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back to article Raised res iPad 2 to sport four-core chip?

First out of the starting gate this Monday morning: iPad 2 speculation has gone into overdrive, with talk of a dual-core processor and a quadrupling of the 10.1in display's pixel count. That would take the tablet's screen resolution to a whopping 2048 x 1536, higher than a full HD TV. The rumour started with a piece on Endgadet …

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Anonymous Coward

Idle speculation

Can't we just wait until the next iPad actually arrives and then discuss the specifications?

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Why not?

It makes a lot of sense to discuss the options given that many so called "iPad killers" will probably be released at the same time as the iPad 2.

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@idle speculation

Oh come on! You can't possibly be complaining about this. The ONLY reason for an iPad/Googlepad release is the months of fanciful speculation that it engenders.

That and the Fanbois/Fandroid handbagging.

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JDX
Gold badge

2048 x 1536

I don't get it. This resolution is high for a 20" PC monitor, what possible point is there in making a small screen so hi-res? Is it just a numbers game to boast the highest res, or is there any practical use?

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Gold badge

Remote desktop

If you want to remotely control a desktop computer then it is very handy.

It also makes full HD possible and 3D games would look amazing, so long as there's enough grunt in the 3D chip.

But I'm not sure how feasible it is.

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Ksfghvb

Um, it makes things easier to read because everything is dramatically clearer and reduces the need for anti-aliasing. Also, with this type of device - phones in particular - you tend to have the screen closer to your face than a monitor, which makes lower resolutions much more noticeable.

Whether or not the proposed resolution in the article is technically possible (at a reasonable cost of manufacture) for that sized screen is another matter altogether though!

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Anonymous Coward

As I understand it...

I believe that the simple doubling of display resolutions means that anyone who has written bitmap/fixed resolution software to the size of the old iPad's screen can still run it with no scaling problems on the new iPad.

It's a ludicrous resolution, I agree, though.

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Coffee/keyboard

Practical use

Yes the practical use is that in a Android versus Apple wank off the iPad user will be able to have the bigger wank after frustratingly gasping numbers and specs at each other in a who's better contest, albeit short lived due to a bigger and better tablet from an Android-using vendor which will reverse the favoured and chosen one in the top-trump-spec-tout-wank-a-thon...

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Bronze badge

You could say the same

...for the iPhone 4. I was stunned when I first saw that 960x640 screen. Surely Apple should arrange things such that sizes scale nicely from Phone to Pad? A 1920x1280 would seem like a good size for the new iPad - and it would support HD video better than a 2048x1536 (this size is known as "2K" in my industry)?

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Paris Hilton

Thanks St. Jobs

Finally, it will make for a nice expensive Photo Frame costing more than £1000, plus monthly tethering and beholden to the Jobs Mobs for 24 months.

What a wonderful feeling will that be.

Paris, I dont mind being beholden to her!

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Gold badge

Erm

iPad 1 is £429 and requires no contract of any kind. So I don't know where you get your £1000+ pricing and contract ideas from.

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like the article

it was tongue in cheek and specultive

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@jdx

They've run out of things to do with the software (apart from make more revenue) so they up the hardware spec. A large chunk of Apple buyers have no idea about the technicals....

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Toss

er

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Troll

Re: Toss

It takes wan to know wan

ker.

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FAIL

huh?

They're just getting started on software. Launch page, data aggregation, a user addressable file system, much more printer control, a widget interface in addition to app back-grounding, significantly enhanced cloud integration, Exchange calendar support/meeting creation, enhanced security features, better app management, they have a LOT to do with software yet. You incorrectly assume they're married to the current UI, and much of what i just mentioned would even still work with the current one.

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Made from unicorns!

Yes, a 2048x1536 resolution, Oct-core CPU, 128GB RAM, 10.1" screen and powered by a unicorn tear and blood battery mixture.

With that out of the way I've got to wonder not only who makes this shit up but also why somewhat sensible people report them even as rumour. 2048x1536? Higher resolution than 'Full HD' TVs on a 10 inch screen, right? Even if it was made from the specs I put up above it'll still be an Apple controlled device with the artificial limits imposed by Stewpid Jobs and his ego. I've no doubt it'll be the best <superlative> ever when it's announced too. I mean look at the original, it's magical!

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Anonymous Coward

Full HD

isn't particularly high definition, it looks ok from across the room, but sit 2-3 feet away room it and you'll soon see how low it is for large tvs. The rise of HD has actually lowered the resolution of computer monitors, because 720p/1080p screens are much cheaper due to their availability.

I have a 1080p display on my 15inch laptop and it's software that's the issue more than anything else, forcing things too small.

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Happy

re:2048 x 1536

JDS,

Beyond 1080p i can't see any other practical use,

There might be a marketing reason the "retina display" moniker.

Otherwise it's mainly a way of telling the Android crowd to go back to the Shanzai scene where they belong.

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FAIL

Why not 1920x1080?

ie 1080p resolution, or if they insist on a 4:3 screen, 1920 x 1440 (which would allow for a full-size 1080p video and still some room for on-screen controls).

2048 x 1536 will result in up-scaling artifacts when playing HD video. On a media-consumption device, I'd have thought that 1080p video would be the main selling-point of improving the resolution.

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1920x1440

you are closer to the mark that 2048x1536, althougth my money is on 1920x1280.

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Stop

Wrong Aspect Ratio

To avoid a nasty scaling mess the resolution needs to be an integer multiplier of the existing iPad (as the iPhone 4 was 2x of the iPhone 3) therefore I think 2048x1536 is much more likely than a widescreen resolution (1920x1280) OR a non-integer scale of a 4:3 resolution (1920x1440).

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Wrong Aspect Ratio

and yet the iphone4 has a resolution of 960x640.........................

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and?

the iPhone has always been a different aspect ratio to the iPad BUT has always been the same aspect ratio

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no, it does not

Scaling was a concern going from very low res on 3.5" to full res on 10" however, most apps already look great on 10", so bumping the res more has little impact. Also, the majority of apps are only using bitmaps in either low end apps or in higher end ones for launch screens etc. Your desktop scales just about everything and you hardly notice. Scaling on an iPad to a higher resolution will produce artifacts, sure, but they'll be damned heard to see since the resolution at 10" is already sufficient to ignore pixel density.

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Your point being?

... Which is a 2x scale of the 480x320 original iPhones.

iPads came after iPhones and can have dedicated apps if devs so wish.

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do you want to explain that line of thought?

it has always been the same, BUT, it has always been the same..........

i'm a little confused. :)

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Black Helicopters

Anyone else get the feeling...

...that increasingly these rumours and "leaks" are slipped out not by Apple, its suppliers or sellers, but by Apple's competitors?

Why?

Well, increasingly these rumours are more and more outlandish, more and more fanciful, and increasingly the real product fails to meet those imposible specs.

Which means that people who are hyped up for a few weeks of "It'll contain everything plus TWO kitchen sinks AND a butler" see the iNewRelease only having a kitchen sink and none of the other goodies and get disappointed - disappointment with Apple then leads them to look elsewhere for products which they would not have looked for had their expectations not been unrealistically hyped.

Heck, if I were trying to compete with Apple, it's a strategy I'd give serious consideration to as being the one way to sour people's view of Apple, causing them not to look closely at their products, and then sweep in with mine.

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Silver badge

A tidal wave of tablets is coming

Large numbers of tablets with features virtually analogous to the iPad will be appearing this year and I expect they'll start turning up in the $200-300 range, nearly half what an iPad costs.

Given that, I wonder how Apple will justify the price of it's product. Is it going to produce a budget model or is it going to cram in stupidly high spec performance to keep it's margins up? If the latter, then I expect there could be some credence to the rumours, but then again I question the point of such high specs. I think I would be more interested to see an iPad with a high contrast mode like Pixel Qi or similar, since that would be of more practical benefit of jacking up the screen resolution.

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RE: A Tidal Wave of tablets...

"Large numbers of tablets with features virtually analogous to the iPad will be appearing this year and I expect they'll start turning up in the $200-300 range, nearly half what an iPad costs."

Interesting but wrong. The reason why there were no iPad competitors last year is that all the companies were under the impression that the iPad would cost $999. They were so shocked at the $499 price that NONE of the devices shown at CES last year were shipped within 6 months of the demo and those that were met the market with a resounding plop.

"Given that, I wonder how Apple will justify the price of it's product."

The price will be $499. That is reasonable for a device that ships with iOS on a large screen. The question really is how can the competition hit a lower price given the cost of production. Samsung with their Galaxy Tab required carrier subsidies to hit the price - and they make a lot of the components for the iPad.

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You're kidding I hope

I'm not sure why you think $499 is the minimum that a functional tablet should cost. An Archos 101 offers a 10" capactive touchscreen, wifi, multimedia, browsing etc. and costs nearly half the cost of an iPad. That's here right now and is just a herald of things to come. In the next couple of quarters there will be a flood of Android 3.0 devices at all price points (cheap and expensive) and I guarantee you some of them will be compelling and much cheaper an iPad.

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FAIL

O RLY?

"An Archos 101 offers a 10" capactive touchscreen, wifi, multimedia, browsing etc. and costs nearly half the cost of an iPad. "

On amazon a 16 gig ipad costs $511, a 16 gig archos 101 costs $454.

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I don;t think thats what he meant

I think he meant the new iPad 2 would be $499. That sounds eminently reasonable for a multi-core higher res device with an SD slot, more RAM, lighter weight, and more. Also, there's no reason the believe the 1st Gen will leave the market (the 3GS is still sold after all), and it could easily fall to $299 at this point (in fact, Jobs himself said on stage a year ago the iPad pricing was experimental, and if the market demanded, it was highly flexible). iFixit estimated less than a $250 build cost a year ago.

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@a_been

Well don't buy it on Amazon then. In the UK Dabs sells an 101 8Gb for £252, while Apple's 16Gb iPad retails from the Apple store for £439. In the US, NewEgg sells a 101 8Gb or $295, Apple's store sells a 16Gb iPad for $499.

Before you go harumphing that 8Gb != 16Gb, or that it's not exactly half, I never said it to compare like with like. What I said you could get a functional tablet costing nearly half and the Archose was the example I chose to illustrate what will happen over the course of this year. Functional and affordable tablets will continue to appear that significantly undercut the price of an iPad.

Jesus some people are so frigging sensitive.

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Doesn't seem likely

Doubling the resolution doesn't seem very likely to me.

But, looking through my previous comments, I remembered that I commented the exact same thing before, when the iPhone 4 was rumoured to have a doubled resolution - and that turned out to be true.

I'm on the fence on this one.

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FAIL

Choices

Apple like to surprise the market. I'm not sure what I prefer - announcements *way* in advance (e.g. RIM Playbook) or Apple's shock tactics.

Parts suppliers could be in a game of one-upmanship - each claiming to have been given a contract to supply their component.

Those reporting these stories - remember, many will say Apple's devices are overpriced - however, in the volumes they sell, they still need to be affordable (even if only by 20% of the population).

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Stop

A5 is such an inappropriate name.

ARM already sells IP for a processor it calls Cortex A5. It's a small in-order processor which (like its A9 contemporary) can be deployed in a 2-4 core SMP system and is binary compatible with all the bells and whistles of ARMv7 architecture. There's going to be a lot of inappropriate compiler flags set if we end up with these two conflicting names.

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A4 -> A3

To avoid confusion, and to go with the doubling rumour, how about going from A4 to A3 (like the paper sizes)?

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Thumb Up

The lastest iOS beta contains ipad @2x images

I was extremely skeptical, but it seems apple forgot to remove some of the new ipad's graphics from the iOS 4.3 beta. They are indeed double the resolution, which gives this rumour a whole lot more credence.

Besides the display they're going to need 4x the graphics power to run it at the same speed. And guess what? The rumoured new SGX chip has 2x the power. But it's rumoured to come in a dual-core variant, which exists, and would indeed give 4x the performance required. Drivers for this chip are present in the new beta too.

So I think the insane screen res and dual graphics cores are actually likely. Dual core cpu too? Dunno, but that's certainly feasible.

And to anyone wondering why such a crazy screen res: use an iphone 4 for a bit. The difference it makes is enormous. You no longer see pixels. Text is incredibly sharp and easy to read even at small sizes. You see a ton more detail in photos, games etc. Going back to a lower res screen feels like going back in time. I used a friend's ipad a while back - it looked really pixelated after an iphone.

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2048x1536? Don't be daft..

I have two 2048x1536 monitors - they're 22" CRTs. The nearest equivalent TFT is a Dell U2711 at 2560x1440 costing 700 quid..

(Whenever people lambast me for keeping with an 'out of date' technology, I point out that 2x100 pound refurbished CRTs is a lot cheaper than close to 1.5K..)

How sensible is it to expect that a tablet with an extremely healthy profit margin is not only going to feature a hideously expensive very high pixel density panel, plus uprate the processor and graphics chipset to cope with it, and unnecessarily limit what software runs on the system.

It doesn't make sense - far more sensible to improve the display slightly, and run a faster graphics chip so that new applications become possible.

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Stop

I'm Afraid...

...that your CRTs can't actually display 2048x1536 pixels. Check out your dot pitch and do the maths or, better yet, view a 2048x1536 zone plate on them.

Typing this on a MacPro with two 2560x1600 displays. Which are simply too big and too hot, IMO.

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Yes, but CRTs aren't TFTs

Granted, you're right, and probably they should be run at a lower resolution - either the max 'standard' 1600x1200 which is well under the fully resolved dot pitch, or 1920x1440 which is just a nudge over what's probably possible.

However, it looks fine (if slightly small at times) due to the analogue nature of CRT. TFT scalers are better than they used to be, but missing out the occasional pixel will tend to have a much more jarring effect.

It might be a different matter if I was doing colour critical media editing, but fortunately I'm not.

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Jobs Horns

It makes sense

I believe these specs make sense if you look at what Apple has as its marketing strategy.

They always have to have something new and something "cool".

iOS is not very cool anymore, Android has already reached that level. There is no new software/interface invention easy to implement and missing from the competitors (like multi-touch, accelerometer, gyroscope...etc).

So they can only bump up the specs to remain stand out from the crowd.

- The quad-core Cortex-A9 processor with dual graphics cores would stand out from the Tegra2/OMAP4 offerings

- The retina display would also be unique in the 10" segment

- The camera and the SD slots are just simple damage management of the iPad1.

They would simply make the iPad1 cheaper (say $300-400 as a low-end iPad) and sell the iPad2 a bit more expensive ($700-1000) making it the high-end iPad.

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Welcome

Not sure about that

They don't compete on spec in the laptop space? Would be surprised if they got into that game with the iPad because at some point they may no longer be able to win on those terms. I hope I am wrong, I would love the retina display on the iPad.

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Happy

internesting thing you bring up...

They don't compete in the laptop space... but, a 2GB RAM 4 core ARM with some GPU oomph might actually be enough to run full OS X, iTunes and iPhoto included (maybe not iMovie), and basic functions. Os X is already compiled to run on ARM (has been for a long time inside Apple HQ, they admitted that with the Intel launch and then again at the iPhone launch), and we could actually see that with this CPU,. an 11" ultra-compact Apple "netbook" could some in around $500-600. That, or a heavily redesigned Mini around $350.

I wonder if "one more thing" could be an apple low end machine, or even just a docking clam for the iPad allowing it to access mroe storage and dual-boot Os X. A $300 add-on to make it a notebook, including full keyboard and that glorious track pad, that would be awesome.

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FAIL

Yeah, right

What a ludicrous rumour - there's about as much chance of them doubling the iPad's resolution from its original specs as there is of them doubling the iPhones's resolution from its original specs. It's never going to happen.

The iPad is just a fad anyway. It's never going to sell.

And you know what - Apple hardware is overpriced!!! It's all hype, and hipsters with too much money. This needs to be said!

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FAIL

Not a single bite?

Still awaiting someone to bite on this...

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Rinse, repeat...

Isn't it always the same since the iPhone? Apple comes with something that sells great. All others try to copy what Apple did and make it bit cheaper, smaller, with more options and call it an "iWhatever"-killer. Then Apple comes with the next iteration, again besting everything on the market. Repeat.

So, yes. I think there is no doubt that the iPad 2 will come with a print-like resolution screen very much like the iPhone 4. The rather low-res, coarse screen is just the only thing that's still ugly about the iPad, especially since the iPhone screen looks so much better (I'm currently reading Iain Bank's "Surface Detail" on it. Lovely screen. It's the first time I actually prefer a serif font for reading on a screen, it just looks like print).

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Silver badge

Re: Idle speculation

I agree. Why does Apple get lots of rumour articles when it's just vaporware, when actual releases of more popular mobile platforms don't get any article (e.g., every netbook release, or Nokia and Android phones).

"If you want to remotely control a desktop computer then it is very handy."

Not really, remote desktop is capable of scaling with different resolutions. There's no point keeping a very high resolution on a small display that you can't see anything on. (Does the Ipad actually support remote desktop?)

It's just numbers bragging. Consider how for years, the Iphones had a very low resolution compared to other phones, and no one seemed to cared about this, but as soon as the Iphone 4s had a higher resolution, suddenly it was a marketing point.

But anyhow, this Istale or whatever it's going to be called is all just vaporware at the moment. I might as well claim the existence of an AmigaSlate, with 8 core processor and 640000x512000 resolution and 16 billion colours, and then justify the hype by referring to all other tablets as "so called 'AmigaSlate Killers'"...

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AMIGASLATE!!

Where can I get one???

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