Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, recently published his full analysis of the iPad’s new display. The report states that the display of text in the new iPad is “incredibly razor sharp,” but that the new resolutions of the iPad may not be altogether necessary. He cites several reasons why Apple’s retina pixels might be overkill: not everyone has 20/20 vision, holding the iPad further away than recommended nullifies the benefits of the detail, subpixel rendering is truly the way to improve a display, and most people seem to be happy with 1600×1200 displays on large screens.
I’m not going to read Dr. Soneira’s full report (perhaps I should–I might agree with some or most of it), but I certainly disagree with the general idea round the statement above. There’s some truth that the extra resolution might not be too important for some, but I wouldn’t shy away from the technology since some might not benefit from it. Even for those who won’t benefit from the better resolution, they will benefit from the increased color saturation.
Also, subpixel rendering is useful for screen fonts (and images, too), but certainly it’s there to accommodate the limited resolution of a display that would otherwise produce “jaggy” characters. Increased resolution helps better than subpixel rendering. Increased resolution and subpixel rending together helps even more!
Give me a 10 inch screen with 4K or 8K resolution, and I’d be a pretty happy man! I’m sure even a person with less than 20/20 eyesight can tell the difference in quality between the iPad and an actual printed photo.