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Apple unveils new iPad with retina display

Resolution of 3.1 million pixels for third generation tablet, A5X processor; Epic Games' Infinity Blade demoed at Apple event

Apple has unveiled a new iPad with retina display supporting a resolution of 2048 x 1536, or over 3.1 million pixels, "the most in a mobile device," according to the company.

The device boasts 1080p video recording, voice dictation, LTE 4G connectivity and the iSight camera comparable to the one found in the iPhone 4S. It features Apple's A5X processor with quad core graphics capabilities. According to Apple, that's around four times the performance of the Tegra 3 from Nvidia.

The new iPad will be available as a 16GB SKU for $499, $599 for a 32GB version and $699 for a 64GB model. The tablet goes on sale March 16 in the US, UK, Germany, Japan and Canada, and March 23 elsewhere.

Epic Games president Mike Capps joined the Apple executives on stage at a special event in San Francisco today to unveil Infinity Blade: Dungeons built using the Unreal Engine.

According to CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone, iPod and iPad devices have sold a combined total of 315 million, with 62 million sales in the 2011 Q4.

The company also confirmed the launch of a new 1080p Apple TV, to go on sale March 16 for $99. The device runs at 1080p and uses the iOS operating system.

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Latest comments (21)

Private Industry 9 years ago
Nice resolution, but I wonder why they still go with the old ARM7 instead of a newer better version like the ARM9 that the vita has or even higher than the 9.

Also Epic was quick to say it got more RAM then consoles, but they only have to run a small amount of stuff in the background with a very efficient OS that doesnt take up too much RAM. Sure the new Infinity Blade will look very nice but RAM alone doesnt do the job when it comes to games. And as nice as the resolution is it might be a bit unpractical to run such a resolution on a small device when 720p might not have looked really much difference but leaves more RAM free.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 8th March 2012 12:41am

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Resolution overkill. Pushing that many pixels when 1/4th the number would have been perfectly fine (perhaps even less as Werner noted) is simply wasteful.
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Jack Lee9 years ago
Well, the idea is for there to be enough pixels so that it's literally impossible to distinguish them (or so I'm told by people more knowledgeable than myself). Also, apparently super-high pixel density has positive implications for touch accuracy, though the specifics are a little outside my understanding. Again, this is second-hand info, so maybe I'm wrong.

All that said, I'm still not super interested in the types of games offered by these devices. Infinity Blade was fine and all, but with the exception of Game Dev Story I've yet to really feel like I've gotten my money or time's worth out of iOS games, even at the low price points.
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Show all comments (21)
Josh Meier9 years ago
64GB of space isn't gonna hold a whole lot of 1080p video.
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The enticing aspect is the improved camera which should have been in the original IPAD2..but not enough to make one upgrade
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Private Industry 9 years ago
A very high touch accuracy is important if you would have a lot of tiny objects, but as it stands the OS and tablet optimized websites all have big icons. Even normal websites are fine I use them with my phone.
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up9 years ago
@Chee I would bet none of the photos featured were actually taken on the ipad itself though. In reality its probably just a little less grainy than the ipad 2 camera, and in low light like any other shoe horned camera feature. Pretty crap.
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Richard Westmoreland Senior Game Designer, Codemasters Birmingham9 years ago
And now we play the numbers game. All they have to do is increase a few numbers here and there and they have a new device.
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@ Sandy - alas, IPAD HD will sell, and sellllll like no tomorrow in all probability :)
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
I couldn't really justify buying a new iPad when I had a perfectly good iPad 2. So then I sold my iPad 2, new one preordered:)

I'd agree the resolution on such a small screen may seem like overkill,but I have a feeling it'll look absolutely stunning. They're saying that you won't be able to make out the individual pixels "at arm's length" - so presumably you'll be able to make them out if you really look. I've got the retina display on my iPhone, and it's excellent - Kindle looks superb on it.

Slightly disappointed that there was no tactile display, thought that would have genuinely blown the competition away. Still, happy enough.
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@ Fran - I could not justify a ipad2 upgrade either. So short of any calamity befalling it beyond its robust use as a cup holder, doorstop, all round magazine book reader I guess it'll be ipad HoloDeck the next time we are able to (justify a ) upgrade

:)
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Fran, my monitor is 1920 x 1080 with a 24" diagonal and at arms length it's practically impossible to distinguish individual pixels. You have to get pretty damn close to see them. And that's a pixel density of 91.79 pixels per sq inch.


2048 x 1536 at 9.7 inches diagonal makes for about 264 PPI. That's going from removing individual pixel perception to simply showing off for the hell of it. And at worst, you waste a lot of power pushing those unnecessary pixels that could have been better served powering background services, in game A.I., physics, etc....

To say nothing of how much that screen added to the cost of the unit.

To me, and I could be alone in this sentiment, but if display screen could be qualified as arrogant, this may be it.
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@Jim

You don't hold the ipad at an arm's length. You hold it more like a book, with very little distance (unless you're far-sighted or something). From this distance, fonts aren't nearly sharp enough to read comfortably, and websites in portrait mode when fully zoomed out aren't legible either. It was a much needed upgrade and quadrupling was the only feasible "neat" way without fragmenting the marketplace.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 9 years ago
@Fran

It will look stunning for about a week, then you'll be used to it and then it will look stunning to anyone who doesn't have one and sees it on your desk for months to come.

I'm getting a 3 because I have the iPad 1 and couldn't justify an iPad 2 upgrade. I've started skipping the yearly apple pilgrimage for a bi yearly one. As far as stunning games goes. The processor will be the bottleneck as it's only capable of handling what the iPad 2 is capable of handling. So games makers will have to lean on the gpu to gain back a few cycles if they have a really taxing game.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Felix, the arms length statement was with regards to Fran stating Apple claims that the point of the resolution being so high is such that it would remove pixel perception at arms length. You can read his post above mine.

The first 2 iPad's had a resolution of just 1024768. Which is understandable that fonts may have problems. But going from 786k pixels to 3.1m pixels is just nuts. It's also a very rare panel making it expensive to produce.

A 1600 x 1200 screen would keep their 4:3 format and probably do just as good of a job ensuring fonts are legible while freeing up 1.2 million pixel power for use elsewhere. The trade off from that drop in resolution is minimal but the power gain is vast. From a technical design viewpoint (cost too), it's easily the better solution.

But I understand costs and status tend to run parallel in the Apple world which flows a bit differently than the usual market dynamics.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
@ Peter - I'm sure (look stunning for a week etc). I don't dispute that:)

@ Jim - fair point, but I'll say this - I don't mind a display being arrogant, so long as it's mine:)

@ Felix - fair point. I was just saying what apple had put out in their blurb. I suspect even close up though, the pixels will be very hard to distinguish. Going from 786k to 3.1m being nuts - I'd say it's only nuts if it doesn't work.

I think I got my @s wrong in relation to who I meant to say what to!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fran Mulhern on 8th March 2012 2:23pm

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Anthony Gowland Director, Ant Workshop9 years ago
Anything other than a direct 2x scale would make any app that was automatically scaled look really bad. Hence they had to go for the "arrogant" display.

Frankly if they'd have gone for less I think people would have been shouting about they'd lost the plot.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
@ Chee. iPad Holodeck. Bring it on!
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Peter Bond Studying Art & Design, University of Bedfordshire9 years ago
Well apparently ipad 4 will be released at the end of the year, surprised?... Me neither! :)
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Nick Parker Consultant 9 years ago
Storage space will become less of an issue as most media starts to be streamed on-demand.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters9 years ago
There would be no issue whatsoever if they'd just stick an SD card slot in it.
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