Thursday, February 23, 2012, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)
New video of purported 'iPad 3' screen supports Retina Display rumorsDo-it-yourself repair site iFixit posted a side-by-side comparison video on Thursday between the alleged next-generation 'iPad 3' display and a replacement screen for an iPad 2, and results reaffirm previous reports that the purported new component's pixel density is indeed double that of Apple's current tablet line.
The site, well known for its product teardown and self-repair guides, used a USB microscope to shoot pixel-level images of a rumored "iPad 3" display that was obtained by MacRumors on Friday through "unreported channels."
Although last week's report yielded compelling photographic evidence that the component was a QXGA screen with a resolution of 2048-by-1536 pixels, the iFixit images are of higher quality and show more detail than the previous side-by-side photos. Clearly seen are individual pixels, with the new display appearing to sport a common RGB sub-pixel arrangement which is identical to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S' Retina Display.
iFixit was unsuccessful in powering on the display due to a newly-designed LCD connector cable, but the USB microscope threw enough light to show that for each iPad 2 pixel, the new component boasted four. The finding is concurrent with reports that claim the pixel density of the rumored tablet will be around 260 pixels-per-inch. In contrast, the current generation iPad 2 has a 132 ppi pixel density.
While the estimated 260 ppi falls short of the 300+ ppi the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs described as being a qualifier for Retina Display status, it can be contested that because users hold tablets farther away from their eyes than a phone, the would-be "iPad 3" specs are be enough to achieve a perceived pixel density similar to that of Apple's latest smartphone.
The physical dimensions of the display are identical to that of the iPad and iPad 2, though iFixit notes that those thinking of swapping out their iPad 2 screens with this new "iPad 3" model are out of luck. Besides the obvious incompatibility with current iPad logic boards, there have been no figures as to the screen's power consumption and processor requirements.
Previous reports pointed to rumors that, due to a high pixel count, a so-called iPad Retina Display may need a backlight configuration consisting of two LED light bars to achieve brightness levels equavalent to current iPad models.
Apple is rumored to announce its next generation tablet on March 7, and will feature the rumored Retina Display, a redesigned case, a new processor and 4G LTE functionality.
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