Retina Displays are coming to mainstream laptops, but, what is a retina display?
The display found in Apple’s iphones and ipads is formally referred to as a “retina display,” due to the fact that they are composed of pixels so tightly packed together that it is impossible for the human eye to distinguish between them.
The displays used in laptops are altogether different however, with not nearly as high a pixel quality: to illustrate, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution displays are only just starting to gain precedent above their 1024 x 768 pixel predecessors. Despite this though, the company Intel have predicted that, in the near future, laptops could be being equipped with the very same retina style pixel density now found in phones, a prediction that could bear the fruits of fruition as soon as next year!
Figure 1: above left shows a non Retina display pixel density, which looks blocky, the right hand side shows the same image on a Retina display. You can see the same image is finer as it is composed of finer pixels than the image left.
Recent developments in detail
In detail, Intel anticipate the following developments in the computing world-Laptops with 15 inch screens and 3840 x 2160 pixel displays, Tablets with 10 inch screens and 2560 x1440 pixel displays and Ultrabooks with 13 inch screens and 2800 x 1800 pixel displays.
This drastic shift in pixel quality will be made possible, it is forecast, by alterations in the manner in which Windows and other operating systems manage pixel density. Whilst previous systems have allowed users to change their dots per inch setting, the results are rarely adequate. This problem, however, is avoided somewhat by iOS and Google Android as they are equipped to resize images to suit higher resolution displays.
It is thought Windows 8 will operate in a similar manner. Despite this though, until the balance between supply and demand reaches its economic equilibrium, one can expect these new retina displays to be significantly more expensive than laptop screens at present.
This, coupled with the fact that standard 1366 x 768 pixel displays are only just rising in mainstream popularity, may serve to indicate that it could be a significant amount of time before retina style laptop screens become commonplaces of the computing world.