With plenty of PC technologies already making their way to mobiles like dual-core processors and 3D displays, it was only a matter of time before some of the mobile tech spilled over to the other side. Apple’s Retina Display is now synonymous with really high resolution and what they’ve cleverly done is create a term that’s easy to understand and explain to people. What it actually means is a display with a resolution that’s high enough so the human eye cannot distinguish between the individual pixels. At IDF 2011, Intel showed off some new super high-resolution screens that will be making their way to the next generation of Ultrabooks, next year. These will be powered by Intel’s next-gen Ivy Bridge CPUs based on the 22nm fabrication process.

The only way is to go higher

Normally, an Ultrabook would have a 13-inch screen and today, the current line-up features a max resolution of 1366×768. Next year though, we can expect to see resolutions of upto 2560×1600, which is normally reserved for 27-inch desktop panels, and above. Now if you look at the first graph in the image above, the red dot would denote the iPhone 4, which has a 326ppi and the threshold for the human eye is 320ppi, so any pixel count beyond that would not be distinguishable. If you look at the middle section of the graph, where Ultrabooks fall under, even at that high resolution, the PPI count would be a little over 200. While this may seem less, you have to remember that the distance from your eyes and the screen is a lot greater compared to a mobile phone, so about a foot away, even a 200ppi screen could be classified as a ‘Retina Display’, as you won’t be able to tell the pixels apart.

Along with these super crisp displays, another immediate problem is the amount of power required to drive them, which is significantly higher once you move beyond 1920×1080. It’s interesting to see how Intel plan on counter attacking this issue as standard Li-ion batteries don’t have enough juice, especially when you’re trying to squeeze it in a notebook that’s less than half a centimeter thick. Perhaps a more optimized OS is in order, Windows 8 anyone?

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