Sometimes, it seems like technology is in a completely different language. But no, it isn’t, and the geeks who are fluent in gadgetese aren’t speaking in a strange version of bekimon. With just a few choice tech terms, you can decipher the Nerd Code, make sense of your smart phone’s spec sheet, make more informed purchases, sound smart, and impress girls. Well, maybe not that last one. Girls really don’t care.
When it comes to everyone's favorite tablets, it's all about the screen, and when it comes to screens, the first word you have to learn—if you haven't already—is "capacitive."
A tech that allows your phone to detect a conductor, such as your finger. It does it by measuring the change in “capacitance” on the surface of the screen, hence the name. This is the tech that made it all possible—first with the iPhone, then with an army of touchscreen tablets. And the rest is history.
We’ve been poking our gadgets ever since. In the dark days before the iPhone, phones used resistive screens. They basically sucked. No one’s going to miss them.
Short for In-Plane Switching. It’s a kind of LCD panel that’s superior to your average LCD panel, in much the same way that Beyoncé is prettier and more talented than the other girls in Destiny’s Child (hey, someone had to say it). IPS panels display accurate colors from all viewing angles, and they don’t display “tailing” when touched.
Touch an LCD TV to discover what tailing is (go ahead, we’ll wait). Apple uses IPS screens, which according to Steve Jobs perform better than OLED (which is next) screens. That’s debatable, but it’s just so typical of him, bless his soul. Everyone from Nokia to Samsung to Sony uses OLED or AMOLED screens.
Organic Light Emitting Diode screens are also better than your average LCD screen in the same way that Justin Timberlake was obviously the only dude in *N Sync with talent. Unlike LCD or LED screens, OLED screens are not backlit; they emit light on their own. They’re also capable of deep black levels and high contrast.
Pixels Per Inch. More pixels per per inch is better.
Active Matrix OLED is an OLED screen that allows for higher resolution.
A term invented by Apple to describe a screen that has so many pixels packed together that you can’t make out the pixels anymore. The actual PPI of a retina display varies. A 5th Gen iPod Touch has the most at 326 PPI while a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has the least at 220 PPI.
Trademarked by Samsung, this screen tech is like an AMOLED screen, just more super. It has 50 percent more subpixels, it’s thinner, brighter, and uses 18-percent less energy. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 uses a Super AMOLED screen.
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