Ina Fried

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The iPad 2 Is No Retina Display, but Still Easy on the Eyes

Although some Apple enthusiasts were hoping the company might have some super-duper-mega-retina display on the new iPad, the tablet does have a pretty darn good screen, says one analyst who has taken a close look at the iPad 2.

In a blog post, DisplayMate President Ray Soneira said the iPad 2 screen may not pack as many pixels per inch as the iPhone 4’s Retina Display, but the screen offers similar high performance.

“What has amazed and impressed me about the iPad 2 is that Apple has included a first rate (screen) at a very aggressive price point and not used a cheaper second or third tier LCD, which is what most manufacturers do under these circumstances,” Soneira said.

While the display and performance have gotten reasonably high marks, analysts and reviewers have noted Apple chose to include rather weak cameras in the device.

The display on new iPad offers 132 pixels per inch as compared to the 326 ppi offered by the iPhone 4. However, its total screen resolution is still higher owing to its significantly larger size.

Despite the overall praise, Soneira did find a couple bones to pick with Apple’s displays. First, he said that the way Apple handles reducing jaggies, known as anti-aliasing, reduces how sharp graphics and text appears on the screen. The approach, he said, is far from state-of-the-art when compared to technologies such as Microsoft’s ClearType.

Also, he said, the company’s approach to auto-brightness is also less sophisticated than it should be, impacting both eye strain and battery life.

However, both issues could be addressed through a software update, he said.

“This is all done in the iOS software, so Apple could (or rather should) fix Auto Brightness for all iOS devices,” he said.

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