The iPad to come

Tech Life

An obvious thought regarding the new ‘Retina Display’ that debuted on the iPhone 4

Yesterday I was following Macworld’s live update of the WWDC 2010 keynote, and I was absolutely stunned by what I consider the most innovative feature of the iPhone 4: the 960×640, 326 ppi Retina Display. For my far-from-perfect sight, this is a godsend, and a worthy reason to upgrade as soon as iPhone 4 will be available in my country (Spain). Coincidentally, my 2-year contract with Movistar will end on September 15, so everything seems to pan out.

While I was absorbing all the new features of the iPhone 4, I kept on thinking about the impact that gorgeous display will have, especially for e-book reading. Add to this John Gruber’s first impressions and observations on the iPhone 4. Among other things he writes:

The resolution of the “retina display” is as impressive as Apple boasts. Text renders like high quality print. One thing that Apple didn’t mention in the keynote, though, is that the LCD pixels are much closer to the surface of the touchscreen. On existing iPhones (and iPods, and iPads), there is not a lot of distance between the glass surface and the LCD, but there is some. There’s also a very narrow amount of air between the touchscreen glass and the underlying LCD.

[…] It’s mentioned briefly in Apple’s promotional video about the design of the iPhone 4, but they’re using a new production process that effectively fuses the LCD and touchscreen — there is no longer any air between the two. One result of this is that the iPhone 4 should be impervious to this dust-under-the-glass issue. More importantly, though, is that it looks better. The effect is that the pixels appear to be painted on the surface of the phone; instead of looking at pixels under glass, it like looking at pixels on glass. Combined with the incredibly high pixel density, the overall effect is like “live print”.

It also improved the field of view for the display — you can view the display from an oblique angle and it looks great. Again, like print. It’s like a glossy magazine come to life.

So what do you think the next generation of iPads will have? Imagine such a dense display on an iPad: it instantly becomes the perfect e-book and e-magazine reader. Text and images displayed on screen have “live print” quality, plus there’s backlighting. There’s a lot to love, even without e-Ink technology. And that is certainly an iPad I’d buy without thinking twice. Imagine.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been fantasizing about such an iPad ever since Gruber wrote about the new display. I’m sure it will eventually be a feature of future generations of iPads (maybe as soon as next year), but perhaps also on MacBook Pros and even desktop displays. That won’t be cheap, I imagine.

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