iPad Pro 12.9 Liquid Retina downgraded 264ppi much less of 326ppi from Retina Mini


Peter K.

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2012
848
440
SoCal / Philly
https://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

Could somebody explain why such degree should occur.....


Right before our very eyes :(
Yes, it's true. The only iPads to ever have pixel densities of 326 ppi have been the mini 2 through 4. Many of us have been disparaging Apple for their pixel density "stinginess" for years now.

It's a shame, but Apple has been consistent in their unwillingness to boost the ppi of many of their devices since 2011+. If this thread were to deteriorate into what such threads usually do, you'll see all of the usual excuses given. Battery life and allowing the devices to operate more quickly have been among the usual suspects.

EDIT: The only thing that bothers me about such threads is that so many here confidently proclaim that if they can't tell the difference between, for example, 264 ppi and 326 ppi, then no one can.
 

Peter K.

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2012
848
440
SoCal / Philly
It relates to the viewing distance.
That is correct. Technically, the smaller devices should have the higher pixel densities, as one would tend to hold a smaller device closer to one's eyes. Apple hasn't really done things that way, but it would make the most sense.

EDIT: There are other considerations, as well. Whether a device renders at 2x or 3x AND if any scaling is performed, as in the 6+ through 8+, matter a great deal too.
 

maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,315
972
There wasn’t ever a big ipad with higher ppi. So maybe the mini was upgraded at the time?
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
Yes, it's true. The only iPads to ever have pixel densities of 326 ppi have been the mini 2 through 4. Many of us have been disparaging Apple for their pixel density "stinginess" for years now.

It's a shame, but Apple has been consistent in their unwillingness to boost the ppi of many of their devices since 2011+. If this thread were to deteriorate into what such threads usually do, you'll see all of the usual excuses given. Battery life and allowing the devices to operate more quickly have been among the usual suspects.

EDIT: The only thing that bothers me about such threads is that so many here confidently proclaim that if they can't tell the difference between, for example, 264 ppi and 326 ppi, then no one can.
And with the release of the new iPad Pros, my dream of a 326 ppi, 2732 x 2048 iPad Pro 10.5 have pretty much gone kaput. That would have been almost like having 2 retina iPad minis side by side.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peter K.

Peter K.

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2012
848
440
SoCal / Philly
And with the release of the new iPad Pros, my dream of a 326 ppi, 2732 x 2048 iPad Pro 10.5 have pretty much gone kaput. That would have been almost like having 2 retina iPad minis side by side.
That is exactly what I was hoping for, as well; although now I don't think I could ever move back down in size from a 12.9" Pro.
 

YourArsenal87

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2018
17
21
Stockholm
And 13” MacBook Pro is 227 ppi. What’s the problem here exactly? The mini being a much smaller device would naturally require a higher ppi count to maintain comparable viewing quality.
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,739
1,371
Scotland
This was purely to avoid fragmentation - keep the exact same screen resolution which means all existing apps would work perfectly on the mini. Of course the benefit of that is much higher pixel density. Personally, I think 264 PPI is fine on the iPad - I have never felt the screen density lacking on the bigger iPads.
 
  • Like
Reactions: YourArsenal87

Hym tix

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
218
275
Haha, the replies to this thread are funny to me. Statistics, rationalizations, blah blah. The OP didn’t state his case very clearly here, but it is a completely valid point.

If anyone has good near vision and owns a iPad mini retina... it is painfully obvious that any other retina iPad screen is a downgrade in sharpness. There’s no discussion. 326 is far better than 264 ppi and it is absolutely noticeable in daily use.

The “distance from face” argument is silly. It is marketing crap. People hold reading material at the distance that is comfortable for reading, not based on the size of the document they are reading. Same is true for iPads. Of course media can be adequately enjoyed from further away on a larger screen, but for general use I can only imagine that all tablets are held approximately the same distance from the viewer’s face. Viewing distance is more determined by arm-size than tablet size. If anything a larger heavier tablet will be held closer just because of the weight of the device. It’s just more comfortable for long periods to hold a heavier device closer to your body.

I have owned the iPad Mini 2, Air 2, 12.9 Pro, and used each extensively for over a year with each iPad as my primary device. I just sold my 12.9 pro to upgrade, and now I’m back on the old Mini 2 for a few weeks. There’s no question that the mini retina is the clearest, best iOS display I’ve ever used. Of course there are some other screen improvements in the newer devices, but the sharpness of 326ppi is unmatched. I definitely will have to go through a period of readjustment when I go back to the 12.9.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peter K.

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
That is exactly what I was hoping for, as well; although now I don't think I could ever move back down in size from a 12.9" Pro.
If the Pro 10.5 had gotten bumped to 326 ppi, though, that would give it the same resolution as the Pro 12.9. That's actually a good compromise for me for same legibility even if content gets slightly shrunken down. Even the newer Pro 12.9 are just too big as a carry everywhere device for me. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peter K.

Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,739
1,371
Scotland
There is also a performance hit with a higher PPI and driving all those extra pixels, not to mention the improved back lighting necessary which all adds up to additional power constraints for the bigger screened iPads. I agree there is a noticeable difference side by side but once I'm in and looking at the content instead of the pixels, it is no longer apparent to me and I genuinely have never felt the need for higher. I took my mini 4 awaye last year as my sole device on a week long trip and sold it on my return as the smaller screen wasn't worth it for the increased sharpness - all my own opinion of course.
I notice most TV reviews will say the switch to HDR is a much bigger jump than the switch from 1080p to 4k. It's all subjective but there is more to a screen and the user involvement than pixel density.
 

Hym tix

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
218
275
“Performance Hit”. - I think this is hypothetical for today’s iOS devices. iPads use scaling so that graphical elements won’t need significantly more GPU power. This performance problem was only true for the 3rd gen iPad, the first one with retina screen. It was definitely underpowered for managing the higher pixel density. This was Apple’s error, not a limit of technological advancements. Apple absolutely has the ability to power a larger pixel count. They just released an iPad Pro that can support 4K external monitors. And if they had kept the gen 2 thickness, the gen 3 Pro could have fit a larger battery to accommodate higher power needs.

It’s not at all about what is possible, its just that Apple has decided they don’t want to offer better screen resolution. Some of us got a taste of that with the Mini retina and liked it, too bad it didn’t catch on cause it was great.

I think its irrelevant to bring up HDTV standards; It may be true, but pixel density is a totally different issue when viewing a screen 2 + meters away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peter K.

Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,739
1,371
Scotland
My TV analogy was that you hit a point where the screen density is good enough and other factors come into play.
Regarding performance, I'm thinking more along the lines of battery life - Apple has a balancing act to have a small chassis and retain 10 hour battery life. A higher pixel density requires a brighter backlight to achieve the same screen luminance - especially with the move to HDR and the higher peak brightness in the official specifications. I can't see them adding a higher pixel density in a large mobile screen if they feel there is little benefit to the user but a tangible hit on battery life. Just my own thoughts.
 

Frosties

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
980
116
Sweden
Still using the mini daily,the 326ppi and battery life is a big :D. Progress is good. With a 19,1 Wh battery in a small device you get a stated 10hour life. The iPad Pro 11 tum has a 29,37 Wh Battery with a stated 10hour life.
 
Last edited:

aevan

macrumors 68040
Feb 5, 2015
3,117
3,986
Serbia
Yes, it's true. The only iPads to ever have pixel densities of 326 ppi have been the mini 2 through 4. Many of us have been disparaging Apple for their pixel density "stinginess" for years now.

It's a shame, but Apple has been consistent in their unwillingness to boost the ppi of many of their devices since 2011+. If this thread were to deteriorate into what such threads usually do, you'll see all of the usual excuses given. Battery life and allowing the devices to operate more quickly have been among the usual suspects.

EDIT: The only thing that bothers me about such threads is that so many here confidently proclaim that if they can't tell the difference between, for example, 264 ppi and 326 ppi, then no one can.
Of course you can tell the difference - you can tell the difference between 300 and 400 too, if you look close enough. It just doesn’t matter from the average usage distance. Also, increasing the ppi also lowers the performance and battery life. 264ppi is a great number for iPads and it shouldn’t change until the pros outweigh the cons.
 
  • Like
Reactions: YourArsenal87

Hym tix

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
218
275
264ppi is a great number for iPads and it shouldn’t change until the pros outweigh the cons.
Thats an opinion... have you used both 264 and 326 extensively?

The ppi did change already with Mini 2, and some of us who had Mini Retinas would say the pros absolutely outweighed the cons. And that’s just my opinion, based on a lot of time with 264ppi and 326 ppi.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peter K.

Lobwedgephil

macrumors 601
Apr 7, 2012
4,577
3,056
Haha, the replies to this thread are funny to me. Statistics, rationalizations, blah blah. The OP didn’t state his case very clearly here, but it is a completely valid point.

If anyone has good near vision and owns a iPad mini retina... it is painfully obvious that any other retina iPad screen is a downgrade in sharpness. There’s no discussion. 326 is far better than 264 ppi and it is absolutely noticeable in daily use.

The “distance from face” argument is silly. It is marketing crap. People hold reading material at the distance that is comfortable for reading, not based on the size of the document they are reading. Same is true for iPads. Of course media can be adequately enjoyed from further away on a larger screen, but for general use I can only imagine that all tablets are held approximately the same distance from the viewer’s face. Viewing distance is more determined by arm-size than tablet size. If anything a larger heavier tablet will be held closer just because of the weight of the device. It’s just more comfortable for long periods to hold a heavier device closer to your body.

I have owned the iPad Mini 2, Air 2, 12.9 Pro, and used each extensively for over a year with each iPad as my primary device. I just sold my 12.9 pro to upgrade, and now I’m back on the old Mini 2 for a few weeks. There’s no question that the mini retina is the clearest, best iOS display I’ve ever used. Of course there are some other screen improvements in the newer devices, but the sharpness of 326ppi is unmatched. I definitely will have to go through a period of readjustment when I go back to the 12.9.
I agree with you that the Mini display is great, but the Mini 4 display is much better than the Mini 2. And the best iOS display is the XS Max, blows the mini Retina display away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hym tix

aevan

macrumors 68040
Feb 5, 2015
3,117
3,986
Serbia
Thats an opinion... have you used both 264 and 326 extensively?
Oh yes. Had a Mini and an Air at the same time for a year. Now my dad has a mini and I have a Pro. And I’m also a retina screen fan - iMac 5K, MBP and 4K TVs, love the high ppi. And I still say the ppi on the pros is good. Microsoft Surface Pro has almost exactly the same ppi at 267ppi. 12” MB has even less: 226 and 13” has 227ppi. At these screen sizes and at an average viewing distance - this is a good density.


When you want to see the pixels, of course you can. But this is almost exactly the same discusion like the one in iPhone world: XR vs X/XS (higher ppi there, but closer to the face). Of course, you can tell the difference, but with normal usage, you don’t really notice (of course, now that you’re convinced it’s important and are focusing on it, you won’t be able to not notice it :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Donka