iPad with Retina Display (March 2012)

The third generation of Apple's iPad brought with it the stunning Retina Display, packing in an unprecedented 2,048x1,536 pixels.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The iPad 2 was nearly a technically perfect device: what could be added to the equation on the next go-around? Apple went ahead and did what some thought would be impossible: cram a previously unheard of 2,048x1,536 resolution into a 9.7-inch screen, with the type of crispness, color and detail that most HD displays only dream of. The Retina Display iPad kicked off a new war in tablet screen resolution much like the Retina Display iPhone did previously, and the technology eventually bled into Apple's MacBooks by midyear. For media such as digital magazines and photos, the impact of the Retina Display has been huge.

You might argue that the trend started in phones, but the Retina Display iPad helped cement a move toward 1080p-and-greater displays in mobile electronics.

For more on this story, see our full review of the third-generation iPad.

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Tech Culture
About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.


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