iPad iPad Air 2 Looks Pixelated After Using iPhone 6 Plus and iMac 5K

Discussion in 'iPad' started by seasurfer, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    I have been using iPad 4 since it came out, so I am very used to the Retina Display of the iPad since then.

    Since I got my iPhone 6 Plus and Retina iMac 5K, I noticed that my iPad Retina screen is no longer than awesome anymore. The 264 PPI screen looks pixelated.

    Despite the iMac 5K having only 218 PPI, the iMac screen looks far better than the iPad Air 2.

    Do you guys feel that same way?
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    Of course the iMac screen looks better! My iPad Air 2 looks so, so inferior to my iPhone 6 Plus and 5K iMac in terms of sharpness. You use it not much further away than an iPhone 6 Plus (with a much lower PPI), and the 5K iMac is ridiculously sharp because you sit further away. It's gorgeous.

    So yes, you're not alone.
  3. mKTank macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2010
    Maybe stop holding it 10 cm from your face?

    I'd rather have performance over unnecessary high PPI. Look at phones like the LG G3 as examples of why this PPI obsession isn't really the way forward.
  4. saltd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2010
    I wish my eyesight was half as sharp as yours. I literally can't tell difference between my Air and my 6 plus. I grew up watching 480i television screens, so to me these new displays are far from pixelated. That retina iMac must be amazing, though.
  5. bevsb2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2012
    The screen on my iPad Air 2 is gorgeous. If I really enlarge the text I can see "questionable" pixelation, same with my iPhone 6. At normal font size and distance it is perfect and my vision is fine with glasses. All of my Apple devices are retina as I can't stand pixelation.
  6. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    I have a note 4 which is the best display in the mobile market and I have a iPad air 2....the air 2 is certainly not pixelated anywhere unless you are viewing a low resolution pic that's not scaled to the iPad air 2....what are you seeing :rolleyes:
  7. Charliebird, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014

    Charliebird macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2010
    I think IOS is partially to blame. It could be better optimized for tablets.
  8. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I've had a rMBP and 6 Plus since they were both launched. Went from a Mini 2, which has a higher PPI, to the Air 2. It's really not that bad. My eyesight is decent, and I'm a designer/photographer. It could be sharper, and probably will go up to @3X at some point in the future as the beastly custom 8-core GPU can already handle it, but as I just mentioned in another thread I think the iPad Pro will go @3X first. Apple is comfortable keeping higher-PPI on higher-end devices. See MBA vs. MBP, iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus. The Mini is an exception because the math worked out for them to make it easy. Everything will eventually transition to @3X, however. Even desktops in the future. I also think that @3X is the final stop on the resolution train. There is literally nowhere you can go from there that adds any benefit—even for those with extremely good eyesight. As it stands now the increase to @3X is only barely perceivable, and mainly on larger devices which are the lowest current PPI.
  9. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    Ok, Apple needs to rethink their naming scheme. I was ready to inquire about how you didn't think it looked pixelated when it was first released almost 4 years ago, then I saw that you were talking about the iPad air 2, not the ipad 2. Maybe the confusion is intended....
  10. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2014
  11. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Look at it carefully, even at normal reading distance. The pixels on the iPad Air 2 is definitely noticeable, this is especially true after you use iPhone 6 Plus or the iMac 5K.

    It is just a feeling of "not that sharp anymore".
  12. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    I agree that it could use more resolution, and have been saying so since the iPad 3 was released.

    At that size it really needs a 3072×2304 display. (a 3× retina display rather than 2×)
    This would be 396 pixels per inch and should have more than enough resolution for most, if not all people.

    You have to factor in both viewing distance and display resolution.

    Most people have a 1080p television now and if it's over 44" in size, it has less than 50 PPI. But people typically sit 10ft away from the screen, so it doesn't look pixellated. For many people there would be absolutely no benefit moving from 1080p ("2K") to a 4K display, as the screen is not large enough, or they don't sit close enough to benefit from it.

    That doesn't mean it applies to everyone though. If you have a particularly large display, or sit closer than most people do, you will notice the difference in resolution. (I certainly do)

    All of the retina Macs should have enough resolution for the distance that they are typically used at.
    I would like a resolution increase on the MacBooks, but that's more functional than for image quality reasons.

    With the MacBook Pros the workspace was reduced from 1440×900 to 1280×800@2× on the 13″ model, and 1680×1050 to 1440×900@2× on the 15″. It's ridiculous that the MacBook Air has more usable workspace than the Pros.

    I'm very glad that they did not make this mistake with the iMacs, and waited until a 2560×1440@2× display was available, rather than settle with a 4K display. (1920×1080@2×)

    I am not targeting you specifically here, but it surprises me that so many people get this wrong.
    When you make text larger on the screen, each character now has far more pixels to draw the letterform. This makes resolution differences far less noticeable.

    Where you really see the difference with higher resolution displays is with small text, and non-western letterforms in particular.
  13. Charliebird macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2010
    Funny because the iPad Air 2 has a higher PPI count then the 5K iMac.

    264 PPI: iPad (3rd and 4th generations), iPad Air, iPad Air 2

    218 PPI: iMac (Retina 5K Display) Slim Unibody iMac 27"
  14. jonnyb098 macrumors 68020


    Nov 16, 2010
    This is hilarious. All the sudden 264 PPI looks like crap? #Firstworldproblems
  15. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Under normal lighting it's great. But if a bright light is reflected of of it, you can definitely make out the pixels. But I rarely notice this.
  16. cannono macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2014
    This is crazy. You realize why they call them retina displays? It's literally tested so that it has a pixel density too high to identify the pixels at normal distance. If you are seeing much difference between this and the more dense iPhones in actual use, it's because you are too close. The pixel density is appropriately sharp for a tablet and the gains of going much sharper would be felt mostly by just you.
  17. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    I am a real stickler when it comes to pixel density and the clarity of the display. I own a 6 Plus and Retina MBP along with my Air 2. I do notice a slight difference in clarity but nothing major and its noticeable from a normal distance away.
  18. cfedu macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    PPI is not what makes a display retina. Retina requires 3 variables PPI, viewing distance, and individual visual acuity . Both the iPad Retinas and the iMac Retina become retina at 13" and 16" respectively for people with 20/20 vision. I think more people would get inside the 13" iPad threshold than the 16" for the iMac.
  19. Charliebird macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2010
    I think 13" is a reasonable number. I honestly can't focus on something much closer than that.
  20. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    For some reason, even at 13", I definitely still notice the difference.

    May be it is just like someone said in the previous posts, small characters/texts are the ones that makes it noticeable. When you put your iPad at 13", your text suddenly feel smaller, and when the text is smaller, each pixel on each text/character seems more obvious, because the curve is not so curve anymore.
  21. cababah macrumors 68000

    Jun 11, 2009
    SF Bay Area, CA
    There is some truth to this. I have an Air 1 (same PPI as Air 2) and at a normal viewing distance I can tell the text is not nearly as sharp as my 6+. I wouldn't call it "pixelated" but some text just appears rougher around the edges.
  22. mangomind macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2012
    Don't worry, there is a remedy. Use an iPad 2 for a while.
  23. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    LOL. I still keep my iPad 2.
  24. Shinigami301 Suspended


    Jun 5, 2010
    cogito, ergo zoom.
    People whining about this would burst an artery if they had to put up with the reduced performance and battery life of a higher res screen in an iPad.

    More pixels means a more power hungry system and a stronger backlight. The Air 2 already has reduced max brightness to cope with the more powerful processor and thinner form factor.

    It's a big reason why my mid 2013 MBA is neck and neck with my 2014 13" rMBP in general light tasks, and blows it away in battery life.
  25. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    Only on this forum an iPad air 2 screen could be defined as pixelated .... :rolleyes:

    Btw surely the iMac and iPhone 6+ has a better display.

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