Yeah me too!
Gruber didn't eliminate any particular pixel rez -- just said that it wouldn't be a retina display.
You, more than anyone on these forums has researched the definition of retina display.
Likely, it could be argued either way whether 2048 × 1536 pixels on the iPad 9.7 " screen would qualify as a retina display -- so there is some wiggle room.
That said, the 2x size, 2048 × 1536. may be too ambitious for this time around -- because of display cost, RAM and CPU/GPU requirements.
So, then people suggest that maybe one of the intermediate rezes, 1.25x or 1.50x (below) could be used.
1.00 x == 1024 ×768
1.25 x == 1280×960
1.50 x == 1536×1152
2.00 x == 2048 ×1536
These are almost immediately rejected as being too hard, or won't scale mathematically (fractional pixels, etc.)
But is that really true?
Consider that two of the most popular uses of the iPad are video and games:
--Video scales well to most higher rezes and pixel anomalies are not noticeable.
-- The better games already use OpenGL and the GPU to deliver realistic video-like effects - these also scale well.
I assume that scaling video and games could be handled with simple changes and a recompile where the app would handle both the current iPad and an iPad 2 with higher rez..
Lets say, for discussion purposes, that this handles 30% of the current iPad apps.
What about the others?
What if we were to display them at their current pixel rez on a iPod 2 with a higher pixel rez, centered on the display -- they would work, but they would be smaller and wouldn't take up the entire display.
I posted elsewhere that an iPhone app looks dorky when run as-is on the iPads larger display -- they are either iPhone size, and too small, or 2x magnified and don't look good (jaggies) and don't exploit the real estate (too large).
Think about this for a minute -- with out going through the actual math:
-- we have this dinky iPhone display awash in a sea of black - it doesn't look good and we've gained nothing in usability (man, did you see the size of the bezel on that presentation?)
-- we have this grotesque 2x magnification that is easier to use (bigger controls) - butt ugly.
As some have said, it's just a big iPod Touch in either of these modes.
But, let's put aside scaling iPhone apps to the iPad, and talk about scaling an iPad 1 rez app to an iPad 2 rez display.
What if we do the same thing -- center the lower rez iPad 1 display in the higher rez iPad 2 display?
Would it look dorky -- either too big or too small?
Yeah, it might if we have a much larger rez that isn't an integer multiple of screen rez such as 2x.
There is a rez, mentioned above -- the 1.25 x == 1280×960 that might just work, and look good at the same time -- with no scaling.
If you display a 1024x768 rez app centered on a 1280x960 rez screen, you have added 128 black pixels to the left and right and 96 black pixels to the top and bottom of the display.
It is slightly smaller -- but big enough. It still is an iPad-UI app and takes advantage of most of the iPad display.
It looks OK! It works OK.
It will. likely be quite acceptable -- until the developer does a relatively minor rewrite to take advantage of the higher rez.
There are some things that Apple could do to even improve the situation -- say reserve the extra pixels (162 landscape, 256 portrait) at the bottom of the display for notifications and overlay area for the popup KB.
Doing nothing, an iPad 1 app would gain functionality and more content area above the KB when run on an iPad 2.
I played around with this for about an hour on various mac displays -- a 1024x768 rez app on a 1280x960 rez screen looks pretty good.