Disgruntled iPad owner? Suffering iPhone “retina” display envy? Who says you can’t have your piece of pretty faux cake and gobble a crazy high-res version of it, too?
Certainly not Samsung, who’ve just announced a 10.1-inch LCD display with 300 dpi (a measure of how many dots they’ve crammed into an inch—300’s high for a tablet) and WQXGA resolution, a staggering (and tablet-record-setting) 2560 by 1600 lines.
The screen also uses Samsung’s “PenTile” tech (from penta, “five,” plus tile), something jointly developed by Samsung and subsidiary Nouvoyance involving a five (red, green, blue, cyan, and white) color filter array. Since it uses single white pixels in lieu of multiple colored ones to generate white colors, it consumes less energy. Think “brighter, less power.” Though it operates at a high-end (again, for tablets) 300 cd/m2 luminosity, the PenTile tech reportedly delivers 40% in power savings over comparable LCDs. It includes support for a 600 cd/m2 “outdoor” mode, too.
Samsung plans to show off the prototype LCD at the SID Display Week 2011 International Symposium in L.A. next week. It says the new ultra-high-res screens will be available commercially later this year.
In fact rumor has it Samsung’s new display may be iPad 3-bound. Or maybe not, to hear TUAW tell it. The “unofficial Apple weblog” points out the 10.1-inch form factor exceeds the iPad’s 9.7-inch size (though what’s stopping Apple from adding a fractional 0.4 inches?), and that Apple hasn’t adopted the PenTile tech in its iPads and iPhones, opting instead for Hitachi’s older in-plane switching (IPS) tech. Whether Apple does or doesn’t seems almost trivial, since Cupertino’s bound to pick up someone’s high-res screen tech sooner or later.
Just how good is 300 dpi in the broader scheme? Not quite newsprint-worthy (runs up to 1,000 dpi), but a significant step up from the iPad’s comparably paltry 132 ppi (pixels per inch), and roughly on par with the iPhone 4’s 326 ppi—though still well off actual reality, which scientists estimate at a hundred trillion dots per inch.
Be thankful our eyes can only see detail at upwards of 300 pixels per inch, then, which makes simulated reality, by human standards, incredibly cheap.