Going Into the Pixel: Retina Display Under a Microscope

If we take a few (or an order of magnitude) more steps closer to the display and put it under the microscope we can get an even better appreciation for exactly what Samsung (and Apple's other display vendors) have done with the creation of this panel. Below are shots at 50x magnification of the display from the iPad 2, new iPad, ASUS TF Prime and iPhone 4S, organized from lowest to highest DPI:

Apple iPad 2, 1024 x 768, 9.7-inches

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, 1280 x 800, 10.1-inches

Apple iPad Retina Display (2012), 2048 x 1536, 9.7-inches

Apple iPhone 4S, 960 x 640, 3.5-inches

What you're looking at here are shots of the three subpixels for each pixel. Subpixel shapes will vary by panel type/manufacturer (hence the iPhone 4S vs. iPad subpixel structure), but the increase in density is tremendous.

Pixel Density Quantifying Display Performance: Big Gamut Gains
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  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Operating systems and apps haven't supported high DPI displays on smaller screens. For the longest time, OS vendors believed that vector graphics were the solution, but pixel doubling is a good enough solution that it's clearly the path forward now.
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Maybe battery is the issue.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I'm guessing Apple will keep moving Retina-ish displays up the line. First 3.5" displays, then 9.7", probably 11" and 13" Airs at the same time next, then the Macbook Pros.
  • aranyagag - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I am a person who never even considers apple products-- I am as much of an anti apple fanboy as it is possible to be.
    Unfortunately, their products -- Display wise have EXACTLY what I want. Why the hell do the windows / android camp not GET IT. I mean Macbooks pros have had 16:10 MATT screens and now the ipad has 4:3 wide gamut(for tablets) display
  • kmmatney - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I'm just waiting for a someone to step up and make a 16:10 windows laptop. If someone wants to stand -out from the crowd, now is their chance.
  • Solandri - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    Display-wise, Apple has always been at the forefront since their products have traditionally sold to graphics artists and photographers. Mac OS supported 24-bit colors back when the best Windows hardware supported 16-bit (15-bit really). Resolutions could go higher. Apps were color space-aware. Color calibration and a LUT were supported. Monitors were color-calibrated out of the factory for sRGB, so you got semi-accurate colors even if you didn't have calibration equipment. etc. Their only faux pas IMHO was switching the Macbooks to glossy TN panels.
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    OLED > LCD. Galaxy Tab 7.7 has an OLED screen.
  • doobydoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    The Galaxy Tab also has awful difficulty running the previous of version of Android, since it doesn't even have ICS yet.

    It's also more expensive than even the new iPad, in the UK.

    The Galaxy 7.7 is £429
    The new iPad starts at £399, the old one £329.

    You would have to be mental to pay more for a slower, laggy, lower resolution tablet which doesn't even have the latest operating system out.

    Btw, the screen on the new iPad is LCD, but not just LCD. It has IPS technology which addresses all of the issues of LCD, meaning that to normal users it's every bit as good.
  • ssddaydream - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    You are probably correct for that for most people, IPS LCD is perfectly good.
    For me, I literally can't stand any LCD I've seen.
    The iPhone 4 screen annoys me.
    I still have a Sony Artisan CRT and I use a SAMOLED+ phone.
    I won't even bother with a tablet until there is a high-res SAMOLED+ display with Windows 8. Android would probably be acceptable, but I'd prefer Windows 8.
  • myhipsi - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    You're just a contrarian. How does the iPhone 4 screen "annoy" you? It's, by far, one of the best phone displays on the market. As for LCD monitors? A Dell u3011 absolutely smokes that Sony CRT in every area other than black level and refresh rate.

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