Toshiba bites Apple with 498 ppi display

October 24, 2011 by Nancy Owano report

( -- As soon as Toshiba announced its 6.1-inch Liquid crystal display (LCD) panel last week, bloggers and tech news sites were noting the numbers and poking at mobile display monarchs Apple. Toshiba's new display packs a 2560x1600 resolution with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. The display works out to 498 pixels per inch (ppi).

"Astounding," “staggering,” and "Prepare to have your eyes melted," were some of the reactions. Reports hastened to compare display numbers with those from Apple.

Suddenly Apple's "retina display" iPhone 4/4S smartphones of 326 ppi was a less exciting feat. Adjectives like "razor sharp" were usurped from Apple's gate and replanted at Toshiba's.

Among other bragging points is the fact that ’s display can show 16.7 million different colors.

Toshiba describes the display technology as based on processing techniques with low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors (TFT) on glass substrates and other fabrication techniques that Toshiba has cultivated over the years.

Toshiba credits its LTPS technology as the enabler of advancements like the new LCD display. Low temperature poly silicon makes possible higher pixel density, which in turn makes text and images more readable. That’s especially useful in smaller device screens like handhelds and portable diagnostic equipment, as well as for larger screens, says Toshiba.

The display is for 2-D images but the LCD panel achieves “high-definition images with photographic quality,” says Toshiba, and those images impart depth and realism.

Missing from the announcement were specifics on how the display will translate into product. Many are wondering what type of end product will use the display.

One easy assumption is that the display will translate into smaller tablets but a few observers are raising questions about that. The hardware review site AnandTech asks, what is the use for a 6.1-inch display? The report points out that smaller 4.5-inch displays are, with a few exceptions, the maximum for most smartphones. As for tablets, they usually start at 7 inches. Toshiba’s display at 6.1 inches hovers over both categories, too big for smartphones and too small for tablets.

Others guess that Toshiba's targets may be e-reader manufacturers who want to take their displays to a newer level.

Those in Yokohama, Japan, this week will be able to see the LCD panel at the FPD International 2011 from October 26 to 28.

Enhanced viewing and graphics capabilities are a competitive feature in mobile devices, as manufacturers strive to respond to user wants, needs, and expectations.

Toshiba’s new-to-showcase LCD, with its superior resolution, has already attracted much attention. For now, though, in the absence of any product details from Toshiba, Apple can still rest on its laurels. As tells the world, its "retina " makes viewing "hundreds of pixels better."

Explore further: Toshiba LCD Panel Zooms In-and-Out By Bending It (w/ Video)

More information: Press release

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5 / 5 (1) Oct 24, 2011
am i the only that finds the 244 ppi kanji characters more readably than the demoed 498?
not rated yet Oct 24, 2011
Sub-pixel highlighting is turned off for sure
not rated yet Oct 24, 2011
I would take one of those panels and project the image onto a piece of delicately frosted glass.

Somebody should do that kind of a computer monitor. No more viewing angle problems, adjustable picture size... etc. Would be great for people who like photography, because even at 30" size the image would still be sharper than common "FullHD" LCD monitors at 23"

5 / 5 (1) Oct 24, 2011
The human eye can't resolve much better than about 280ppi at 30cm distance. Any resolutions higher than that are fairly useless, unless being deployed on a head-mounted device where the distance to the screen is closer than a foot.
5 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2011
The human eye can't resolve much better than about 280ppi at 30cm distance. Any resolutions higher than that are fairly useless, unless being deployed on a head-mounted device where the distance to the screen is closer than a foot.

291 ppi to be exact, theoretically at least. The trouble is, we have two eyes doing the sampling, and even one eye can still see moire patterns at that resolution due to the pixel grid.

Ideally the surface area of a pixel would be half the surface area of a point we can see. At 300 mm distance, the point is roughly 87 µm in diameter. A square of half the area would be 55 µm on the side, giving a final resolution of 466 pixels per inch.

I'm applying Nyquist. A signal can accurately represent information at half its frequency, so if the signal we want to transmit is at the spatial resolution of the human retina at 300 mm, then the display must have twice the resolution to show it free of aliasing errors.
5 / 5 (3) Oct 24, 2011
That is to say, at 291 PPI you can still just barely tell each pixel apart from 30 cm away. Under those circumstances, you can't show just any arbitrary picture without it getting some kind of aliasing error to it.

As you decrease the pixel size further, the possible aliasing errors gradually vanish, until the eye is always sampling at least two pixels per dot of visual resolution, and can't distinguish the fact that a contrast edge may be misplaced by one pixel.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 24, 2011
I stand corrected! Informative and well laid out. Thanks.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2011
Mathematically absolutely correct, but practically?

I have an over average sharp vision, but for me an 24" HD monitor at a distance of 60-75cm (>2ft) is OK, 90-100cm (3ft.) is absolutely perfect. At an bigger distance I get the impression to miss some details.

In praxis, I don't have the feeling that it really needs a higher pixle density.

That would mean, at 30cm distance I need an 8" display in HD. - equals 240dpi

In addition, who wants to use a cellphone that close that this resolution would be a real advantage?

It is a technical masterpiece, without any additional practical value to me
not rated yet Oct 26, 2011
it means nothing unless it is in a product and is selling millions per month....
Otherwise it's simply boasting...

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