Retina Displays in Additional Apple Devices?

I have commented in this space that I am waiting for an iPad with a higher resolution display. What is the chance that this will happen at any time soon?

Via John Gruber’s Daring Fireball, I learned that Tim Ricchuiti at the elaborated has written a long and informative post describing what the dimensions of a retina display would be for different computing devices.

The term “retina display” was invented by Apple to describe a display with pixel density sufficiently high that the individual pixels can’t be seen by eye at the normal viewing distance. The current iPhone and iPod touch models have retina displays with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels on their relatively tiny 3.5-inch displays.

Tim first walks his readers through the mathematics of what resolution is required for a retina display for different size screens. For an iPad being viewed at a distance of 15 inches, the resolution needs to be nearly doubled. (The 15-inch Dell laptop I’m using today to write this post has a 1920 x 1200 display, and my eyes are about 24 inches from the display. By Tim’s calculations, this display verges on qualifying as a retina display.)

Tim continues by explaining why doubling the resolution of current displays is easiest to support for the graphical user interface. Based on this premise of doubling display resolution, Tim predicts that a Retina Display iPad will have a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels—a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch—at which density the individual pixels couldn’t be detected by a viewer 13.0 or more inches from the screen.

It’s only a matter of time and technology improvements. Can Apple achieve this for the next iPad?

[Updated 2011-04-26]

For more information, I recommend that you read The Resolution Gap at DisplayBlog.


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