Apple rumor mill: The iPad 2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

Summary:How do you sustain the lust factor for the iPad as more and more tablets enter the market? The anticipated iPad 2 will probably deal with some of the first version's shortcomings, such as built-in cameras (one for snapping photos, the other for video chatting), but that will meet expectations, not inspire desire.

How do you sustain the lust factor for the iPad as more and more tablets enter the market? The anticipated iPad 2 will probably deal with some of the first version's shortcomings, such as built-in cameras (one for snapping photos, the other for video chatting), but that will meet expectations, not inspire desire. Instead, tech and Apple sites are a-flutter with rumors that the new iPad will feature supercharged graphics and enhanced resolution.

Ironically, it appears that the new iPad will be competing on good old-fashioned tech specs, with a new A5 chip that will include dual-core graphics via the SGX543MP2 core. It's supposedly twice as fast as the SGX535 that's in the current iPad, and can support four times the pixel count. That means a "Retina Display" iPad could be in the works, with a resolution of 2,048x1,536, or twice that of the first-generation iPad. Recent graphics found in the latest version of iBooks are saved at much higher resolution than in previous versions, which appears to be another clue that a Retina Display is on the way.

That's all well and good, but how could that resolution be used on the iPad? As CrunchGear points out, you couldn't watch a video at 2,048x1,536 without letter-boxing it (or blowing the image up) since 1080p HD is 1,920x1,080. Could Apple create acceptable (or much more than acceptable) video quality with that constraint? One area where that resolution would come in handy is gaming, as PC gamers play at 2,560x1,600 on their systems if they have the monitor and graphics card to support it. Maybe that's the reason Crytek, the developer behind hit game Crysis, is looking for a developer with iPad and iPhone experience.

"But can it play Crysis?" is a standard joke about any new device's capabilities, whether it's a laptop or a digital scale. In this case, whether the iPad 2 can officially play Crysis -- and play it well -- may be central to Apple keeping momentum flowing towards its tablet and away from the growing competition.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Processors, Tablets

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.