Retina display vs e-Ink


Technology Novice
I read Mac and Apple news regularly and from time to time follow Tech Night Owl podcasts. I'm listening to the latest Tech Night Owl podcast right now and a thought occurred to me. I don't know if this has been mentioned before but I thought that the Retina display could be Apple's answer to e-Ink! Let me explain.

Some years back before the iPod touch arrived, eInk devices were being promoted as being so much better than LCD displays for reading because of two reasons:
1) the resolution was high (or at least it appeared so to the naked eye) and,
2) the non-back lit screen made reading easier

I've owned eInk devices before and honestly I never found point #2 to be really that valid. In a way, I think eInk device manufacturers have been using this mantra to "dupe" consumers into thinking (and thus psychosomatically feeling) that back lit screens are so difficult on the eyes. I've never found it to be so. With regards to point #1, they did have some legitimacy that eInk resolution looked crisper, almost like paper.

There are some major disadvantages to eInk, notably the very slow refreshing rate and that redrawing a screen involves flashing the whole screen. So do you want crisp text at the expense of being "flashed" every time you turn a page? I don't. My spouse recently got an iPhone 4S and I've been really in awe of the Retina Display. It is absolutely crisp and I can't even detect the pixel with my naked eye! I have an iPad 2 and iPod touch and neither of those devices have a Retina Display. I wonder if the Retina Display can replace the eInk advantage of the crisp text. I would think that one reason Apple didn't go the eInk route was because of the necessity of flashing screens. That makes the device look primitive and clunky, harking back to the days of the green monochrome monitors. But maybe with the increasing widespread of the Retina Display, eInk's advantage of crisp looking text is over.

E-Ink has severe limitations, and, when producing the Kindle Fire, Amazon used LCD. I'll tell you what: Go look at an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S with Retina Display and tell us what you think. It like the reading experience fine.