updated 09:05 am EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Intel braces for very high resolution computers
Intel's Developer Forum in Beijing has seen the company make predictions as to the long-term future of computer displays. A presentation caught by Liliputing saw "Rich Displays" with very high resolutions likely becoming mainstream from 2013 onwards. These wouldn't just exist in smartphones or tablets, Intel said, but would extend even from the smallest ultrabooks through to at least smaller all-in-one desktops.
These would include 11-inch ultrabooks at 2560x1440 through to 21-inch desktops with 3840x2160 screens. Intel also expected "halo" 15-inch notebooks with the same 3840x2160 output, which would create a Retina Display-like effect. The pixels may still be harder to detect on any of these traditional computers as the viewing distances, between 16 inches to 30 inches, didn't require as much density as on a phone or tablet.
The estimate came as part of an overall advice guide to display builders and the PC designers they were involved with. Intel also wanted high color ranges and wide viewing angles, better power efficiency, and thinner overall screens. Ultrabooks on Windows 8 would often want touchscreens, the chip maker added.
Rumors have swirled that Apple may be the first to have a very dense display on a traditional computer. Along with incorporating HiDPI support in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, claims have surfaced of a 2880x1800 MacBook Pro this year that would have the same interface proportions but with a crisper output that shows far more detail. Whether or not this would be feasible this year, or would spread to other models, isn't clear.
Similar to the display in the new iPad, numerous technical and cost factors may stall such high-resolution panels. The often fourfold density increase usually demands stronger backlighting, which can cut into battery life and lead to a thicker design. Video hardware often needs to be faster to maintain responsiveness. Many such panels often cost much more than their current counterparts and risk inflating prices, although a company with a high-end focus, such as Apple or Sony, may have the option of absorbing the cost into existing prices.