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Casio outs smallest full 1080p display

Maker of plastic watches Casio has unleashed prototypes of what appears on paper to be the smallest HD display ever.

Built by a new outfit called Ortustech, which is a joint venture between Casio and Toppan Printing, the 4.8-inch display knocks the iPhone 4's specs into a cocked hat.

The panel boasts a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels using an Hyper-Amorphous Silicon TFT (HAST) process. In order to squeeze this many dots onto such a small substrate, Ortustech had to cram 458 pixels onto every inch of the screen's surface.

Which is all well and good until you realise why Apple decided to go with 326 pixels per inch on the iPhone 4.

The human eye is capable of discerning around 300 pixels per inch on a screen held around 20 cm away. The engineers at Apple added an extra 26 just to make sure. Honest.

Joking aside, the average human eye is physically incapable of telling the difference between a screen with 300 ppi and one with 400, so all of that extra effort literally goes ot waste. Unless, of course, you intend to magnify the screen in some way.

The screen has a 160-degree viewing angle and supports 16 million colours, but will probably never make it into a production gadget, not least because no-one will want to pay the additional manufacturing costs involved in upping the resolution until the human eye has evolved beyond its current capabilities.

We suspect that in its current form, this technology will soon be gathering dust on the giant shelf labelled 'concept', but we can see a use for smaller screens at this density in things like camera viewfinders and microscopes, where magnification is a possibility monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.