Would A Retina Display On The iPad Make Sense? That Depends How You Define Retina Display

There has been a back and forth struggle between bloggers and rumors as more and more indicators point towards an iPad with a Retina Display. A Retina Display on the iPad would be amazing and set the tablet apart from its competitors but would require a massive engineering feat. Also, content doesn’t exist at such a high resolution.

Simply put, we need to define what a Retina Display is on the iPad.

The Retina Display, in its current form is a display that has a higher amount of pixels per inch that can’t be discerned by the human eye. Our eye’s limits is 300 PPI which the iPhone and iPod Touch beat by 23 pixels. A Retina Display on either of these iOS devices makes sense as the hardware can support the resolution (960 x 480) and context exists within this resolution.

The jump to the iPhone 4’s Retina Display resolution is a doubling of vertical and horizontal pixels, or quadruple the number of pixels across the 3.5″ display. Pixel doubling on the iPad to achieve a retina display means developing a 2048 by 1536 pixel display. To put that in perspective, I recommend reading John Gruber’s post Cold Water on the iPad 2 Retina Display Hype which further explains the Retina Display hype on the iPad and why it might not be happening anytime soon.

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