Obviously, the eye doesn't perceive this large of a gap at no magnification, but still, I was surprised at how much of a gap there is between rows.
(Contrast this to the iPhone 4S, which is about 9:3.6, or 28.6% black.)
Me, I just want to hold it. Smell it. Feel it. I'm sure I will too, in another 2 months from now.
(Explanation: the OpenPandora (http://openpandora.org/) is a custom portable QWERTY Linux clamshell ultra-console. Or it was, three years ago when I ordered mine. Still waiting for delivery, it's a very small operation and they've had some hiccups along the way.)
Although, I can still perceive the individual pixels if I look close enough. This is what I expected, because I often hold the iPad at about the same distance as an iPhone, and the iPad has still lower res (326 vs 264 ppi). It's not yet this "device that hides its technology in plain sight beyond any human capability and therefore appears magical". But it's very, very beautiful anyway.
Here's hoping that Apple will someday produce a 3x display with 396ppi :-D
I can see some element of jagged rendering on fonts and icons, but it is barely noticable even from up close.
Could you please describe to us exactly what you perceive? I doubt very much that the rows between pixels are visible even with pixel bloom.
Back in 1999 I saw a technology demonstrator at IBM's Almaden facility in San Jose where they showed a 200 ppi LCD display. It blew me away. The scientist who worked on it talked about eye strain and how 200 ppi was the 'magic' spot where more thank 75% of the people stopped noticing the strain of making lines out of pixels.
So after unpacking my ipad3 one of the first things I did was to download the Economist app (my favorite btw) and bring up the latest issue on both the ipad1 and ipad3. Side by side the difference is very visible, absolutely can distinguish between the ipad1 and 3 with p < 0.01 :-) More interestingly comparing the ipad3 version to the print magazine its clear that the ipad3 is pretty much identical from my eyes perspective (disclaimer I do wear glasses, no 20/10 vision here).
Now if I could convince folks that send me catalogs to offer an ipad version I'll be in good shape.
It is the old audiophile argument I guess, we'll never know for sure without double blind testing. I would like to give that a trial, sit people at 10" from a black mask screen with a small rectangle in it, display a pure white image at the lowest brightness and see what people report.
.. Apple’s definition of a “Retina Display” is actually for 20/20 Vision (defined as 1 arc-minute visual acuity). However, 20/20 Vision is just the legal definition of “Normal Vision,” which is at the lower end of true normal vision. There are in fact lots of people with much better than 20/20 Vision, and for almost everyone visual acuity is actually limited by blurring due to imperfections of the lens in the eye. The best human vision is about 20/10 Vision, twice as good as 20/20 Vision, and that is what corresponds to the true acuity of the Retina. So to be an actual “True Retina Display” a screen needs at least 573 ppi at 12 inches viewing distance or 458 ppi at 15 inches. The 326 ppi iPhone 4 is a 20/20 Vision display if it is viewed from 10.5 inches or more. ..
It would be cool to have the e-ink Kindle on that comparison there, too:
I think it's a technology that fills a niche that LCDs or OLEDs won't fill for a very long time, if ever.
(I think the problem is actually with page turns rather than the pixels; turning pages on the Kindle Android app is very flaky. On the physical hardware, it works much better.)
EDIT: Something more recent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag4HGceyVik . The colours seem to be lacking contrast but I'm sure that'll be improved as better filters are developed.
Mirasol and the like seem to be providing quite a good compromise - http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2012/01/01/review-kyobo-mi... That particular reader has the problem of not being as polished as the Kindle but it seems that the screen is rising up to the expectations.
But it's kind of funny, anyway, since the home button is at the bottom of the screen, so the sub-pixels are arranged top-to-bottom when you hold the iPad with the home button where it should be.
It does create another strange effect, though. Since the screen effectively redraws sideways if you hold the iPad in portrait, scrolling vertically quickly makes stuff look a tiny bit distorted; horizontal lines look a bit slanted (like taking a picture out of a car using a cellphone camera, but much less so).
 I can only assume the new iPad's LCD is more inert in some way? Smaller pixels, slower crystal?
On the iPad, on the other hand, there are tons of horizontal lines in a table view, for example.
Also, I thought about the 60 Hz thing, and I think high frame rate is a bit of a red herring. After all, the lines actually are slanted; the higher the frame rate, the fewer degrees they're slanted at the same scroll speed, but whether we notice the slanting is independent of the frame rate.
If you have red, green, and blue subpixels that have exactly a 3:1 height-to-width ratio -- thus forming a perfect 1:1 square -- then you could have zero black space on all sides, and the pixels would appear perfectly square.
They seem to be getting more distorted over time. Maybe when they're so small its less of an issue. I'm surprised at how the red and blue on the kindle fire are so much bigger than the green. The eye is most sensitive to green... yet on the PSP Vita the blue seems to be the smallest of the pixels (meaning the blue pixels will have to put out more light to compensate, or the screen will have a green/red color cast.)
I ask because some of the images really do look perfect with sharp edges (the 3DS, the PSP), compared to the blobs of light you see on the other ones.
(Update: I've added the Sony Tablet S image.)