Is a "Retina Display" on the iPad even possible?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mossme89, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. mossme89 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    New rumors have suggested that the second iPad might have a Retina display, or use similar technology (LINK).

    My question is, is that even possible with our current technology? I mean, if you're trying to have that amount of pixel density, you'd have to go from the current 130 to the "Retina" DPI. To even get close, you'd have to increase the resolution by more than 2X. So we're looking at an iPad with a resolution of something like 2560 X 1920. I haven't seen a 17" laptop with that kind of resolution, much less a 9.7" iPad. Short of glueing 4 iPhone screens together (which might cause issues with touch sensitivity), i don't see how this can happen.

    But, if anyone could pull this off, it'd be Apple. But i'm curious to see what you all think...
  2. PhaserFuzz macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It's possible, but not practical. The cost would be much higher than the current model and it would require a more powerful processor. Eventually the iPad will have "Retina Display", but not for a few more generations.
  3. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    I agree. They mighty make it a bit higher resolution next generation, but retina is a few years away.
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    That's what everyone said when the iPhone 4 higher res rumors were going around. We'll see (pun intended).
  5. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Anything is possible given enough time and money. ;)

    It definitely needs an upgrade.
  6. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    "Retina" isn't an industry defined term. Apple could easily boost the resolution (which is already high), and group it under the same moniker, even though the ppi's differ between devices.
  7. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    1024x768 is not a high resolution even on a 9" display.
  8. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010

    The current iPad has a Retina Display if you look at it from about 3 feet away I guess ;)
  9. gforce216 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    I could see them bumping it up to the resolution of the MacBook Pro. This would increase the ppi enough to make people happy for a little while at least.

    Because although they have the same ppi as MacBooks, iPads have lower resolutions so they could theoretically match the resolution of the MacBook in order to boost their ppi count.
  10. steezy1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2008
    Carlisle, UK
    Even though retina isn't an industry defined term I'm pretty sure they named it as such because that's the pixel density that the retina becomes unable to distinguish individual pixels. The only way I could see them having different pixel densities is if they just use a different distance from your eye ( for the iphone it's 12" i think)
  11. TomCondon macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2010
    that said it is an apple brand, so they could do with it what ever they please
  12. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Indeed, for it to be a valid term Apple have to say what the accepted NORM distance is for using any device they want to fit a "Retina Display" to.

    I personally enjoy playing games, and using some apps at 12" away from the screen so I feel part of the action.

    I don't wish to. And I don't think many realistically play many of the more detailed games with the iPad sitting right back on their lap.

    Not when some elements in the game are only 10mm in size you may have to hit of jump onto for example.

    I'm sure they would set something like 24" as THEIR OFFICIAL distance.
  13. steezy1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2008
    Carlisle, UK
    I've found that with the iPad it really depends on what I'm doing and how I'm sat as to how far away I have it. While I was sat in the chair properly playing real racing I had it quite close but then when I switched to having my legs over one of the arms using safari it was considerably further away.

    Tbh I don't really see the need for a retina iPad, I switch between my iPhone 4 and iPad and much prefer using the iPads screen compared to the iPhone. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't see the rush of people wanting one right now.
  14. harpy macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    I suspect unless some new magical method of manufacturing is invented, trying to get a pixel density of 326 on a significantly larger screen would be too expensive to pull off. Years down the line I'm sure it would be possible, but right now it is unlikely.

    It's the incredibly small size of the screen that lets them push the boundaries of pixel size for this particular screen.

    To try and put it in context, really high end computer monitors, the kind used by neural surgeons have a resolutions of like 3840×2400, with a pixel density of 204. That's REALLY good on a 22" screen, far better than your typical 42" HDTV (1920×1200, 52 pixel density).

    To cram that many pixels onto an iPad screen would be taking the current iPads resolution from 1024x768 and pixel density of 132 and needing to scale it up 2.5 times. The end result would be a screen with a resolution of 2560x1920 with a pixel density of 320.

    Now, I wouldn't complain in the least if Apple can find a way to sell a screen like that on a product for around $500, but in the current world of monitor displays, those types of specs are typically high end photo and graphic monitors that are usually around 27" to 30" in size that only professionals use, and which cost $1000+ just for the monitor.

    This future gen iPad would far surpass the Cintiq 21UX, and that costs $2000!

    So I guess what I'm saying is that it might be a very long wait... but I'd be overjoyed if I was wrong.
  15. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Apple has nothing to do with it. LG built the display, and already had used one with even higher resolution in their own phone a year or two before.

    Exactly. Apple came up with the marketing term "retina display" as an alternative to the more commonly used "print quality resolution", no doubt partly because "print quality" smartphone screens predated Apple's by a couple of years... and had even used the term in advertising. The last thing Apple wanted was to be regarded as second or third in line.

    As has been pointed out many times before, if you define a "retina display" as the pixel density past a normal person's ability to make out individual pixels at any certain distance, then even the current iPad's 132ppi qualifies at 27 inches away.

    Sony uses 222ppi in their VAIO-P tablet series, which is "retina" at only 16 inches, so it might be economical to scale that screen up in size.
  16. cootersgarage6, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    Nov 6, 2010

    Well, I'll tell you something, I'm currently growing up in a house surrounded in Ipads, my little brother is getting one, my twin has one, my stepdad has one, my mom has one, and we are getting one for just all of us... they NEED some kind of huge upgrade, I'm telling you that. Lol they are nothing special from an Ipod yet, except apps, certain apps are on Ipad only, but it's nice to have such a bigger screen... It's nice, but what stands out? That's exactly what Apple is thinking, that's why there even thinking about the second one anyways, right? theres a reason behind it.. there not just going to make an Ipad 2 for minor differences, something major is coming, and most likely Retina. They are trying to bring it to the Macbook also, (it's almost retina)
  17. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    I doubt they will, the iPad already has a pretty good PPI. And it's just not feasible for it to go "retina". #1 may too many pixels, screen would be expensive, would need a better processor, more heat, bigger battery, would need to be bigger. #2 I doubt they will do a slight boost as right now it's a plus for the MBA so it doesn't cannibalize it. And a small boost wouldn't be worth it as all the apps would need to be redone for the new resolution.
  18. XboxEvolved macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2004
    As I have posted in many threads before, it is pretty obvious that the next iPad will get a "Retina Display" as "Retina Display" is a marketing term that was created by Apple that they can redefine however they please. However, I found it strange that so many people in the Macrumors community would be so adamant about it not having one so I came up with a few conclusions as to why these people would think this:

    1. They are an engineer with a deep understanding of how display technology works. (not likely)
    2. They are someone that has experience in the manufacturing industry and therefore knows the yield for developing a technology like this (not likely)
    3. New technology is amazing to them and they forget technology gets exponentially better. (somewhat likely)
    4. They are weak minded and will ultimately have to justify paying another $500+ to get the new model and they know they are weak, and don't want such a technology to happen because they already are up to their ears in debt. (Likely)
    5. They don't want it to have this or half of the new stuff the new iPad will probably have just because they will feel like an ******* for buying the first generation. (Very likely)

    So which of these do you detractors fit under then?
  19. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    Honest question for people who advocate that there is just going to be a slight resolution increase, not the 4x as many pixels as on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch: how does the math work for developers with their program?

    From my understanding, the purpose of the retina display is not to increase resolution to put more stuff on the display like on a MacBook, it is to make everything look sharper and smooth lines that appear on text. To do this, they add a pixel vertically and a pixel horizontally, right?

    If they added an additional, say 300x200 pixels, wouldn't that force every single iPad app to be completely redone or else it would just look totally weird?
  20. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Considering that Retina Display is a marketing term and has a flexible definition - yes.
  21. XboxEvolved macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2004
    Well I'm not sure but I will tell you that the new iPad game by Epic Games screenshots are higher resolution than iPad. The resolution on those is 1473x982 which is by no means "300 dpi" however it is also on the Macs they use to develop at that resolution so I would assume it is easy enough to boost resolution.
  22. Don Kosak macrumors 6502a

    Don Kosak

    Mar 12, 2010
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Almost all of the iOS drawing APIs are resolution independent and use "points" instead of "pixels". The 3D frameworks also use virtual canvases that are mapped onto the display when rendered. Controls and text automatically scale and layout properly across different resolutions (in both InterfaceBuilder and "hand" coded interfaces if the proper flags are set.

    Will Apps need some fine tuning to look "great" at various resolutions? Yes.

    Most folks writing Apps for iPhone, iPhone 4/iPod Touch 4, and iPad are already dealing with 3 different resolutions. It's not a huge deal.

    It's a bigger deal to imagine there is a super low power 3D graphics chip in 2010 that can push 4 to 8 times the pixels without the need for cooling, a fan, or more juice than the tiny batteries on iPad can put out. I'm not aware of such a chip. I can believe 1280 x 1024, it's not "Retina", but that's probably the limit of what 2010 chips can do without cooling requirements.

    Do I expect more resolution in 2012 or beyond? Yeah. And I expect we will start seeing interesting 3D, flexible material, and projection technologies in future products as well. Just not in iPad 2.
  23. XboxEvolved macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2004
    While you are not aware of such a chip one does exist. The multicore version of the PowerVR currently embedded into the A4 is going into mass production next year and it will be more than capable. Besides the fact that companies such as RIM are making smaller sized tablets with the same or higher resolution, it is safe to say that Appl will be ahead of the curve on it and be at the forefront of where everyone else is going.
  24. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Look at you all....

    So, my 9.7 inch iPad will have same or higher resolution than my 17 inch MBP or 27 inch imac?

    I cannot wait for iPad 2 to be announced, so I can laugh at those people who think iPad 2 will have retina display. Steve said retina display technology is great for small screens at WWDC 2010. iPad 9.7 inch is more like netbook/small laptop display. You have better chance of seeing OLED display on iPad than retina Display.

    Retina Display? LOL that gives me a good laugh.
  25. finalcut macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2007
    Quebec, Canada
    yeah prolly cost too much :(
    that would be so nice tho

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