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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  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Android gets praise for supporting flash but I never use it. At least on my single core phone (Nexus S), flash is too crappy to play anyways. Adobe themselves aren't going to support it on mobile for long, time to move on.
  • name99 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    "Not to beat a dead horse (again), but let's face it, the iPad technology improved, but it's more like a iPad 2.5 release, rather than a 3."

    So your complaint is that Apple (who specifically do NOT call this an iPad3) did not deliver what you consider to be an iPad3? Uhh, what?

    Your primary complaints seem to be
    (a) Apple didn't include more stuff (which would drive up the price) AND
    (b) It's too expensive.

    Right, glad that's settled.
  • andersenep - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I still haven't figured out what all the rage is about with tablets, but I finally broke down and got one of these new iPads (32gb wifi) mostly because I'm addicted to gadgets. The screen really is stunning. It makes my 11 inch MacBook Air's display look like absolute garbage, and I now feel incredibly cramped whe I go to use my iPhone 4.

    Still, both of the MBA and iPhone are much more useful and utilitarian to me. The iPad is neat and looks pretty, but I am having a really hard time justifying the purchase...It's biggest selling point seems to be as a media consumption device, and I'm just not buying it. Video is limited by cramped storage and, at least in my case, requires transcoding from more popular formats (mkv), not to mention reliance on iTunes (I also use Air Video, but seriously....). For music, it's no better than an iPod/iPhone. It's not very good for any sort of productivity. It's ok, but not great for casual gaming. The cameras are nothing spectacular. It's ok for ebooks, but really not any better than my iPhone other than having a larger screen.

    It's basically a $600 web browser/email client with a really nice display. Sure you can use it for other thing, but it's not really good at them. Why is everyone so worked up about iPads and tablets in general? Is there some killer feature I'm missing??
  • swaggapad - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    tablets aren't for everyone!!!! For me its total media consumption, reading the newspaper or magazine on the train to work, or web/email when on a break or watching Netflix, HBO Go laying in bed or any of the various video content apps that are available. The only time I ripped movies and put on my tab was for watching on a flight for a few hours. But since having it, i have started using it at work since all of our meeting and conferencing are available apps so its goes with me to meetings for note taking as well or joining meetings remotely instead of cracking open my laptop.

    Bottom line I find ways to plug the tab into my lifestyle and subsequently its like my American Express, I dont leave home without it....lol
  • serkol - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    You don't have kids, or a wife :-)
  • swaggapad - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    lol---they got tabs too....so there
  • Bragabondio - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    >>Why is everyone so worked up about iPads and tablets in general? Is there some killer feature I'm missing??

    No :) It is a luxury item that many people who use computers casually like. It is purposefully build like an appliance so Apple can sale you music, apps and TV shows. If you want to do more with a very portable device buy an android (currently very happy with Galaxy note)
  • doobydoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    IMO the Note is ridiculously oversized for a phone (people making calls on it look ridiculous) and way too small for a tablet. Tries to be a jack of all trades but ends up being a master of none.

    If you don't see the benefit of tablets, just don't get one. Switching to Android wont offer you anything new.
  • Subzero0000 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I think that you will find it a lot more useful if you buy 3G/4G version instead of WIFI only.
    It's better without the dependency on WIFI access point (even if shared from your phone). Really, it makes a lot of difference.

    It IS a media consumption device, but really depends on what you tend to consume.
    If you usually read a lot of articles, watch videos online, some light gaming, then it works.
    But if you prefer ripped full-length movie, then you have to deal with iTunes.

    It's definitely not for productivity, do that on your PC/Laptop.
    It's for casual usage when you lying on a bed, sitting in toilet, or standing in a bus.

    So yes, there is nothing to work up about.
    I still keep my iPad 2. For a media consumption device, it's good enough. No reason to upgrade yet.
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Do you have any other interests than computers? Music, photography, reading, astronomy, science? There's an awful lot of things software can offer great tools for while computers are just too cumbersome to bother with at the same time. A tablet with the right apps can be a real revelation here.

    Tablets are just great for everything where you want to use software and a net connection without having to bother with an outright computer. Just because there are some people who can't have enough "real" computers around them all day long or who don't have any other interests than computers does not mean that tablets are useless for everyone.

    (And mind you, I don't have an iPad -- the gap between my computers and my smartphone is just too small to waste another gadget on it. But I can fully understand when this is different for others. I think the iPad is a great device. If I had a different kind of job I would throw my computers out, get an iPad and would be happy. And there are days I dream of doing exactly this, really.)

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