The iPad Screen's Only Problem Is That It's Too Good

Not even the gadget's winning feature has zero faults and the upgraded Retina display is most certainly the "Resolutionary" iPad's winning feature.

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Not even the gadget's winning feature has zero faults and the upgraded Retina display is most certainly the "Resolutionary" iPad's winning feature. From the moment Tim Cook announced the iPad to the preliminary hands-on reviews, to actual reviews, the iPad has gotten over-the-top praise for the 2048 x 1536 resolution display. And, it's not just gadget freak hype, the type of people who test these things have analyzed the display, confirming better sharpness, resolution and color representation. It's just all around great. Maybe, even, too great.

The screen is too good for some iPad content. For stuff that's optimized for the high-resolution display, stuff looks "brilliant," "stunning," and "incredible" -- just some choice words from our iPad reviewers. But, not everything meets the iPad's standards. That stuff looks not so good, as The New York Times' Brian X. Chen points out. "Pick up a new iPad and load a Web site, and you’ll often see crisp, clear text next to not-so-sharp photos," he writes. And the same goes for iPad magazine apps, notes BuzzFeed's John Herrman. That's because these sites and magazines have chosen not to upgrade their content for the better screen, which would cost both websites and magazine app makers a bunch of money.

This isn't really such a bad problem for Apple to have, though. Most of the stuff looks great, thanks to Apple, which as Chen explains loads lower resolution images on its own servers and replacing them with higher resolution version on the iPad. (We wonder why Apple isn't doing this for magazine apps? Perhaps it has something to do with text versus photos.) And on top of that, it is setting an industry standard -- something Apple loves to do. "It’s like an HDTV. We’re just stepping into a new era," Gabriel Shaoolian, chief executive of design firm Blue Fountain Media, told Chen. When HDTV first came out non-HD stuff didn't look so good -- that hasn't stopped the proliferation of both HD products and HD compatible content. If people really value the new iPad's screen, which high sales suggest they do, then we can expect this problem won't last too long.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.