Home > Reviews > From IDF: Retina Quality 2560×1600 HD Panels on Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks

From IDF: Retina Quality 2560×1600 HD Panels on Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks

With 2560×1400 'retina' displays expected on Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks next year, even the 2048×1536 iPad 3 may not have the portable hi-res lead for long. But, why not 16:10 2560×1600 then instead? Makes it easier to see the photographs and documents in real proportion…

During the past month's IDF, there were many interesting disclosures and even strategic directions unveiled, especially when it comes to Intel's mobile product expansion. Ultrabooks, the new category of ultraslim, very light full function notebook PCs that offer real PC experience at near-tablet size and weight, were the focus there – in particular, their displays.

What about the displays? All those beautiful slim Ultrabooks on the show floor had typically a 13-inch class, 1366×768 'HD ready' display – yes the same useless 16:9 moviescreen with less vertical real estate than any 5 year old notebook. How will that compare with, 10 inch class iPad 3 2048×1536 display, with not only 3x the pixel count but also much more useful 4:3 aspect ratio?

Enter 'retina quality' Ultrabooks. Early next year, when Ivy Bridge Ultrabook models arrive, expect to see 2560×1440 13.3 inch displays just some 3 mm thick, to satisfy the system thickness requirements. Take a look at the slides…


Now, a 2560×1440 Ultrabook would have a lot of pixels, over 3 and a half million, to be precise, but the wide moviescreen factor would leave many of those unused, even if editing typical photos or documents or web pages. Having a 2560×1600 full 4 Mpixel screen at 16:10 would, here, enable not just better usability but also more beneficial tablet configuration, which some Ultrabooks will offer. A 16:9 tablet screen is just too elongated, except for Angry Birds playing or movie file watching. And, since these are PREMIUM Ultrabooks, the 5% or so that stingy panel vendors save by glass cutting is not worth the trouble on such top end machines.

Either way, except this stuff in about six months from now, too.

Nebojsa Novakovic
In the spare time over the past two decades, editor and writer of high-end computer hardware and design features and analysis for European and US media and analyst houses. Reviews of high end hardware are my specialty for 28 years already.

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