Google 10-inch tablet would push display tech envelope

Web giant's tablet partnership with Samsung could muscle in on Apple's technological leadership turf.

The Nexus 7 currently has a display with a 216 PPI.  That would jump to about 300 with a 10-inch Nexus tablet.
The Nexus 7 currently has a display with a 216 PPI. That would jump to about 300 with a 10-inch Nexus tablet. Google

Google's tablet partnership with Samsung could yield some cutting-edge component tech, not the least of which is the pixel-packing display.

The 10.1-inch tablet -- expected in the first half of next year -- should boast a pixel density that is higher than any tablet on the market now. That includes the 8.9-inch display on the Kindle Fire HD and the 9.7-incher on Apple's third-generation iPad.

But it won't be a cakewalk for Samsung to get there: squeezing a 2,560x1,600 pixel density screen into a 10.1-inch tablet will push the display-manufacturing tech envelope -- not unlike the manufacturing feats Apple demands from its production partners.

As a yardstick, consider the upcoming 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. That is expected to put 2,560x1,600 pixels (the same pixel count as the 10-inch Google tablet) into a 13.3-inch display. That yields a PPI (pixel per inch) of about 227. But by stuffing that density into a 10-inch screen, the PPI jumps to just shy of 300.

That begins to approach the 326 PPI on Apple's iPhone, which, of course, uses a much smaller 4-inch screen.

All of this becomes possible for Google because of its partner, Samsung. Ironically, the South Korean company supplies -- or has supplied -- Apple with the most cutting-edge of cutting-edge liquid crystal displays (LCDs), including those on the Retina iPad and Retina 15.4-inch MacBook Pro.

And of course Samsung makes the AMOLED screens -- a different kind of display tech -- used on its own Galaxy phones.

In fact, Samsung is the only company that successfully manufactures both high-volume advanced AMOLED and LCD screens. But the high-density PPI action is currently centered on LCDs -- not AMOLED. Sharp, for example, announced the start of production of a 5-inch 443 PPI display last week.

But if Sharp is able to make those kinds of LCDs, you can bet Samsung probably can too -- and will.

Featured Video

Your Black Friday shopping survival guide

Ready to battle for deals? Bridget Carey helps you plan your strategy with tips on smartphone apps, where to find the best deals, and when to avoid the stores.

by Bridget Carey