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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  • andersenep - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    Would you care to name a few of those apps?

    I'm not hating, I just honestly wonder what I am missing.
  • andersenep - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    So I just discovered Air Display. Second display for my MBA is pretty killer.
  • SonicIce - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    lol maco lens. 2nd paragraph. =)
  • JSt0rm01 - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    they really pwn in pixel density eh? :)
  • mland550 - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    There's a 40-or-so-page article on the macrumors forum comparing color temps between the new iPad and its predecessors/competitors. Many have commented on an off-white, yellowish screen at all brightness levels when displaying an all-white screen. Others still see a pinkish-toned screen. I am in that camp - When my iPad's screen displays white, it's not how I perceive the actual color - it's warmer and more pink.

    You mention in your post that the white balance of 6700 is the same as the iPad2's. Does this mean an all-white screen should appear the same on both panels? I admit the clarity of the display is amazing - but the color temperature, for me, is not. Moving from my desktop to my phone has never been as visually jarring as it is with the iPad - at first I thought it was the pixel density, but all my photos look exceptionally warm on the iPad. I would love to get your thoughts on what's happening here.
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I'd say, it still sucks. Bring on the OLED.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I think OLEDS are still inferior in sunlight, but I haven't looked into it recently, did that change somehow? And while the black levels are great and the colours really pop out at you, some people find them too saturated and add artificial saturation where they shouldn't be. Personally I like them, but its not cut and dry that OLED is better. And its also interesting that Apple still leads in battery life despite using supposedly inferior LCds.
  • Stas - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    so Prime still has better screen? cool.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Did you mouse over the captions beneath the TEXT sample bitmap at the bottom of the first page? You can see very clearly that the ASUS Transformer Prime has an inferior display. It's not even close!
  • Stas - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    Yes, I did, even though it wasn't working correctly. Obviously, there is more to the screen than resolution. And when resolution is high enough for me to not see the pixels (Prime) then I will take contrast and brightness over more pixels that I won't see anyway.

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