What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

Summary: It seems almost certain that the Apple iPad 3 will have a retina display, but will that come at the cost of poorer performance or lower battery life?

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The forthcoming iPad 3s' retina displays may come with performance and battery life costs.

The forthcoming iPad 3's retina display may come with performance & battery life costs.

The rumors appear to be true. The next model Apple iPad 3 will have a 'retina display' display. MacRumors has their hands on what appears to be the iPad 3's display component With four-times the pixels of the earlier iPad displays, the reputed iPad 3, screen with its 2048x1536 resolution, will have twice the resolution of the iPad 1 and iPad 2, which can only boast 1024x768 resolution. That's all well and good, but what will it mean for you?

Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate, the world's leading display and display tuning company, isn't in the least bit surprised at Apple's move. Soneira wrote: "The next generation iPad will quadruple the number of screen pixels with a resolution of 2048x1536." This in turn, will indeed give the iPad 3 a Retina Display [because it] does not require the same pixels per inch (ppi) as the iPhone 4 Retina Display because it is typically held much further away from the eye, whose visual sharpness is based on angular resolution rather than linear ppi resolution. The iPad is typically held 15-18 inches away as opposed to the iPhone 4's 12-15 inches. As a result, to meet the 300 ppi Retina Display specification made by Steve Jobs at WWDC for the iPhone 4, an iPad Retina Display would need only 240 ppi. So an iPad Retina Display could start anywhere above 1862x1397 pixels."

Still, we don't know who's making this display, so it's hard to work out exact what else the screen will be capable of. Soneira speculates, "Sharp is rumored as a supplier for the iPad 3 Retina Display. Sharp's IGZO is a technology for producing the thin film transistor (TFT) Active Matrix in a display - just like Low Temperature Polysilicon, which is the technology it is competing against in the current iPhone 4. So IGZO could be used to make an IPS display, which has the best Viewing Angles (but they aren't the often quoted 170+ degrees). My guess is that if Apple uses IGZO it will be IPS because Apple is unlikely to backpedal on Viewing Angle performance."

So, this is all great news right? Great resolution means sharper images, which means happier users? Yes? Well, not necessarily according to Soneira. "Technically an overkill and comes with a large penalty in cost and performance - requiring significantly more processing power, more memory and battery power, plus lowering the display brightness efficiency."

In other words, the iPad 3 display may indeed be the sharpest tablet display out there, but it may lead to slower overall performance and lower batter life. Of course, the iPad 3 is rumored to have a quad-core Apple A6 processor that could probably take care of the display's need for a faster processor, but that could only come at the cost of lower battery life.

So before getting too excited about a great iPad 3 display, I'd wait to see the first comprehensive reviews come in. I'm certain that Apple wouldn't release an iPad 3 unless it faster than its predecessors, but I'd really like to know what its battery life is going to be like before replacing my current iPad.

iPad 2 image courtesy of Apple.

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

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  • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

    Apple would never release an iPad which is slower or has less battery life than its predecessors. If indeed it does have a higher resolution display, it will only be if the speed and endurance are maintained or bettered.
    Englishmole
    • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

      @Englishmole
      The iPhone 4s has less battery life than the iPhone 4. As long as battery life is "good enough" I see no reason Apple would not let iPad3 battery life slip like they did with the last mobile device they introduced.
      Allen_Wentz
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @Allen_Wentz
        Is your claim from personal experience? Because I know several 4S owners who came from the 4 (usually giving that one to a family member) and they all say the battery life is comparable between the two.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @Allen_Wentz

        Not here. I see no difference from iPhone 4 to 4S, anecdotally.
        dhmccoy
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @USA_What_Works_4_You

        I have expirenced the apple battery drop and heard it from others as a repair refurb guy. The iphone 3 had much better battery life then the iphone 4 and the iphone 4 is a tad better then the iphone 4s. Its just how it goes. More advancements in power and ability suck more juice and if the battery isnt upgraded along with the rest then a drop has to come.
        Fletchguy
      • I don't think you're correct.

        @Allen_Wentz I haven't found any difference in the last four months with my 4S?
        GeoffMichael
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @FletchGuy
        as evidences by any number or prior conversations, you are clearly leave much to be desired in terms of being a "repair refurb guy".
        Here is yet another case in point. The battery life issue in the 4S had nothing to do with the hardware, but was rather a software issue, that for most users has been rectified in a series of OS updates. You would know this if you were at all competent in your field.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

      @Englishmole agreed. Its not going to happen. You may see ever so slightly less battery life, but only noticeable via a benchmark, like the iPhone 4s, but the average consumer would not notice.

      Maintain the current performance of the iPad 2 (which is great) but with a better screen/camera and you have a winner.
      JeveSobs
    • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

      @Englishmole <br>Very funny. You should probably read the specifications sheet instead of just swallowing what Apple tells you to.<br>The iPhone 4S has 100 hours less (30%) standby time than the previous version and last 1 hour less (10%) on Wi-Fi. I do call that a regression.

      This is why the iPad 3 will probably be thicker, for larger capacity batteries that will compensate the energy consumption increase.
      TheCyberKnight
    • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

      @Englishmole more b.s and less battery life not touching the baby o.s. pad. soon to be forgotten
      augustus_rome
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @augustus_rome

        Take it to youtube you troll.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

      @Englishmole Sorry, but massively higher resolutions and better screens will automatically decrease battery life. There's no getting around it, other than putting much larger batteries in your tablet or phone.
      jhammackHTH
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @jhammackHTH
        Um, sorry, but bull. There are any number of ways around it, including clock cycling and improved battery tech.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

      @Englishmole Every new Macbook Apple releases has worse battery performance than its predecessor. Don't get too excited.
      DreyerSmit
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @DreyerSmit

        Apple discontinued the MacBook a few revs ago. Before that, this claim was most certainly NOT true.
        .DeusExMachina.
  • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

    To answer your question ... will that come at the cost of poorer performance or lower battery life? ... my instincts suggest the answer will be neither.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

    It's called "progress". We are making big leaps in screen resolution, processing power AND battery life. Apple will mary the 3 appropriately...
    gol2013
    • Scalability Problems

      @kevinvw2000
      and the requirement /need to buy upgraded versions of the software I bought half of again when I went from iPhone to Ipad to iPad2...
      rhonin
      • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

        @rhonin

        Oh really? What software would that be?
        .DeusExMachina.
  • RE: What will Apple's iPad 3 'retina display' mean for you?

    As long as Apple can get within 80-90% of the current model's battery life, I don't think they have anything to worry about. The pros of an ultra sharp display will outweigh a small decrease in battery life. When the text on a website is as sharp and crisp as a magazine, users won't mind much if their device gets 8 1/2 hours on a single charge rather than 11.
    dsf3g