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back to article 3m iPad 3 'retina' screens sent to Apple by month's end

Apple's next iPad will indeed feature a 2048 x 1536 "retina" display - if an Asian whisperer is right to say LG, Samsung and Sharp have already shipped more than one million such screens to the fruit-flavoured firm. This month, claims the mole, they will ship two million units to Apple, DigiTimes says. Separate reports have it …

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Hardly retina display

A 2048 x 1536 resolution on a 9.7" screen only gives a dpi of 264. Hardly retina display like the iPhone 4/4S.

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The calculation is a little more complex than that. You have to factor in the distance the screen is away from the eye. Certainly I hold my iPad at a greater distance than my iPhone.

So (without being arsed to do the actual calculation myself), that may well put 264dpi into the realm of 'retina' (the marketing term), whereby the pixels are indistinguishable from one another.

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Maybe not

Apple's retina display claim is that 300ppi at 12" is the maximum that the eye can resolve. The iPhone's display is 336 ppi.

300 pi at 12" gives 57 arcseconds per pixel. To get the same angle at 264ppi, the equivalent distance would be 348mm (almost 14").

I'd say that it is reasonable to expect an iPad to be held a few inches further away than a phone.

There may well be a fault in my hasty calculations, but I don't have time to double check.

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Childcatcher

TVs

Heh, TVs always seem doomed to lag behind. Just when they start getting to a reasonable resolution of 1920 x 1080 along comes an iPad with this astonishing concentration of pixels.

As a logic check, though, I thought that the point of naming it the retina display was that they belived that it was at about the maximum resolution your eye could perceive? If so, surely these extra pixels will be wasted? Or is the retina display only on iPhones at the moment?

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Gold badge

True, but then I don't watch my 42" TV while sitting 12 inches away from it.

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Coat

TV Resolution

TV resolution has been lagging behind for quite a while. NTSC or PAL has had sub 640x480 quality since inception, however, most computers have had minimum of 640x480 since 1990. It wasn't until 720i and the like rolled along that we got anything better. The nice thing was the push for TVs to be 1080p (and LCD) that killed CRTs and improved computer resolution for the mainstream from the old 1280x1024 (at best) to a more default 1366x768 (cheapos) or the 1920x1080. Still not the optimal (for now) 1920x1200, but it is still better than what we had just in 2001.

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Silver badge

You've got to admire their business acumen

Sell them a iPad2 for Christmas

Make it obsolete at New Year so you can sell them a new one.

I really hope this leads to a push to higher res screens becoming more generally available. There just aren't enough pixels. 1920x1200 screens have been around on laptops for a decade, but seem to be dropped in favour of low-res 1920x1080 so called HD screens. What we needs is more pixels not less.

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Gold badge

As apposed to HTC who release a new phone every 6 months or so?

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Anonymous Coward

Retina displays

A retina display is defined by Apple as a display with a pixel density that is the maximum that a human eye can distinguish *at the normal viewing distance for that screen*.

The iphone is typically viewed at a distance of, IIRC, ~12 inches, and the maximum pixel density that the human eye can distinguish at that distance is ~300, so the iphones density of 326 makes it a "Retina" display.

The iPad is typical held rather further away from the eye, where the maximum pixel density that the human eye can distiguish is a bit lower, so a retina screen for an iPad presumably only needs to be >250ish to do the same job.

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JDX
Gold badge

Hooray

More pixels to drain the battery and strain the CPU.

We don't need it. 1600x1200 (or 1900x1200) on PCs has been fine for a decade because nobody wants more unless they have a giant screen, even though GPUs will drive more than that. Even gamers spending £2k on their rig are happy with it.

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Gold badge

There's a good reason for it. Pixel doubling and dimension doubling is dead easy to implement. It's what Palm did on their PDAs when they went from 160x160 to 320x320.

If you go from 1024x768 to 1280x1024 (as an example) or similar then every pixel has to be multiplied by 1.25 and fractional scaling is ugly and a pain in the ass.

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The trouble with PCs is that their OS can't really make any use of higher resolutions, everything gets smaller with the smaller pixels and while you can cram more toolbars and icons and windows onto the screen there are tight limits to that since you still need to be able to read and click all these tiny things. A netbook running Windows on a 10" screen with 2048x1536 pixels would be just unusable and totally pointless.

The iPad goes the other way, the UI and fonts and everything stays at the same (absolute) sizes, the OS just uses more pixels to render buttons and icons and text, making everything look better and more sharp and clean. Around 300 DPI is what you want to have for things printed on paper and there is no reason to not want to have the same kind of detail and smoothness on a display, really.

It's very much like b/w displays against colour back then: At first it seems like a gaudy gimmick, but go back after getting used to see colours and you see there's something missing.

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Thumb Down

Correction

YOU don't need it. Yet another person standing up and claiming to speak for everyone, hooray.

I've got a computer with 2 x 23" 1920x1080 screens in portrait and 1 x 21" 1680x1050 screen in landscape, and would love to replace the smaller with a proper 27" 2560x1440 job.

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Silver badge

You might be happy with low res screens

But some of us do work where we would really find it useful to have a lot more pixels on the screen.

Mostly gamers don't need lots of pixels, they need high screen drawing rates.

Everyone is likely to have different needs, but their are a lot of people who'd find the ability to display a lot more information on the screen a real boon.

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Bronze badge

Retina bigger and even more Cretina?

Whilst those with the small screened iPhone 4 versions will buy into it, making it Retina is making it exclusive but pointless for most.

Obviously the low resolution screen needs improving but even a more likely 1600 X 1200 is just too much for that size.

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Facepalm

Here in China...

People put plastic protection over their display (anti-glare/reflection) which dulls the display and makes the term 'retina type display' moot.

I bought the Galaxy tab 10.1 and forgot to tell them to put a 'normal' layer of protective plastic on it. After it was treated with the anti-glare sheet, it was like all fine resolution was sanded out of it. Naturally I had to pay extra to get a 'normal' protective layer.

I asked the shop keeper, a keen seller of iPhone 4's, if customers complained about the dullness.

"What dullness?" was her response.

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