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Linus Torvalds -- famous for Linux and his outspoken candor -- took to Google+ to voice an industry request: give all laptops resolutions of 2560x1600. Apple may have been the first to deliver such high resolutions to consumer laptop displays with its ultra-pricey 13 and 15-inch Retina Macbook Pros, but tablets have proven to be the true battleground for high pixel density displays. This point is well-illustrated by the following xkcd comic.
2560x1600 or WQXGA is the same resolution found on higher-end displays, typically ones that measure 27-inches or larger. For many though, the thought of a 13.3-inch WQXGA screen elicits visions of long nights filled with squinting and inevitable eye strain, but as tablets (and Retina-equipped Macbooks) have shown us, super high resolutions don't have to equal tiny text. And the benefit? High PPI displays are gorgeous -- sufficiently-pixeled images take on an incredibly smooth, almost surreal look while text becomes sharp and clear. Take a look at some higher-end phones, tablets or the Retina Macbook Pro and the difference is stark.
So with even a $399 tablet doing 2560x1600 pixel displays, can we please just make that the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11"? Please. Stop with the "retina" crap, just call it "reasonable resolution". The fact that laptops stagnated ten years ago (and even regressed, in many cases) at around half that in both directions is just sad.
Source: Linus Torvalds' Google+ page
Torvalds mentions that laptops have "even regressed, in many cases" -- a thought which surely some readers can relate to. While the change from "square" screens with an aspect ratio of roughly 4:3 to modern widescreens (16:9ish) is certainly to blame for the reduction of valuable vertical pixels, the HDTV marketing blitz has truly done nothing but encourage PC display manufacturers to rest on their laurels. Companies appear to be content pushing 720p laptop screens and -- perhaps most disappointingly -- 27-inch 1920x1080 displays seemingly until the Universe slithers into heat death.
The one drawback for high PPI displays has traditionally been price. With more and more devices introducing pixel-dense panels in larger sizes though, those prices are poised to drop though. A senior NPD DisplaySearch analyst estimated that equipping Apple's 15-inch Macbook Pro with a Retina display costs the company about $100 more per unit -- an extra cost I'd gladly cover. How about you?
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Infinity TF700 features a 10.1" WUXGA Full HD LED Backlit screen with 10-finger multi-touch and SonicMaster audio technology. The TF700 packs an NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core processor with Android 4.0 (ICS). It also sports a rear 8MP camera w/LED Flash and a front 2MP for video conferencing, a Micro-D HDMI port and a Micro SD card slot.
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