iPad Resolution, Help me understand!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by browser740, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. browser740 macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2017
    So I see in the TV industry, that 4K is pretty common now, even for the cheap model TV's. Its NOT the exclusive high tech thing that once, only few could afford... To note, even though the TV's are 4K the PPI is rather low considering the screen sizes... SO 4K, I would think, is a "cheap" technology at this point...

    Getting back to IPADS... I had expected, and in many articles prior to the IPAD launch, that the NEW iPads would be upgraded to RetinaHD... But the resolution has not been increased... For those that say you can't see that many pixels, then Why do the iPhones and EVEN the iPod Touch have higher PPI's than the iPads? ... And BTW this is not my question...

    My question is, the TABLET industry, in general has NOT increased the tablet PPI for may years... My iPad 4, HAS the current 264 PPI... Has the Industry reached a technology PPI limit for Tablets?

    PS. I went to the Apple store today and brought my iPad 4 with me... I wanted to compare a youtube video, PBS Life's Rocky Start, on both my iPad 4 and the 10.5 at the same time, side by side. While the 10.5 was brighter it was NOT overwhelmingly better... The Words, WOW, MAN, Holy Bleep, did not come to mind... At some points the iPad 4 was better as the detail was blurred out on the 10.5 by the brightness... I don't know if promotion (120hz) was throttled back but I did not see ANY difference in the playback...
  2. KrisLord macrumors 65816

    Sep 12, 2008
    Northumberland, UK
    On phones there was a race to increase the resolution, particularly in the android side. Apple ignored this and focused on colour reproduction and now refresh rate.

    TVs have it easy as they have external power and receive the image from an external device, whether a games console or a cable or satellite TV service.

    Mobiles have to render the image and so the more pixels you have, the greater GPU resources needed to render a single frame.

    Personally I think Apple could up the resolution a bit, but don’t need to go as far as 4K on a phone or tablet.
  3. rui no onna, Jun 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017

    rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    The "technology PPI limit" is the same for phones and tablets. It's just that Apple has decided not to put higher PPI displays on the 9.7" or bigger iPads.

    The retina iPad mini has the same PPI as the retina 3.5", 4.0" and 4.7" iPhones. Highest PPI on an Apple device, if I'm not mistaken, are the 5.5" iPhone Plus.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 16, 2017 ---
    If Apple increases PPI on the Pro 12.9 (2732*2048, 264 PPI) to match most iPhones' 326 PPI, vertical resolution will be 2528 which is higher than the vertical resolution of 4K UHD (3840*2160).
  4. redscull macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Apple's tablets have kept the same PPI because that means that onscreen elements like buttons stay the same size relative to your fingertip. Note that the iPad mini actually does have a higher PPI. And as a result, its icons/buttons are smaller relative to your finger tip. The 10.5 has a higher resolution than your iPad 4, but same PPI means that text is the same size to your eye. It just has a bit more space to hold more of that text on screen at once.

    For video, all that matters for resolution is whether or not your eyes can discern the pixels, and that's a factor of your eye sight and how closely you hold the device to your face. iPads are ok with lower PPI than iPhones because you usually hold them just a bit further away. There isn't much reason to make an iPad 4K when you can't really discern the pixels anyway. Not unless they make one with a bigger screen. I could see the 12.9 going 4K and increased PPI, making text and icons smaller, but that precedent is "approved" by virtue of the mini's existence.
  5. klasma macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2017
    IMO it mostly comes down to the following:
    • Higher PPI panels have higher manufacturing costs (e.g., lower yield due to dead pixels etc.)
    • Higher display resolution uses more RAM
    • Higher display resolution requires more GPU power (possibly also more CPU)
    • ...and hence also drains the battery faster
    • The above factors worsen quadratically with PPI/resolution, and at the same time there are diminishing returns in terms of sales potential beyond a certain PPI
    I don't think that UI elements becoming smaller is a valid argument, because those can be upscaled to maintain the same physical size, as is done on the iPhone Plus. It's not done on the iPad mini to not decrease its screen real estate compared to the classic iPad, but for the larger iPads that wouldn't be a concern.
  6. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    iPhone has the highest PPI because it is held closer to your face.
    iPad has the second highest PPI because it is held a bit further from your face.
    Macs have the third highest PPI because they are held/placed even further from your face.
    TVs have the lowest PPI because they are across the room from your face.

    The further something is from your face, the less visual information your eyes are able to discern. Make sense? There is small room for improvement to perhaps @3X retina, and I fully expect that in the coming years we will see this along with 8K wall sized TVs. We already have a half-assed version of @3X in the iPhone Plus (it's not true @3X but acts like it). I notice a subtle difference between that and the 326PPI iPhone. But we're getting to the point of diminishing returns, so manufacturers are focusing on improving other aspects of the device. Each time you increase resolution, you're eating into performance and battery budgets. I suspect it's easier to put off the resolution increase to a year further down the road when they've run out of other things to improve for the time being and they can do it without significantly impacting other good things about the device.

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