Google announced on Wednesday its next generation Nexus 7 tablet PC, to be available July 30. The $229 Nexus 7 features a 1920×1200 resolution display, which has a pixel density of 323ppi, making it the tablet with the highest pixel density panel in the market, passing the Nexus 10, which has a pixel density of 299 ppi.
Pixel density and high resolution displays have become a new metric in the tablet market to measure viewing quality. As the market shifts towards smaller screen devices, higher resolutions will become more important. Tablets with screen sizes 8.9” and smaller will make up 59% of the market, a big change from last year, when 61% of tablets shipped had 9” and larger displays. However, higher resolutions and pixel densities are not necessarily valued for the improving picture quality—at a certain point as pixel densities increase most consumers will not be able to appreciate the improvements—but rather for the increasing amount of content that can be displayed on smaller screens.
Source: Tablet Quarterly Report
We expect the share of tablets with high pixel density panels to gradually increase over time, but for 2013, over 70% of tablets shipped will have panels with under 200 ppi. As prices for higher resolution panels decline, and as high definition content increases, the value and need for higher density panels will increase. By 2015 we expect over 50% of tablet PCs shipped will have panels with greater than 200 ppi, with nearly 25% of tablet PCs shipped having panels with greater than 300 ppi.
The Nexus 7 is able to support 323ppi because it uses a low temperature polysilicon display made by Japan Display —the first tablet in the market to do so. Supply chain indications point to LTPS being considered for the iPad mini with Retina Display, which is expected to go into mass production in Q1’14 with a 7.9”, 2048×1536 resolution, 326 ppi screen.