So which is it? Is the retina display better than a human eye, or not?

| Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Steve Jobs was up on stage, and looking both excited and frazzled at moments during Monday’s keynote. One thing he was pretty excited about was Apple’s new Retina display technology. Since the Retina announcement, there’s been a bit of controversy over whether or not the Retina display is actually better, or worse than an actual human retina.

Steve came right out and said that it was better than the human eye, and based on some accounts he may be correct. But, according to Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies (we’ve mentioned him before), Steve Jobs was exaggerating a little bit too much during his keynote. Long story short, an accurate “retina display” would have a pixel resolution of 477 pixels per inch at 12 inches. Apple’s retina display is 326 pixels per inch at 12 inches. That’s a pretty big resolution difference between an actual retina and Apple’s Retina Display technology.

But, like all things on the Internet, the debate doesn’t end there. Discover Magazine’s Bad Astronomy blog is arguing that Steve’s claims are actually correct. Their reasoning? Raymond Soneira’s calculations are based on perfect eyesight, and perfect eyesight rarely exists in today’s world. It should be noted that this counter claim is being made by someone who spent “a few years calibrating a camera on board Hubble,” so he’s more than capable of talking about resolution issues.

So we’ve essentially got two varying opinions from two very capable people. One claims the iPhone’s pixels will look “resolved” while viewing the device from a distance of one foot so the Retina Display is better than a human retina, and the other claims that Apple’s exaggerating.

I’m glad we could clear that up. Wait, we haven’t have we? Looks like we’ll just continue to “poke the bear” while we “sit on the fence” a little longer. We’re just glad the iPhone won’t be shipping with Papyrus as the default font.

Article Via Wired, and Bad Astronomy

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