The screen of the iPad 3 – is it really Resolutionary?

The main selling point that Apple has been using in advertising the iPad 3 is the new “retina display”. The iPad 3 has a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536, up from the both the first and second generation resolution of 1024 x 768. The pixels per inch has also been given quite the boost from the previous generations, from 132 to 264ppi. But are these upgrades really enough to call it resolutionary? What do these upgrades really look like?

Seeing the screen in person is completely different than seeing shots of it online, so if you are interested, you really should check it out. Owning the 4s, I expecting to be impressed by the new screen. So, when I first turned it on, I truly felt like I was holding an oversized iPhone with a retina display. I held it up close to see if I could distinguish the pixels, and honestly, I couldn’t. After 10 or so minutes of use though, I felt as though the screen on my iPad 1 was of the same quality and that I couldn’t see a difference with the iPad 3. It was not until I rummaged the 1st generation iPad up that I saw the incredible improvement. Even at the length I generally hold the iPad, I could somewhat distinguish the pixels on the 1st generation model.

This clarity is great for games and the like, but to honestly appreciate the pixel density and understand the difference, I grabbed a few screen shots of text on both an iPad 1 and 3 to be compared side by side. The iPad 3 is the first set of images, while the iPad 1 is the second set. Just open them up in new tabs, and zoom in to see the difference in pixel density – text appears much sharper on the iPad 3, and the icons seem more rounded.


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Stuart Cope

Stuart Cope is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged into Pocketables in 2012.