The launch of the new iPad brought a number of very obvious improvements to Apple’s line of tablets, not the least of which was the beautiful retina display. First appearing on the iPhone 4, the retina display really makes touchscreen products pop with vibrant color. For the new iPad, Apple packed 264 pixesls-per-inch and an amazing 326 ppi into the iPhone 4S. However, Lukas Mathis was curious what all those specs really meant, so he threw a slew of touchscreen products under a digital microscope. At 80x magnification, the differences are pretty clear.
At this level of magnification the close clustering of pixels becomes much more apparent, as does the technological improvements. Side by side, the additional 100-odd ppi in the iPhone 4S really shows, which no doubt has something to do with the “this picture looked way better on my phone” phenomenon.
Mathis also looked at a few non-Apple screens, providing a fascinating contrast. The PlayStation Portable, for instance had clusters of oddly shaped pixels, while the Vita looks like it took a lesson from Apple with its tight, elongated bands of color.
Perhaps the most lauded of the “iPad killers” is the Kindle Fire, which has much of the iPad’s capabilities and backs it with a slew of Amazon media capabilities. However, its pixels look downright clunky.
And my personal favorite: The e Ink Kindle screen. These screens, of course, shirk color and pixels and use capsules of charged particles to create the appearance of printed text. Of course, amongst all these glowing pixels, it looks a bit stone age. Personally, however, I think it’s the best way to read eBooks, so take that for what its worth.
Mathis has several more screens for comparison on his website, as well as further insight into the types of pixels and sometimes why they were chosen. While screen quality will no doubt always be a deciding factor for choosing between devices, seeing the mechanics behind the specifications is a bit of an eye-opening experience.
- The new iPad launches
- The new iPad has more RAM that its predecessors
- The new iPad pre-orders sell out