Apple’s third generation iPad announcement came with a lot of upgrades, but due to most of the announcements being leaked out long before showtime, there were few surprises. The least surprising was the long-rumored Retina display, which makes it easy to underestimate it’s impact on the “post-PC” era. Without a doubt, the Apple Retina display is a huge game changer. Perhaps the biggest of all the upgrades. Really! The biggest.
If you’ve had an iPhone 4 or 4s for a while, take a look at an iPhone 3Gs and see how pixelated everything looks. Now imagine that effect when viewing the non-Retina display on any computer. That’s the huge difference that the Retina Display offers, and it’s a trend that’s going to change a lot of people’s perception of what a computer is, and the quality expectations thereof.
Sure, we’ve had Retina displays in the iPhone 4 for almost a couple years, but using a Retina display at a large scale is going to dramatically change the way people view normal PC/Mac monitors. The pixels on today’s monitors will seem obvious and huge to those who’ve lived with a new iPad for awhile, relegating even a new iMac’s glorious monitor to second-tier status compared the iPad display quality.
The 11” MacBook Air has one of the highest pixels per inch of any computer with 135 pixels per inch, with most all other monitors having somewhere from 90-110 pixels per inch. Compare that to the iPad’s Retina display with 264 pixels per inch, and the iPhone’s with 326 pixel per inch displays and it’s easy to see that, pretty soon, all computers are going to have a lesser display quality compared to the iPad.
Now think about that for a moment. The iPad will have better display quality than anything else on the market. Anything. Fonts will be appear buttery smooth, photos will diplayed densely real. The experience will be quite a step forward.
The Retina display is one of those types of technology improvements that when you first see it, it’s easy to take for granted. It’s when you step back to a non-Retina display where you’ll really notice the quality shift. It’s like stepping back to VHS from DVD, to DVD from Blu-ray, or to standard definition from HD. It’s something you notice the huge difference after you’ve lived with it for a while, and it’ll be harder to go back to the lower-resolution screen on your laptop or desktop.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see when—or if—Apple will introduce Retina quality displays in their laptops. However, judging from how hard it was to get manufacturers to master making a Retina display the iPad’s size, I’m not expecting that to come anytime soon.
If you’re getting The new iPad, drop us a line and let us know what you’re seeing in regards to the Retina display changing your perception on computer displays.