Apple announced new Macs and the new iPad Air 2 last week. Apple continues to improve the display and has now laminated the display to the front glass for the first time on iPad. This is also the secret behind the new extremely thin design. But what is next for Apple?
iPad Air 2 is 6.1 mm thin
There was no new, larger “iPad Pro”, but Apple unveiled a new iPad Air 2 and continues to focus on picture quality and display technology. The pixels count remains unchanged at 2048x1536 and Apple continues to use a 9.7-inch IPS LCD panel, but the big change is that it now uses a laminated - optically bonded - display.
As you might recall, this is already the case on iPhone and recently on iMac when it became thinner. With a laminated display the air gap between the display and front glass is removed. Apple claims that a laminated screen has several advantages - and it is true.
A laminated display has much reduced internal reflections and together with a new anti-reflective coating reflections have been reduced by 56%, says Apple. It is the “lowest reflectivity of any tablet”, according to Apple, and it should improve outdoor picture quality and contrast significantly. It will also make it feel like you are actually touching the display instead of a front glass.
The new laminated display is also the reason why the iPad Air 2 is so much thinner than the first iPad Air. Apple says that two iPad Air 2 on top of each other are still thinner than the original iPad.
Where will Apple go from here?
From here, Apple will have a harder time slimming down the iPad if the company continues to use LCD displays. If Apple wants to take it to the next level they should start using OLED technology. It appears that Apple Watch is the first Apple product to do so.
OLED requires no backlight unit and can even be created on plastic, which can reduce reflections further, improve durability and make the iPad even thinner. In the future, OLED could even make the iPad flexible once the other components follow.
Apple’s iPad Air 2 will be available this week. It also includes a second-generation 64-bit A8X chip, which has 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU performance compared to the first iPad Air.