How iPad 3’s Retina display resolution would compare to other screens

“Assuming iPad 3 (or whatever the next iPad is called) gets the much rumored and highly anticipated ‘retina’ treatment, the screens resolution would come in at a whopping 2048×1536 pixels,” OSXDaily reports.

“That’s an enormous amount of pixels for a screen that isn’t even 10″, and to help convey just how large that is comes an image from clkoerner [see full article[ that compares the rumored iPad 3 resolution to other common resolutions, including the original iPhones, retina iPhones, prior iPads, and a Blu-ray full HD 1080p movie,” OSXDaily reports.

“As we’ve mentioned before, there is currently no Mac screen capable of displaying a resolution of that size natively, which will pose an interesting challenge for developers and designers to prepare artwork and apps for the next iPad,” OSXDaily reports. “That fact combined with recent evidence and rumors have led many to believe that Macs with high DPI displays may arrive soon after iPad 3 is announced, although this could be just wishful thinking.”

See how iPad 3’s Retina display resolution would compare to other screens in the full article here.


  1. That 2048×1536 = 3,145,728
    The 27″ iMac is 2560 x 1440 = 3,686,400

    So ‘currently no Mac screen capable of displaying a resolution of that size natively’ is not true.

      1. And what part of the 30″ Apple Cinema Display do you, Math Guy, not understand. That’s 2560 x 1600. Certainly in your math world you accept the “Well Ordering Principle”? If you do, you must admit that 2560 is a higher number than 2048 AND 1600 is a higher number than 1536 AND 4,096,000 is a higher number than 3,145,728.

        In fact I’ve got two hooked up to my Mac Pro. So that system is pushing a LOT more pixels and *much* more horizontal screen real estate than the iPad will (if the rumors hold true).

        So while Apple does not currently sell the 30″ as new, it does occasionally sell them as refurbish. So yes, Apple does technically still sell this monitor and thus it is proper to say there **IS** a Mac screen capable of the resolution discussed in the article (actually significantly better resolution).

        1. You’re all missing one key factor…screen size!… What’s better?…3M pixels in a 10″ screen or 4M pixels in a 30″ screen. Do the math…it’s all about pixel density. So before you call someone else an idiot for not having a good understanding of the issue make sure you do…otherwise I guess that makes you, well, the idiot.

    1. Think the number of pixels in a 10 by 10 area of the iMac will be around ((10*10)/27*27)*3686400.

      That’s about 0.5 million pixels…….compared to the 3,145,728 of an imagined future iPad3.

      Or if you like…..5056 pixels per sq inch on an iMac compared to 31457 pixels per sq inch on an iPad3. Might want to double check the math…..but the gist is that on a per sq inch basis the iPad3 would be much larger than any other iMac screen.

        1. No, not resolution.

          The word you are looking for is pixel density.

          The number of pixels in _____ amount of space is what largely contributes to how good a screen looks to the eye. 🙂 that’s why the iPhone display is so crisp and awesome.

    2. Yes the iMac has a greater number of pixels, but do any of you who have one want to try to open an image that is 2048×1536?

      Spoiler alert: you’ll need to either view a scaled down image of it or scroll to view.

      It would make designing apps for it a bit more difficult until new displays came out but still doable with the displays today.

    1. Not even close!

      Resolution is a density thing. Work out the pixel density on each device. One with the highest number of pixels per square unit is the one that has more resolution.

    2. Well, true resolution is determined by pixels/in. However, as we heard with the release of iPhone 4, the resolution appears differently at different distances. So a higher true resolution is needed on a smartphone than an iPad, and an iPad would need a better resolution than a desktop monitor. This is because each device is intended for use at varying distances from the eyes.

      It’s like the wind-chill factor or heat index: actual versus perceived.

    3. Total pixel count? Really?

      So if your monitor had a resolution of 3,000,000 x 8 would that be a good thing? Stop trying to define your way out of it. The article is correct in what it actually says.

  2. It has to do with the multiplier factor in development. IOS apps for iPad will just be a simple 2x on both dimensions.

    Unlike the Blackberry market, with 22 different screen resolutions, each requiring new screen layouts, none of which have a big enough market share to justify the work.

    Ignore the Mac comparison – it is the IOS world, and making it easy on developers.

  3. Actually, a computer’s graphics card has no idea how closely spaced the pixels physically are … all it knows is that there’s an array of them to manage which is X high by Y wide (and Z bit depth). As such, the amount of work that a GPU has to do is basically X*Y*Z, regardless of the physical display is 10″ @ 300dpi or 100″ at 30dpi.


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