We're hard at work on our review on the new iPad but with a fair bit of display analysis under our belts I thought a quick post might be in order. One of the major features of the new iPad is its 2048 x 1536 Retina Display. Apple kept the dimensions of the display the same as the previous two iPad models, but doubled the horizontal and vertical resolution resulting in a 4x increase in pixels. As display size remained unchanged, pixel density went through the roof:

Pixel Density Comparison

Although the iPad 2 has a fairly high pixel density compared to most of Apple's Mac/display lineup, you're more likely to hold a tablet closer to your eyes which made the low resolution/pixel density problematic. The new iPad addresses this issue as you can see from the chart above. I can't focus closely enough to the panel to actually make out pixels on the new iPad, much less at a normal viewing distance. With the aid of a macro lens we can definitely identify individual pixels. The improvement over the iPad 2 display is striking:

To the left we have the original 1024 x 768 panel, and to the right we have the new Retina Display. At this distance you can still identify individual pixels, an ability that quickly vanishes at normal viewing distances. The Music app icon is an even better example of what you gain from the newer display as it has more high contrast edges that appear more aliased on the 1024 x 768 panel:

The old iPad's 1024 x 768 resolution was fairly bothersome when it came to reading text on web pages or books. Most Android tablets standardizing on 1280 x 800 offered an advantage in that respect, albeit not delivering significantly higher pixel density. The new iPad completely resolves this issue. Hover over the links below to see roughly the same paragraph of text from our retail Radeon HD 7870 review on the iPad 2, new iPad and ASUS Transformer Prime:

Apple iPad 2 Apple iPad (3rd gen) ASUS TF Prime
original original original

While it's still obvious that you're looking at a screen and not an e-ink display, the pixels perform a good disappearing act on the new iPad.

Going Into the Pixel: Retina Display Under a Microscope
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  • gorash - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Btw, if you don't think that paying $100 per 2GB of RAM or $200 per SSD upgrade or whatever is not overpriced and does not count, then I don't know what else to tell you. I will just call you a fanboy and move on.

    Everybody knows that you can get laptops with the same specs for lower price than MacBooks.
  • eallan - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I tried really hard to ignore your ranting, and failed.

    Your only examples are ACCESSORIES or UPGRADES.

    The macbook pro is far and away the nicest laptop I've ever seen. I use mine all the time, and it's stuffed with high quality hardware. I upgraded my own ram, and saved a bit of money.

    Stop ranting about a few accessories mattering. Don't buy them.

    The iPad is hardly overpriced even compared to other OEMs SMART PHONES.

    You can not like apple for a million reasons, I really don't care. It's just irritating reading you type some tripe like "Everyone knows apple is overpriced," and having no evidence.
  • gorash - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    I'm only mentioning accessories because I'm trying to make a point. It's not as if MacBooks are not overpriced, now is it?
  • doobydoo - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    You said 'Apple Products' - and guess what, that includes EVERYTHING they produce, not just SOME things. iPad and Macbook Air are within that all-encompassing statement of yours.

    As I predicted, that report is based on reported failure rates. People who have budget laptops from Toshiba or Asus don't tend to be as fastidious about repairing them.

    More relevant counter proof (since the topic at hand is mobile devices):


    Regarding the Macbook Air, I run Windows on mine, and you've been asked to do something very simple. Tell us the specific make and model which is cheaper and has equivalent spec (SSD speed, size, weight, depth, volume, screen quality, touchpad quality, backlit keyboard). Once you do that (which is impossible), I'll explain to you why you're wrong. You're making vacuous claims until you actually provide an example.

    You don't need an Apple dongle for it to work, and again your ramblings about accessories are not relevant.

    The $200 upgrade cost both doubles the RAM and the FLASH (SSD equivalent) hard drive, adding an additional 64GB SSD. For the sake of argument, lets take the 13 inch MBA with 128GB SSD, and 1.7 ghz processor. Find me a cheaper equivalent. If you don't reply with one, you haven't replied.
  • gorash - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    Do a simple Google search, sheesh. I'm not going to do it for you.
  • Mystermask - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    Lame answer. You loose.
    (so much for "Apple is overpriced")
  • tmuller2 - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Apple charges more for RAM because it costs more to make than the generic, off-the-shelf chips used in other PCs. I didn't think there was any difference until added RAM to a Mac Pro. I tried to buy from Apple but modules were EOL since my machine was couple years old. So they directed my to a 3rd-party reseller. I was loving that seeing their prices half than Apple's. However, it wasn't long until RAM modules started shutting down from overheating. Ended up having to take one out. I was informed that Apple's RAM uses a custom design with high dollar materials, such as some type of brass for the heat sinks. Apple's RAM emits much less eternal heat than typical modules. Apple's components are highly customized relative to others, add to Apple's cost.
  • gorash - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    "Apple charges more for RAM because it costs more to make than the generic, off-the-shelf chips"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Apple fanboys really are mad, aren't they? ROFL at justifying Apple's overcharging strategy at the expense of the ignorant. Newsflash: Apple uses the same RAMs as everybody else, most likely made by Samsung or whomever is making the most amount of RAM.
  • gorash - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    " I was informed that Apple's RAM uses a custom design with high dollar materials, such as some type of brass for the heat sinks."

    The teardown at iFixit shows that it indeed uses regular Samsung RAMs with no special heatsinks whatsoever. Whoever told you that was just pulling your leg :).

  • robinthakur - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    He said Mac Pro, as in the big silver desktop model, so it is conceivably true because alot on a Mac Pro is quite custom and hence extraordinarily expensive. Learn to read, troll. The iPad3 is a bargain of epic proportions given the specs, that's why they sold 3 million over last weekend. In terms of total cost of ownership over 3 years, I don't find Apple laptops overpriced at all. The better level of support and build quality/esale value and nice design are worth paying for in my opinion. If my mates who have bought cheapo laptops are any indication, they usually stop working shockingly quickly, and the support is lousy. Who wants to deal with that?

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