iPad 2 won’t have retina display, will keep same as original

A lot of hype has been surrounding the iPad 2 and its rumored specs – namely that it will have close to a retina display with a 2048 x 1536 display. Images found in iBooks 1.1 revealed artwork that hinted at a higher resolution, though not quite enough pixel density to consider it a retina display. However, a lot of speculation has come up with having such a high resolution iPad and it’s beginning to look more like it’s not going to happen.

Here is John Gruber of Daring Fireball’s take on it:


  • Engadget reports the iPad 2 has a new display with “super high resolution”.
  • The math on increasing the pixel density for iOS touchscreen devices is such that it only works out perfectly if the resolution doubles, like when the iPhone and iPod Touch went from 480?×?320 to 960?×?640. Trust me, it’s double or nothing.
  • There are double-resolution UI elements for the iPad in the iBooks app bundle.


  • There are camera app UI images in iOS 4.3b1 which are only 1024?×?768.
  • A 2048?×?1536 iPad display would seemingly be cost prohibitive today. Not just for the display itself, but for the RAM. The current iPad has 256 MB of RAM, which is shared between the CPU and GPU. I don’t think 512 MB of RAM would be enough for an iPad with a 2048?×?1536 display.1 That’s almost as many total pixels as on a 27-inch Cinema Display (resolution: 2560?×?1440).

Gruber also went on to ask his sources whether the iPad 2 will have a retina display or not, and his sources have denied it. However, he does speculate that the new display could be improved over the first generation iPad – it might be thinner, brighter and have better power consumption.

Personally, I’d like to see a higher resolution iPad. Perhaps content – like upscaled videos – might look less than ideal on it, but it’d be much better than what I’m dealing with now. Going from using the iPhone 4 all day and playing with the iPad at night is like soaking in the hot tub and jumping immediately into the pool. Perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but when I’m used to seeing no pixels on a display and I move to a device with lower pixel density, it’s a bit of a downer.

[Via: Daring Fireball]

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