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Toshiba shows 367ppi mobile display

Toshiba flat panel display

Normally trade shows offering a glimpse of forthcoming display technologies can be a little dull, but the Society for Information Display (SID) 2011 display week has offered up some interesting tidbits: yesterday it was E Ink and Epson announcing 300 dpi E Ink displays, and today Toshiba has come swinging out of the gate with a new mobile display offering a higher resolution than the iPhone 4’s famous “retina display.” Toshiba’s new LTPS (low-temperature polycrystalline silicon) displays can offer up to 367 pixels-per-inch in sizes from 3.3 to 4 inches, meaning the display are sized for a phone phone and can handle resolutions from WVGA (480 by 864 pixels) to HD (720 by 1,280 pixels).

Toshiba’s new display out-does the Apple iPhone 4’s existing high-resolution display, which wowed the mobile world last year by introducing a 326ppi resolution. Dubbed a “retina display” by Apple, the high-resolution displays are designed to offer individual pixels too small for normal human vision to make out under most circumstances, resulting in an image that appears sharp and life-like rather than the vaguely blocky-and-chunky look of most digital displays.

Toshiba’s increased resolution may not offer much apparent improvement over Apple’s existing retina display—vision researchers generally agree most people can’t discern differences in resolution over about 300ppi—but the rest of the specs on Toshiba’s new offering also give it a leg up: it offers a contrast ratio of up to 1,000:1 (compared to 800:1 on the iPhone 4 display), covers 92 percent of the NTSC color spectrum, and has horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 176 degrees.

There’s no word on when Toshiba’s high-res display may make it into consumer products, but we expect the answer is something like “as soon as manufacturers can get them in quantity.”