On the new iPad, you can’t see individual pixels.
As grand as it may sound, Apple’s new iPad is a game changer and it is all about pixels. Sure, a better camera is nice as is quad core graphics. But undoubtedly the star of the new iPad is the retina display. I suspect it will also be the one thing in the new iPad that will take the iPad-line into the future.
I’m actually writing this on the new iPad connected to a 23-inch Apple Cinema Display and an Apple Bluetooth keyboard. There is a SD card adapter as well as USB adapter laying on the desk, completing the setup. It is truly amazing what I can accomplish with this gear.
It offers probably 90% or more of the functionality of a Mac, and that remaining 10% I don’t need all the time. In addition it offers some clear benefits over a Mac, like all day battery life and portability that not even the smallest MacBook can match.
Sure, I can’t expand the storage, but with access to a 50 GB online DropBox I’m not sure it matters much. And by SSH-ing into a virtual server I have access to the full flexibility and power of a Linux server right from the comfort and convenience of my iPad. Finally, when I need something that doesn’t run on the iPad, like access a website that requires Flash, I can remotely connect to my office Mac and do what I need to do.
But back to the issue of pixels. I’m not sure I can adequately explain just how gorgeous the 2,048 by 1,536 pixel display is. It’s a miracle that so many pixels have been packed into an area as small as just 9.7 inches.
Since the pixels are so small, text looks crisp, photos look amazing, and apps – at least if they’re developed for the retina display – look supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
I truly can’t make out individual pixels and that’s a first for me I think. Even on the 23-inch Cinema Display it all looks very smooth and crisp at the same time.
So what about competitors?
I don’t see any coming anytime soon. Even if there would be an Android tablet, for example, launched soon, there will not be many apps for a very long time. Just look at the meager selection of Honeycomb apps in Google Play now. This is one area where Apple’s advantage is even bigger than it is when it comes to the hardware and software of the device itself.
So even if you have no intention of ever buying an iPad, you just simply have to experience one.
At first glance it may seem like Apple didn’t do much to update the new iPad compared to the previous generation.
However, that would be missing what’s staring you right in the face – or not as it may be – that the new iPad is the first device that will make us forget about pixels.
And that makes it a game changer, one that even Steve Jobs would have been proud of.
Photo courtesy of Emran Kassim.