Final Words

In many ways the new iPad was a known quantity. We knew to expect a faster SoC, a significantly higher resolution display and LTE support - Apple delivered on all fronts. The new iPad, much like another iPhone, is simply a tangibly improved version of its predecessor.

The iPad 2's display quickly became unacceptable from a resolution standpoint. The 3rd generation iPad's Retina Display completely addresses the issue and creates a new benchmark for other players in the tablet and ultraportable notebook space to live up to. It really is great to see Apple pushing display technology so aggressively and at reasonable price points. I do hope it's only a matter of time before we see a similar trend on the Mac side.

 

The finer details of yesterday's announcement were interesting - a much larger battery and 4x-nm LTE baseband. Arguably the most important information however is what Apple didn't talk about.

Today we have a first-world-problem with tablets, including the iPad - they are spectacular for certain usage models, but frustrating for others. Tablets aren't notebook replacements yet, but they can be more useful than a notebook depending on what you're doing. At the same time, tablets can be considerably worse than a notebook - again, depending on what you're doing. The solution to having the best of both worlds is to switch between or travel with two devices: a tablet and a Mac/PC. Ideally we'd like to see consolidation where you'd only need one.

Windows 8 proposes a solution to this problem: a single OS that, when paired with a convertible tablet (or dockable tablet like the Transformer Pad), can give you a tablet experience or a full blown desktop OS on a single device. Apple hasn't tipped its hand as to what the iOS UI strategy is going forward. I suspect we'll get some update at WWDC this year, but Apple is playing it very quiet at this point. Microsoft's strategy does bode very well for Windows users who also want a tablet, however it does alienate Windows users who want a more robust desktop experience. It's clear to me that Apple is trying to move the iPad closer to the MacBook Air in its product line, but it's unclear to me whether (or when) we'll see convergence there.

A Much Larger Battery
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  • Guspaz - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    You can get 1920x1200 in a 13" notebook monitor. Until recently, the highest resolution you could get on a 27" display was 1920x1200. Clearly this doesn't make any sense; there is a 4.3x increase in surface area there, but no increase in resolution...

    I had a 1080p 24" monitor, and it felt low-res. I've since upgraded to a 2560x1440 27" monitor, and it does seem a bit better. As it should, it's a 25% increase in surface area, but a 78% increase in pixel count.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I suspect it stagnated because windows offers extremely poor scaling by default, despite being given all the info via EDID/HWID... Reply
  • Exodite - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Now if some enterprising soul could just cut away all the useless gunk adhered to the back of those displays, and ideally scale them up to 20-24", I'd be almost happy to pay ~499 USD!

    Imagine for a moment a 4x3 resolution desktop screen with large vertical resolution and low cost. *sigh*

    As a software engineer I have yet to see any reason to move past my two 1280x1024 displays from '06.

    I don't need color accuracy, widescreen formats, USB hubs or exotic display connectivity. I just want a display with high vertical resolution, high refresh rate and a good price.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    4:3? No thanks, even for coding.

    I'm sitting here on two 1280x1024 monitors, while at home I have a single 2560x1440 monitor. The difference is painful; lines of code don't fit in 1280 pixels, so stuff gets split between two, which isn't easy to work with. My single monitor at home is higher resolution than my two at work, I'd gladly trade these for a single higher res 27" monitor.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    We obviously have very different coding styles then.

    Strictly speaking I don't need more horizontal space than 80 characters, though additional space for menus and toolbars are obviously an advantage.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Wait, what? The iPad has more lines in either direction than 1280, 1440! Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Why not mount it on a stand, place it 10" away from you (so that it appears equivalent to a 22" screen), and use something like Parallels to run your desktop on it? Reply
  • Exodite - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'm sitting pretty much 10" away from two 19" screens as it is, unfortunately it'd have to be a bit bigger than 9.7" to be ideal. :P Reply
  • medi01 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    -Our beloved customers are ready to give us more of their money for trendy gadget upgrade. We gotta sell them 'The New iPad', what have we got to "revolutionize"?
    -Nothing.
    -Eh, not even some app like Siri that we can remove from app store and shamelessly claim to make yet another breakthrough?
    -Nope.
    -Bah, let's play 'retina" display card then.
    -Well, we only got 264 points per inch display, we claimed "retina display" to be 326 ppi, can we still claim 264ppi is retina?
    -We are Apple dude, we can claim anything! (besides dudes like Anand will find excuses to demonstrate we were right)
    -Right. Anyway, we'd need more powerful hardware too keep up old speeds at new resolution. (dudes like Anand will still make us look better, by using useless to customers off-screen benchmark) so we'd need a bigger battery.
    -So it will be bigger, heavier and take longer to charge?
    -Yep.
    -Oh well, but it will still have "retina display". Should still sell well.
    Reply
  • WaltFrench - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    “Retina” display was a pixel density such that <b>at the likely distance from the eye,</b> the user would have a hard time distinguishing pixels. Works out to about 1 arc-minute (1/60th of a degree) for human eyes.

    I see lots of people using iPads on my commute route, on my frequent flights, in the occasional coffee-shop stop. Nobody tries to hold them the 10" – 12" away from their eyes, as Jobs cited for the iPhone4S.

    In other words, by failing to know a damn thing about vision (or elementary trig), your comment blathers ignorantly.

    PS, a word to the wise: it wouldn't have been very clever even if your point was in the least valid. Don't give up your day job to be a comedy writer. Even if your local Android Klub fans like it.
    Reply

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