So let’s take a look at the visual acuity numbers again and see which devices qualify as “Retina”:
|Tablet||Resolution||Visual Acuity||Is Retina?|
|Lenovo Tablet 2||1366x768||22.2”||YES|
That’s right even the lowly 1366x768 resolution is “Retina” at more than 22”. The only device in this list that doesn’t make the cut is the iPad 2. It’s one of the main reasons that iPad users rave about retina display. They’re among the few that are actually benefiting from the increased resolution, which says more about how sub-standard the old display was than how great the new display is. Don’t get me wrong, the New iPad’s display IS fantastic, but it has more to do with the enhanced contrast & expanded color gamut than the PPI.
Fine, 1080p is ‘Retina’ on a tablet. But what’s wrong with having a higher pixel density?”
The answer is simple. For every uneccessary pixel above visual acuity you add, your device runs slower, hotter & has less battery life.
Any PC gamer will tell you, the higher resolution you’re running the fewer FPS (frames per second) your game will run. Hence the need for multi-GB, multi-card gaming rigs to push maximum pixels at high frame rates. All the processing power it takes to push those pixels creates heat, and the hotter a chip runs, the slower it runs. Again, gamers solve this with liquid-cooled systems and large fans.
Retina Displays put un-needed strain on the GPU pushing pixels you can not even see (over a million “invisible” pixels). How much snappier could your iPad be? How much cooler would it run? I guess you’ll never know. As far as power goes, we all know the New iPad is thicker than the iPad 2. We all know it’s because it has a larger battery. What you may not know is that the battery has a 70% higher capacity. That’s right, almost double! Yet it takes LESS time to run that battery down to zero. Displaymate shows that the New iPad gets about 5% less run time as the iPad 2 at middle brightness and about 20% less run time at maximum brightness. The back light alone uses 2.5 times the power of the iPad 2, and that’s before you start illuminating those 3.15 million RGB pixels. Think about it this way… put the New iPad battery in an iPad 2 and it could run continuously with the screen on for over 20 hours.
Perfect PPI: 1080p for Tablets This is why the title says the Surface Pro has a “better” Retina display than the iPad. At normal viewing distances, there is no difference. None. Zero. Nada. The end result gives users an amazing visual experience while leaving more GPU headroom for things like scrolling, hardware-accelerated browsing, better games & more. It provides better battery life & less heat. Lastly they cost less to produce, which in turn lets manufacturers put more resources into things that matter more like brightness, higher contrast and wider color range.
After all, anyone who thinks it’s all about pixel density is just…well…dense.