Wednesday, January 19, 2011

iPad screen type?

I mentioned that the iPad's screen, despite being very good, looks a bit fuzzy when compared to the screen on the MacBook Air. I thought it would be resolution, but now I hear that the resolution is about the same on the two devices, around 130 PPI*.

So the difference must be because the iPad has a traditional LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) whereas the MBA has the LED-backlit type (Light Emitting Diode) display. This also explain why the new iMac has a screen of such amazing clarity. I am quite surprised at the difference this makes, one would think that the same resolution would look equally sharp, but clearly not so.

If the iPad 2 comes with higher resolution and an LED screen, holy mama, that'll be a sight to behold. It'll need a faster processor too of course. (I wonder if it'll be more expensive, perhaps they'll keep iPad One around for a while.)

The many millions of screens Apple is buying is surely allowing them to get great bulk rebates, making it harder for other brands to compete.

* Pixels per inch, often confused with DPI, dots per inch. One pixel has four dots, a red, a blue, and two green. 


Anonymous said...

found your blog while searching on google and had to let you know that the current ipad is using a led-backlit IPS display. not lcd.

eolake said...

Thank you.

Do you have a theory about why the MacBook Air screen would look much sharper then, if they both have a res of about 130PPI?

eolake said...

Apple's page does say "LED-backlit". Wikipedia must be wrong when saying it's liquid crystal display. Although it usually is not messed up with technical detail, so I dunno.

Rickard Olsson said...

The screen itself is lcd (of the ips variety) with a led (as opposed to flourescent tube) backlight. LED displays don't need backlighting. The percieved fuzzyness may be due to the touch-sensitive (digitizer) matrix layer in front of the screen.

eolake said...

OK, thank you.

(I should say it is *not* fuzzy when not sitting right next to a MacBook Air display, it's a good screen.)

For the iMac, somebody suggested that the glossy screen eliminates the light dispersion which was present on the older matte displays, and so would increase contrast and sharpness. Makes sense to me. If I didn't have to step down a little in resolution I surely would replace my old cinema displays with the new ones, for this was impressive.)