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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  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Overpriced compared to what? Alternative tablets can't compete with a $400 iPad 2, and what other company can release a mass market product with a 2048x1536 for $500? Even competing ultrabooks can't undercut a Macbook Air by very much.

    Now if you mean cheaper products using inferior components, then yes, there are absolutely other less expensive products out there. Given the fact that there isn't much of a difference when they are trying to directly compete on physical and internal specs, it is hard to call most of Apple's products overpriced.
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    We all know that Apple products in general are overpriced.

    Again with the myth that "Apple uses superior components". No, again they're just overpriced. Apple uses the exact same components as everybody else i.e. all made in China by slave labor.

    Specs wise, MBA is pretty poor compared compared to its price. You can get a laptop with same specs as MBA for $200 less.
  • doobydoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    'We all know that Apple products in general are overpriced.'

    This isn't a logical argument. You can't defend your unproven claim that something is overpriced by simply saying 'we all know they are overpriced'.

    Apple doesn't use the same materials or production methodology at all, that's why they lead all of the device reliability charts. They also don't even use the same components since their spec is massively, massively higher - in particular the GPU and the screen.

    As for the MBA - that is the worst example possible. You will not find a laptop with the same performance and specs, in the same physical package (size, weight, volume) with the same battery life for less. The closest (and only alternative) is the Asus UX31 which is similar in a lot of ways, including price, and doesn't come with the backlit keyboard or anywhere near the reliability history. The trackpad and screen are also vastly inferior. You have to understand that the difficulty and price you pay for devices like this is in their size. If you don't need a small, portable, light form factor, that's fine, get a cheaper laptop (you wont find any comparable performance laptop for $200 anyway, by the way), but don't ever dream that they are comparable, or just ignore the fact that the technology is crammed into such a small space, something a lot of people want.

    And besides, this isn't about laptops - even if Apple was overpriced in one area (such as Mac desktops, which is the example you should have given) - it doesn't prove that they are overpriced in all.
  • AnnihilatorX - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Apple is overpriced because their profit margin is 40%, morally wrong to me, when other vendors get by below 20%.

    They can sell tablet at such *affordable* price (compared to other competitors' offerings) is only because of economies of scale---their customer base is so vast.

    Doesn't stop the fact that it's ovepriced as defined by profit margin, roots of all evil.
  • tim851 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    If Apple cuts its profit margin and offers the MBA at 600$, what do you think would happen to the competition at that price point? All those cheap ass plastic Notebooks from manufacturers who can only dream of Apple's profit margin, but can't compete on price NOW.

    So if Apple uses it's unprecedented grip at the supply chain to totally drive out all competition - is that morally okay to you?
  • WaltFrench - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Hope you don't sully your morals by buying anything from Intel.

    Or Microsoft.

    Or Adobe.

    Well, maybe now that their products aren't selling so well, Adobe would be OK. But watch out, once they figure out some HTML5 tools, they'll be back on your no-no list. Better snag that CS while they're in this window of low-profit-margin opportunity!

    By the way, how do you tolerate being in the same room with so many people of low moral standards?
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Oh please... like the fact that Apple charges $100 per 2GB of RAM upgrade is not overpriced. Like the fact that a simple SD card reader dongle costs $30 is not overpriced. Like the fact that a simple leather cover costs $80 is not overpriced. It is so obvious that it needs to not be said any more.

    If you seriously think that there aren't any laptops that aren't as good as MBAs with the same or lower price then you need to have your fanboy blinders off. Again... $100 per extra 2GB... doesn't sound cheap at all.

    And it's also funny that ASUS, Toshiba and Sony all have lower laptop failure rates than Apple's.
  • doobydoo - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    You listed a whole bunch of items which aren't an iPad, and called them overpriced.

    I've already explained to you that just because one item is overpriced, doesn't mean every item is.

    The dongle for SD cards can be bought for $5 btw.

    You're going to need to evidence your claim that Toshiba, Sony and Asus have lower laptop failure rates. All the studies I've seen put Sony way down. Any studies which talk about 'failure rates' need to be put into context too, since people with $200, $300 laptops don't generally care as much about repairing them.

    Your phrase 'there aren't any laptops AS GOOD' as MBA is subjective, and therefore not logical. As I said, you cannot get an equally specc'd machine for less, and the spec includes the components, size, weight, battery life, screen, mousepad and backlit keyboard. All you have to do to prove me wrong is provide an example of one. You still haven't.
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    That's why I said "Apple products" and not "iPads".

    Dongle can be bought for $5 - the one not made by Apple, I assume.

    Here's your evidence: http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/11/17/reli...

    You suck at arguing and you're grasping at straws now so I will not bother anymore. Do some research on your own, for God's sakes. Do I have to wipe your ass for you?

    Newsflash, the 2GB, 1.6Ghz dual-core CPU on the basic MBA model is really outdated by today's standards. Most have 4GB by standard and a faster CPU.
  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Of course, you're going to reply with something like "But but but... Mac OS X is so heavily optimized that it doesn't NEED the extra RAM or a faster CPU!" Yawn... next.

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