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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  • B3an - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    Why have you left out the 1080p version of the Asus Transformer Prime in the pixel density comparison?

    You always seem bias towards Apple.
  • hieuhef - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    Hey, where can I buy one of those? Oh, it's not out yet.
  • Subzero0000 - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    Really like your profile pic with the comment, priceless XD
  • ArmanUV - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    stupid anandtech fanboys didn't even bother to go forward in time and review the infinity pad.
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    And it isn't really 1080p. It is 1200p (1920x1200) and much less letterboxy.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    B3an post
  • Origin32 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    [tinfoilhat] because then Apple wouldn't look this good now would they [/tinfoilhat]

    Back on topic: even though this screen looks promising I think I'd rather wait for higher-res PC screens. (with 3D support)

    Furthermore, I just played around with an iPhone 4S for an hour yesterday and I really found it quite frustrating to work with.
    What's that? You want a wifi toggle? Mwuhahaha no can do sir. iOS seriously lacked a lot of options that I like to have, especially compared to my rooted Galaxy S, but even on its stock rom it was more versatile than that. Also, I did not find the user experience as smooth as everyone keeps telling me. Sure it's a little better than on Android, but the lack of a big fat back or menu/multitask button really took that advantage away. Apps open faster but it takes longer to navigate them.
    Also, I found that most of the onscreen buttons (back most notably) to be way to small and rather hard to hit. And I managed to crash the browser unintendedly in under 10 minutes.

    So this is useful in the long run, but the iPad's really not for me. Let's just hope display manufacturers actually start to innovate and start building 4k2k pc-monitors. Cause I want 'em and as the iPad 3 proves, it's perfectly possible to build them.
  • Kvaern - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Inquiring minds want to know how on earth you managed to spend an hour with an Iphone 4S and not find the the big fat back/multitasking button and the wifi toggle?

    Superuser you are not.
  • Graag - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I guess "Settings>Wifi>Off" is too complicated...
  • Mystermask - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    " with an iPhone 4S for an hour [...] but the iPad's really not for me."

    I recommend testing an iPad when considering an iPad. Everything else is stupid. Unlike Android, tablet usability is much better on an iPad because many apps are made with the iPad form factor in mind. This goes right down to basic OS usability e. g. 5 finger gestures on the iPad (app switching, task manager, closing, etc.) which do not exist on the iPhone (5 finger gestures are not suitable for smaller screens) and to the primary apps (layout adaption to bigger screens, etc.)

    But I guess you didn't want to hear that, did you? Your posting actually reads like a typical troll post of the kind "I know X and now expect Y to be exactly like that and if it isn't, it must be bad (and in case Y is better, I will find some other points that make my choice for X the right choice for me and the rest of the world)."

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