Apple's brand new iPad has just launched with a Retina display! The resolution is 2048 x 1536, quadrupling that of the first and second generation iPads. The new 9.7-inch iOS tablet keeps the same screen size as its predecessors, but now comes with just over 3.1 million pixels, resulting in an impressive 264ppi density. You might not think that's quite enough to merit Apple's designation of a Retina display — one dense enough to make individual pixels indistiguishable — however Phil Schiller explained that the iPad is expected to be held at a distance of 15 inches away from the user's eyes, qualifying it for that title.

All stock iOS apps have been updated and optimized for the new resolution and text will automatically be rendered accordingly. Apple already pulled off this sort of a resolution jump with the move between iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, so we imagine the transitional process for developers updating their apps will be no different with the new iPad.

The new display is not merely denser, however, as Apple has also revealed that it'll have 44 percent greater color saturation than the old 1024 x 768 panel. Phil Schiller's conclusion about the updated display is categorical: "The best mobile display that has ever shipped." Apple's 2012 iPad will be in stores on March 16th.

Screen Size Resolution PPI
Apple's new iPad 9.7 inches 2048 x 1536 264
Apple iPad / iPad 2 9.7 inches 1024 x 768 132
Acer Iconia Tab 700 10.1 inches 1920 x 1200 224
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 10.1 inches 1280 x 800 149
Apple iPhone 4S 3.5 inches 960 x 640 326
HTC Rezound / Sony Xperia S 4.3 inches 1280 x 720 342
Sony PS Vita 5 inches 960 x 544 221
Apple MacBook Air (2011) 11 inches 1366 x 768 135
Sony VAIO Z (2011) 13.1 inches 1920 x 1200 168
Apple Thunderbolt Display 27 inches 2560 x 1440 109