New 27-inch 5120×2880 display a perfect panel for a future Retina iMac

“Dell has just announced a brand-new 27inch external display with an insane resolution of 5120×2880. Pixel counts of this magnitude were thought to be several months out, stretching into mid 2015, so Dell’s abrupt announcement has come as a bit of surprise,” Benjamin Mayo reports or 9to5Mac. “The 27-inch panel has 14 million pixels across its surface, resulting in a PPI of 218. This is the same density as a 15inch Retina MacBook Pro, but obviously much much larger.”

Mayo reports, “What’s notable about this resolution is it shows that a Retina iMac is now very feasible. 5120×2880 is exactly double 2560×1440 — the resolution of the current 27 inch iMac. Using the panel in this monitor, Apple could potentially release a Retina 27-inch iMac (at @2x scale) this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

21 Comments

        1. Dell certainly sells some crap, but to be fair, they actually do build some pretty good displays too – and typically for quite a bit less money than comparable Apple displays. Apple’s displays are typically very good, but typically not the best – and they’re expensive to boot. A display is about the only Dell product I actually would buy. In fact, I’m sitting at my desk working on my MacBook Pro connected to a 30-inch Dell display.

          1. First of all. Dell doesn’t build anything. If you think they do then they have sold you a bag of magic beans. They decide they want to sell a device and send it out the specs for other companies to bid on. Who ever bid cheapest gets the contract. Their innovation is essentially the name plate on front. Its the same case with HP. In fact Apple and IBM are the only real true innovators of technology in the desktop and server space within X86. The rest are thrown together by Chinese motherboard manufacturers in most cases. like ASUS, Gigabyte and way to many others to list. The displays are built by some other company and Dell puts their name on it. Apple may do a bit of the same when it comes to displays but typically add their own electronics that they designed and built themselves as in thunderbolt displays etc. So to say that they have announced something great when all they have done is purchase a product and add the plastic nameplate to the face of it is far from them designing anything. If you call innovation as being the first to put their nameplate on a new type of display as innovation then you need to look up innovation in the dictionary.

            1. Whoah there, champ. Step away from the keyboard and have a bowl of Special K or something. I think you might have been wound a bit tight for a Friday evening.

              First of all, I’m well aware that Dell doesn’t manufacture much anymore, and that most CE products in general are manufactured by a host of Chinese contract manufacturers. As you mentioned, this is true for much of Apple’s hardware other than their partnerships like GT Advanced and the token manufacturing they’ve only recently started ramping back up. When I said “build”, I was certainly using the term loosely.

              Second, if you’d chill the hell out and go back and read my post, all I said was that Dell builds (read “sells” or “markets”) some pretty decent displays, and at pretty reasonable prices. I also mentioned they sell some crap. I stand by both assertions. To be fair, Apple sold some pretty junky stuff, too. My wife’s white old plastic MacBook was terrible quality. Sort of Dell like, in fact, so certainly not up to the standards we all expect from Apple.

              I (nor anybody else) suggested that Dell announced anything great, here. More important, nobody said a damn thing about Dell innovating anything, so there wasn’t really any need for your attempt at edification.

            2. Good exchange. It is easy to get crossways with each other on this forum. But we regularly experience anonymous trolls on this forum and can get a bit sensitive. It is good to work it out an move on.

              To be fair, ecrabb, you did say “build” in your original post, which you corrected in your followup. So SK was not totally out of line in his response. Apple is much more hands on in the design of its labeled products than Dell, which is primarily a low-cost, volume vendor. But you are also correct in stating that Apple has released a few less-than-stellar products in its past.

              In the end, the key takeaway is that a display manufacturer (who?) is producing a 5120×2880 (14,745,600 pixels) display at 218 ppi. If it is a good quality display – good color fidelity, uniformity, gamut, response rate, etc. – then Apple might be sourcing the same component for a high-end Apple Cinema display for the Mac Pro (and eventually, in a year or two, perhaps, even the high-end iMac). It is hard for an old guy who started on computers with 320×240 resolution on a green phosphor monitor to imagine having to pixel-double 1080HD video in order to use most of the available display real estate. You can watch 4K video on this display with plenty of room to spare for tool bars, etc. I imagine that video editors are going to be eager to get their hands on this display.

  1. Unless a person uses software that absolutely relies on resolution for fast creative work, a large high density LCD is not appreciated.

    In 3D CAD work, without a high resolution screen, the user must zoom in and out constantly to see fine details to be sure of positions and connections in various surfaces and edges.

    Higher resolution just makes work progress faster. I suspect that for those with reduced vision, it may make it easier and faster to work also, though I am surmising on that.

  2. In the name of Jobs PLEASE where is the 4k or Retina Cinema Display? The reign of the iMac is waning…I want a new Cinema display to connect to my Retina MacBookPro.

      1. Resolution has always been number of pixels vertically, pixels horizontally

        Pixel count is height * width

        Pixel density is measured as pixels per unit; usually inches.

  3. The Dell monitor is 218 ppi not 221 ppi like the retina MacBook Pro. Close, but not quite the same.

    The Dell monitor is expected to be $2,500 list price — just for the monitor. With Dell’s notoriously thin gross margins, it is very likely that Dell is paying $1,000 or more just for the panel itself (not including the other hardware that goes with it).

    The Dell monitor is expected to ship in limited quantities in late November or early December 2014 with full production in the first calendar quarter of 2015.

    Apple won’t include that panel until they can get it for well under $500. They also won’t include it until it is available in MASS QUANTITIES. Tim Cook won’t want another fourth calendar quarter 2012 on his hands.

    1. Very true… However, this does show the future possibilities. I would like a wider monitor, maybe even slightly curved. Sadly, the only curved monitor comes from the company that I will never buy from even if they gave it to me for $1.

      Never support thieves, it will come to bite you before you know it. Learn from Apple and SameSuck relationship.

      1. I’m still waiting for the *very* high resolution and high pixel count systems.

        IBM had a 3880 x 2400 22.2″ monitor (at approximately 204 ppi) at 16:10 aspect ratio over 13 years ago.

        Evans and Sutherland had a projection system that did a true 8192 x 4096 on a screen with a diagonal image distance as small as 48″ (at approximately 191 ppi) at 2:1 aspect ratio over 13 years ago.

        Where are the 8 K and 16 K displays and projectors that we were promised would be ubiquitous by now?

        In light of those displays way back then, it seems a bit slow in coming for a high end monitor to just be getting to 5120 x 2880 now (at approximately 218 ppi) at a 16:9 aspect ratio.

        I could really go for a 16 K by 10 K (16,384 x 10,240) at 60″ (approximately 322 ppi) right now even if I had to pay the original price of the original Apple Cinema Display. But, unfortunately those displays likely won’t show up until 2025 or later — if ever.

  4. It’s fun to kick around Dell, being Apple fans and all, but I have to say they make fantastic monitors at a great price. Many of my pro photographer friends can’t say enough about them. They just put a piece of tape over the logo.

    1. Pity about Dull’s laptops though – a potential employer tried to get me to PAY for a ghastly thick plastic thing that creaked like a haunted house when I picked it up. Needless to say, I didn’t take up the ‘offer.’

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