Posts Tagged ‘Retina display’

Apple took design cuesits smaller iPad mini and made the larger format tablet thinner and lighter, renaming it iPad Air. It also revamped the iPad mini with Retina display.

The new iPads have a number of small internal improvements which were seen in the recently launched iPhone 5S.

At an event in California US, on Tuesday, the company launched its new crop of products, including the two new iPads and Macbook Pro laptops, while also announcing the availability of its latest operating system OSX Mavericks as a free download.

The latest iPad Air and the new iPad mini with much-awaited Retina display come at a time when the Cupertino-based iPhone and iPad maker is facing a growing challengethe Google Android-based tabletsmanufacturersSamsung, LG and Asus.

However, given the pricing of the iPads, it is obvious Apple does not want to compete in non-premium tablet category as it does in the smartphone business with iPhones.

iPad Air is 20% thinner, 28% lighter and has 43% smaller bezels than last year’s iPad 4, which has curiously been stopped by Apple even as it will continue to sell the earlier generation iPads. The 9.7 inch iPad Air with Retina display resembles iPad mini a lot. It is 7.5mm thick and weighs 1 pound. Apple claimed it is the thinnest full-sized tablet in the world.

iPad Air uses the same 64-bit A7 chip and the M7 motion co-processor that was introduced recently with the iPhone 5S. It can open files and render graphics twice as fast as the iPad 4, while still promising the same 10-hour battery life.

The new model will hit the shelves on November 1 and come in Space Grey and Silver colours. It will be available at $499, $599, $699 and $799 for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB Wi-Fi models respectively. The Wi-Fi and 4G models will cost another $130 over and above that in case of each model.

iPad Air comes with a disappointing 5MP rear iSight camera, but a 1.2MP front-facing HD camera for FaceTime with improved backside illumination sensors features larger pixels for better low-light performance. It is powered by iOS 7, which is the latest version of the software and brings featuresrevamped search, notifications, control centre and the iCloud Keychain password manager.

Curiously, while Apple phased out last year’s iPad 4its portfolio, it has retained in its lineup the iPad 2, which was launched two years ago. The fourth-generation iPad was launched last October.

Apple also unveiled the new iPad mini with Retina display which was much-awaited. The Retina iPad mini has twice the screen resolution than the first model at 2048x1536p in the same 7.9-inch display. It also runs on the 64-bit A7 chipset, a huge upgrade over the A5 chip used in the previous version. The new iPad mini too will be launched in November and come in Silver and Space Grey colours.

The mini-tablet also runs iOS 7 and comes with the same 5MP iSight and 1.2MP front camera for FaceTime. The Retina iPad mini will cost $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for 16GB Wi-Fi and 4G variant. The 32GB, 64GB and 128GB Wi-Fi models have been priced at $499, $599 and $699, while their respective Wi-Fi and cellular variants cost another $130 over and above for each model.

The company has also retained the iPad mini launched last year, but cut its price by $30,$329 to $299. Apple also showcased two covers for the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini priced at $69 and $79, respectively.

Both new iPads feature two antennas to support Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology, bringing nearly twice the Wi-Fi performance with data rate possible of going up to 300Mbps. Cellular models too will have better LTE coverage as these will support more LTE networks worldwide. Apple has sold over 170 million iPads and now has 4,75,000 iPad-exclusive applications in the App Store.

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Previous rumors about limited supply of Apple’s iPad Mini Retina seem to be coming true.

Apple’s updated iPad Mini page states that the new Retina version of Apple’s most popular iPad won’t be available until “later in November”.

But even when the $399 tablet (starting price) becomes available in November, the initial supply may be a relative trickle if demand goes through the roof.

“The supply for that product is severely constrained,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli.

“We don’t expect to see meaningful volume until first quarter [of 2014].”
Part of the problem seems to be centered on making enough of the pixel-dense Mini’s 7.9-inch 2048-by-1536 Retina Displays.

That’s the same resolution on Apple’s larger iPad Air but in a much smaller package which drives up pixel density, making it more difficult to make in the very high volumes that Apple needs.

The iPad Air has a pixel density of a relatively modest 264 pixels per inch, but that jumps to 326 pixels per inch for the new Mini.

Apple faced supply-demand problems for the original Mini too.Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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A year back, Apple added a visually stunning option to its MacBooks: screens with ultra-high resolution. These “Retina” displays reveal four times as much detail as any Windows laptop screen … until now. Toshiba just released a new laptop line with a Retina-level display. Does this mean Windows users can let go of MacBook envy? Sort of. The jump in resolution with the Toshiba Kirabook comes with significant compromises, however: Most notably, it’s LOUD. If you tax the processor on the machine by firing up, for instance, a 3D game, the cooling fan at the bottom starts revving up like a jet plane about to take off. Not only is it distracting to the user, it can be heard across an office landscape. Having a private jet confers status; sounding like one does not. The loud fan probably has something to do with how Toshiba has jammed a powerful Intelprocessor into a slim body. Small fans tend to be whiny when cooling a hot chip ..

Like supermodel turned rapper, the Kirabook sounds bad but looks good. It’s beautifully done in magnesium, a tougher metal than the aluminum found in MacBooks and some other laptops. Magnesium is rarely used in consumer electronics, but when it is, the results can be spectacular: The magnesium-bodied point-and-shoot camera that didn’t show a scratch after 10 years of use ..

The Kirabook starts at $1,600 for a model with a mid-range i5 processor and a non-touchscreen (a comparable MacBook Pro with Retina costs $1,700). Two hundred dollars more gets you a touch screen. For $2,000, you get a touchscreen and a top-line i7 processor. All come with 256 gigabytes of solid-state storage ..

The Kirabook has a screen that measures 13.3 inches diagonally, just like the “13-inch” MacBook with Retina display, but the screen is actually slightly wider, shorter and smaller overall. The resolution is 2,560 by 1,440 pixels, compared with the MacBook’s 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. In other words, you can fit 10 per cent less detail vertically on the Kirabook’s screen, but images look just as crisp and smooth as on the Retina screen. The big deal with the Retina, and now the Kirabook, is that its individual pixels are so small that they blend together imperceptibly. It doesn’t sound like a big deal until you try it. After that, other screens look coarse and barbaric ..

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The Kirabook screen is excellent in other ways, too: It looks good from almost any angle. One of the sample units loaned to me suffered from uneven brightness, but this was rarely an issue. The problem with quadrupling the resolution of the laptop screen is that you have to make sure that you’re not shrinking the size of everything that’s shown on the screen. A character that’s 28 pixels high on a regular screen is a quarter of an inch high – easily legible. If you show a 28-pixel character on the Kirabook screen, it’s one-eighth of an inch high, or practically illegible. In some instances, the Kirabook will gracefully scale up text and buttons to a legible and useful size. In other cases, it won’t, and it’s time to bend in real close to the screen. This problem is made more aggravating by the fact that the Kirabook comes in touch-screen variants. Touching tiny buttons is hard – you want a big fat button for your big fat finger. The problem was not acute in applications designed for Windows 8, but there aren’t many of those. It was worse in the familiar “Desktop” environment, where the buttons to close or minimize a window are so small, they’re tough to hit with a finger or a mouse. Apple has a big advantage over Toshiba here, given that it has control over the hardware, the operating system and many of the most popular Mac applications. That means it can create computers with high-resolution screens and modify its software to suit. Toshiba, on the other hand, has to work with software it gets from Microsoft ..

Toshiba chose to make the Kirabook substantially lighter than the 13-inch MacBook, at 2.8 pounds rather than 3.6 pounds. In fact, it’s even lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air, which doesn’t have a high-resolution screen. The trade-off for the light weight is that the Kirabook’s battery life is relatively short. I played back movies for four hours before it went dark. Unfortunately, the high-resolution screen draws more power than regular ones, which is why Apple stuffs a much larger battery in its Retina models to get about seven hours of run time. The light weight, handsome exterior and beautiful screen should appeal to many, and it’s possible that software updates will help with the screen-scaling issue. While waiting for that, you can always downgrade the resolution of the screen, though that defeats the purpose of having such a nice display ..

The biggest failing is the loud fan – there’s just no point in having a powerful processor if using it makes it sound like you’re picnicking on the airport tarmac ..