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I Want A Retina Display Monitor

retina-display

After approximately a week with my iPhone 4 I have truly come to love the Retina Display.  It is such a fantastic display.  As I pointed out in my iPhone 4 review, everything is much crisper, sharper, and just flat out better looking then any previous iPhone or phone I have ever used.  Now, I currently use an Apple 30″ Cinema Display with my Mac Pro and I love it.  However, since getting the iPhone 4, I can’t help but notice the difference when going between the Cinema display and the Retina display.

The smaller Retina display looks so much better then the Cinema display, especially when it comes to text and graphics.  The iPhone 4 displays 326 pixels per inch on a 3.5 inch display at a 960 x 640 screen resolution.  Imagine the possibilities.  Screen resolutions on a 20, 24, 30 inch monitor.  It would be insane (and would look great).  Even being able to build the technology into smaller displays such as 13″ – 17″ on the Macbook Pro line would be awesome.

As far as I can tell this type of display can be built.  It’s just a high density IPS display.  The problem lies with cost.  I would love to be able to purchase a monitor using the Retina display technology.  However, I would like to be able to keep all of my body parts to afford it.  My question to you: how long until this technology is available to the consumer market and how much would you be willing to pay?

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

  • Tim


    Was thinking about the same thing… here are basic calcs: according to iSupply, BOM cost of iPhone4 display is $28.5. Size of the panel is around 74mm x 50mm. Considering size of 30″ Apple display of 646mm x 404mm, the linearly projected cost of similarly specced panel should be $2010. Add to that shipping, development, marketing cost similar to iPhone’s (3x BOM) – and we are talking possibly a $6000 price tag for similar quality 30″ monitor.

    A 17″ panel would come out to BOM $642 (and $1800 retail), and 13.3″ panel would be $500 (BOM) and $1500 retail.

    Not sure about MacBook Pro BOM, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple jacked the price of a machine equipped with such a display by 50% to 100% of the current prices.
    Pricey for sure, but I think relatively affordable, at least to the typical Mac customers.

  • Jeff Weisbein


    Thanks for the comment and great information!  Looking at the numbers you posted, it does seem like this type of display would be possible at a somewhat more “reasonable” price tag then I imagined.  Nonetheless, I would assume they’re waiting for the technology to become cheaper before doing something like this.

  • Ray


    There’s another limitation aside from cost and that is graphical computing power.  A display of that size with the same pixel density will have extremely high resolutions, and would be useless for anything beyond browsing the web or as an extremely expensive photo slideshow player.  You wouldn’t be able to run games on it, and I doubt you would even be able to watch movies on it as the processor would struggle upscaling the relatively low resolution of HDTV content to the vastly higher resolution of a Retina-type display…

  • Beam


    And you would need to have a 30k$ graphics card 4k$ ram and 5k$ processor to be able to drive that “retina monitor”.

  • Aidan


    Im sorry but im calling BS on that
    you would not need that much equipment. Many computers you buy today that are priced at around 1500$ could easily run this. Prosesor would have nothing to do with that. It is solely the graphix card you have to run it and i would recomend a 1- 2 gig graphix card on this everything else would run fine.

  • Dave


    A 40″ 16:9 Retina Display would have a massive 72,718,256 pixels (11,364 * 6,392 = 72,641,529)

    When you consider a HD display is a little over 2mp, I think we will need new graphics cards and probably a new display connector to carry that much data at 120Hz (we want 3D right? ;o)

  • Dave


    A 40″ 16:9 Retina Display would have a massive 72,638,688 pixels (11,364 * 6,392)

    When you consider a HD display is a little over 2mp, I think we will need new graphics cards and probably a new display connector to carry that much data at 120Hz (we want 3D right? ;o)

  • Anonymous


    Um what planet are you from where the processor has nothing to do with the quality of video being displayed? Trust me, when I over clock my 980x above 4ghz, games, movies, everything plays smoother. The fact that you said the processor would have NOTHING to do with that shows your lack of knowledge my friend. Maybe understand it before you spill it out ehh? oh and double you graphics requirements cause 2gbs is already pretty standard. I have 3 gbs ddr5 for fucks sake.