“High DPI screens are coming.”

Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management for the Windows User Experience Team, introduced the Metro UI in great detail during Build. At around 41 minutes, Harris puts up a slide titled “Scaling across form factors”. And on that slide the third bullet states:

HD (~200DPI) and Ultra HD (>250DPI) screens a reality soon

Does Harris know something that we don’t? Here’s what he claims during the presentation:

High DPI screens are coming. I’ve seen them. They’re beautiful. The screen manufacturers are doing an amazing job of creating these.

And then he puts up a slide comparing an image on a 10-inch display with a 1366×768 pixel format with one that has 1920×1080. Think about that: a 10-inch LCD with 1920×1080. That calculates to a resolution of a little over 218 ppi. (I prefer to use ppi.) Microsoft will be using SVG, CSS Primitives, and XAML to scale up to 300 ppi class displays. And Metro will have a minimum pixel format requirement of 1024×768.

I reported in late July regarding HiDPI modes in OS X Lion. It would be amazing to have a 3840×2400 pixel format on my 17-inch MacBook Pro. Because of the extra screen real estate? Heck no. Because fonts and icons will be super sharp like they are on the iPhone 4. But are these larger Retina Displays coming?

According to the latest rumors the Retina Display equipped iPad I dub the iPad Pro won’t be making it this year because of difficulties in manufacturing a 9.7-inch LCD with 2048×1536 pixels. Cramming a lot of pixels while maintaining high yields isn’t easy and that means whoever makes the first batch of large Retina Displays will have to pay a lot for them. Remember the spat of news earlier on this year about Apple investing in LCD manufacturers? Maybe Apple has already paid. I still think the Retina Display equipped iPad Pro will be announced soon, but maybe that’s just hopeful thinking. But Harris has already seen large “high DPI” screens…