. Apple provides the greater value here.
Incidentally, Microsoft in its initial marketing statements said that it planned to protect its panel with Corning's Gorilla Glass 2.0, a boast that Apple too often used about several of its products. Both companies have since removed such language from their websites.