Pretty much ever since the iPhone 4 with retina display was launched, resolutions have played a major role in smartphone market. In September, Samsung unveiled Galaxy S II HD LTE, which sports a 4.65" 1280x720 display. That was the first smartphone with HD resolution (720p). Now there are already a few phones with HD resolution, for example Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Optimus LTE. Higher resolutions are not only courtesy of smartphones as "retina" displays are coming to tablets as well. On May, Samsung showed off a 10.1" panel with resolution of 2560x1600 - resolution that's only seen in high-end 30" monitors.

Toshiba is taking the resolution battle one step further by releasing a 6.1" LCD with 2560x1600 resolution.   In terms of pixels per inch (PPI), that is 495. Below is a table comparing displays and their PPIs.

Comparison of display PPIs
  Screen Size Resolution PPI
iPhone 4/4S 3.5" 960x640 329.65
Samsung Nexus 4.65" 1280x720 315.83
Samsung's Unreleased Tablet Panel 10.1" 2560x1600 298.9
Toshiba's New Panel 6.1" 2560x1600 494.9

As you can see, Toshiba's new panel is a clear winner, and its PPI is 50% greater than iPhone 4/4S's, which has the second highest PPI. There is no word on the panel type but the viewing angles are 176 degrees, which hints toward IPS. Toshiba also claims 1000:1 contrast ratio and 61% NTSC color gamut. 

The image above summarizes the advantage of high PPI. ~500PPI is starting to be close to the limits of human eye because even at very close range (like in the image), seeing the individual pixels is nearly impossible. At normal viewing distance, it would be impossible to see individual pixels.

However, the big question is, what is the use for 6.1" display? 4.5" is more or less the maximum for smartphone (although there are a few bigger ones, such as Samsung Galaxy Note). Bigger than that won't fit in most people's hands or pocket comfortably. Tablets, on the other hand, usually begin at 7". 6.1" is in the middle - it's too big for a smartphone and too small for a regular tablet.

It's possible that this is just for trying out what today's technology can produce and we may never see the display in a consumer product. If it's aimed for a certain product, then the only product that makes sense would be a small tablet, unless Toshiba or any of its partners have something special in mind. 

Source: Toshiba Mobile Display

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  • GeorgeH - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    And yet they still won't make a 24" (or less) monitor greater than 1920 - which is barely more than 90PPI. :\
  • JasonInofuentes - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

  • mcturkey - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    The 1080P HD standard has had two major effects on computers - massively driven down prices of LCDs as panel production ramped up, and induced an almost complete halt in resolution growth. Unless you're willing to spend a lot of money on a larger display (27" +), you won't get better than 1920x1080 (even then, not significantly). It's very frustrating, because while 4K may not be that noticeable compared to 1080P while sitting 8 feet away from a 60" screen watching a movie, it IS useful for a lot of folks while sitting 2 feet away from a 24" screen.
  • DanNeely - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    1920x1080 @ 4.4"
    1920x1200 @ 4.5"
    1440x960 @ 3.5"
  • BrooksT - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    I don't know why people are talking about tablets. If you graph Android phones, it's pretty clear that 6" phones are only a year or two away. This could be a perfect panel for them.
  • uhuznaa - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    Yepp, and in five years Android phone will have 9" displays... and five USB ports!

    Seriously, I don't see any sane reason to go beyond 300 DPI or a bit more. Ever more pixel are ever harder on the GPU and the ROI just isn't there.
  • SanX - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    they have to be ideally at 450ppi. why? just two words "perseived ppi"
  • MartinT - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    I wonder what kind of SOC you would need to drive that resolution? What are the limits of current gen Mali or PowerVR cores, even if you completely disregard 3D gaming?
  • dagamer34 - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    2D rendering isn't that hard at these resolutions since your just drawing stuff to the screen and there isn't that much over draw. 3D rendering on the other hand will struggle at that resolution, however it's more likely developers will half the effective resolution to get better frame rates. That's why high res screens need to be really up there to work well with the system; if they aren't high enough, halting the resolution leaves you with something very ugly looking (for example 1600x900 screen on a 7" tablet sounds nice, but at 1/2 res for games to have a high fps, it's a pathetic 800x450 disaster).
  • french toast - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    tegra 3 has that capability, i know that much.

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