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.
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.