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I bought two different cheap android tablets, in the process of buying a dozen for my company. I haven't had much experience with them before and there's one thing that's bugging me.

I downloaded a few simple apps that show the screen resolution, and the values are 768x976 (portrait) and 1024x720 (landscape). The devices are advertised as 1024x768 (4:3) and indeed, they look 4:3.

What's going on here? Are the devices lying in their specs? Are the apps inaccurate? Is this because the apps omit parts of the screen that can't be used for apps?

The devices aren't well known but for reference, they are: Dinosaur Dino 9.97 and a Go On Touch DC97 IPS 9.7.

The apps I tried are: ScreenSpecs, Screen Resolution and Screen Resolution (same name).

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"Why?" questions are rarely good here, and often lead to speculations, as most likely in your example. The obvious answer is the manufacturer advertised the wrong values -- but why he did so, and how that happened, etc., is nothing we can answer here. –  Izzy Feb 27 '13 at 14:30
    
Thanks for the edit. To clarify, the correct answer can be that the manufacturer advertised the wrong values, I'm not seeking an answer as to why they did so. Since I'm new to android devices, and since I tested two different devices with three different apps, I just assumed there was some known fact about how screen resolution is measured in these apps that would explain this difference. Knowing whether it's more likely that the advertised values are wrong is relevant to me in order to decide whether to return them. –  Smig Feb 27 '13 at 14:42
    
Ah! I see. I recommend then you re-phrase your question (including its title) accordingly. Your comment looks much clearer :) Though I'm not sure if that's really an Android related question, and not a general hardware or a development topic (which both would it make off topic here, see our tiny FAQ). –  Izzy Feb 27 '13 at 14:49
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You haven't specified the Android version, but on tablets the difference is generally because the system bar (or "combined bar") is 48px (specifically, 48dpi, but in your case that's 48 real pixels) and the apps are only considering available screen space when they report the resolution:

  • Portrait = 768 x (976 + 48) = 768 x 1024
  • Landscape = 1024 x (720 + 48) = 1024 x 768

Some references:

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That makes a lot of sense, and thanks for the very complete answer! –  Smig Feb 27 '13 at 17:01
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