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Old Sep 10, 2013, 08:05 PM   #26
Atomic Walrus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallion View Post
I just came back from the store where I could have a look at the latest line of Macbooks. It was my first time seeing a Retina display and I have to say, WOW. Really really up close, I mean REALLY up close, this display (15") is very impressive. But when looking at it from a normal distance?

I couldn't see a difference between a Retina display and the 17" anti-glare display on my early 2011 MBP. I remember being absolutely mind blown by the quality of the display on my MBP in the first few days after I got it. I was absolutely amazed at how closely I had to look to see individual pixels. I still am. The resolution is amazing. This display absolutely kicks asses, I'm sure those who have seen it will agree.

There were also 2 Macbooks next to the one with the Retina display that had standards glossy displays. I have been greatly surprised to notice how their quality, in comparison to my 17", was absolute CRAP! What the hell? Has it always been so with glossy displays Macbooks? Or has Apple purposely downgraded their quality to make the Retina displays look better?

I was speculating that they may have retired the absolutely awesome anti-glare displays like the one on the 2011 17" MBP because they would have rendered the Retina displays almost pointless, since from a normal distance, there is no really noticeable difference.

Does anyone have a Retina display and a mate 17" display to compare from a normal viewing distance?
Does anyone have one of the latest Macbooks with a standard display and one from ~2011 to compare?

Also, there IS glare on the Retina display. I did notice it enough to think "what a waste".
There's something I should point out: The 1920x1200 matte display in the 17" MBP is amazing. That display was one of the major selling points of the 17" model. It was a TN panel, but it's one of the best performing TN panels I've ever used. I don't believe the panels in the smaller models were ever nearly as good.

About all you can expect from the rMBP is for it to maintain that color quality while increasing the ppi. You also get the advantages that IPS implies, mostly better viewing angles (+no vertical gamma shift, which is impossible to avoid even on a perfectly calibrated TN panel).

The loss of the matte option on the rMBP is kind of unfortunate. Glossy is technically going to be more accurate, but the matte is usually better if you have to work in a real world with no option of light control. It also removes a major weak point from the display: The giant plate of thin glass.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 01:21 AM   #27
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Not only the pixel but please compare the colour. Non-Retina display are so wash-out, compare to a Retina display. Viewing angle also is much inferior.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:21 AM   #28
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Just me again..

I have three of these computers, the 17" anti-glare late 2011, the 15" rMB and the glossy 17"MBP late 2011. The 17" anti-glare is premium and the ultimate in viewing comfort for excessive long periods. The glossy is something to get used to and is a joy to watch media content on it is like looking at a gem stone you know floating on top of a still, clear spring? *Giggles*

The rMB 15" and 13" screens are something else entirely, text is so sharp it really looks like it is right on the surface of the screen, though you have to be really close and near sighted to really appreciate it. At normal distances I can not tell between them and the 17" AG MBP, can not tell what so ever. In fact there is a sort of parallax effect on the 17" AG MPB and the glossy too actually, when you tilt side to side focusing your eyes on the windows, it looks like they are popping out off the LCD. I'm very observant - sorry...

So it has become my preference to also have owned the 15"rMB, sold it, now extremely happy to own the 13"rMBP because this machine is really something else, this company needs to get it right and just have a beefed up 13"RMBP and a re-introduction of a new form-factor 17"RMBP monster - seriously already. I never liked middle of the road anything, I LOVE extremes and the 13" represents total and utter personal - intimate computing while 17" represents absolute status, power and glorious joyful production house. Fifteen inch to me is - mehhhh.... Okay what ever... Meh. It feels indecisive and half effort?

Well it was super great effort to introduce the retina technology or what ever it is, to the 15" screen, very ambitious and they pulled it off, applause but, then the 13" retina screen came out and BAM - they nailed it totally.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 09:15 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by johnnylarue View Post
Respectfully disagree. I was a die-hard 17" MBP anti-glare advocate until I spent time on retina screen in 1920x1200 mode. The physical real estate may be smaller, but that retina screen very noticeably resolves small details and text much more sharply than my 17" did--from normal viewing distances.
The antiglare itself was responsible for a lot of this. The antiglare uses a diffusion panel on-top of the LCD that diffuses light both in and out, so everything becomes a little fuzzier. The 17" MBP glossy is noticeably sharper as it just puts a sheet of glass on-top. Of course then you have to deal with the reflection issue.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 02:54 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by whitedragon101 View Post
The antiglare itself was responsible for a lot of this. The antiglare uses a diffusion panel on-top of the LCD that diffuses light both in and out, so everything becomes a little fuzzier. The 17" MBP glossy is noticeably sharper as it just puts a sheet of glass on-top. Of course then you have to deal with the reflection issue.
Fair enough. But I think the OP was comparing the anti-glare to the retina--and preferring the anti-glare.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 03:28 PM   #31
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Off the top of my head I don't know exactly when the switch happened, but for a while Apple used IPS displays in its MBPs, then they went back to TN screens for all but the Retina models.

I know my 2007 MBP has an IPS screen, and I believe that technology was used in MBPs for several years before they downgraded to TN.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 05:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by johnnylarue View Post
Fair enough. But I think the OP was comparing the anti-glare to the retina--and preferring the anti-glare.
Yes indeed. That is baffling.
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Old Aug 23, 2014, 08:53 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Qaanol View Post
Off the top of my head I don't know exactly when the switch happened, but for a while Apple used IPS displays in its MBPs, then they went back to TN screens for all but the Retina models.

I know my 2007 MBP has an IPS screen, and I believe that technology was used in MBPs for several years before they downgraded to TN.
The Retina MBP was the first with an IPS screen.
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Old Aug 23, 2014, 09:26 AM   #34
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Retina displays almost pointless? Standard displays downgraded in quality on ...

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Originally Posted by Gallion View Post
There were also 2 Macbooks next to the one with the Retina display that had standards glossy displays. I have been greatly surprised to notice how their quality, in comparison to my 17", was absolute CRAP! What the hell? Has it always been so with glossy displays Macbooks? Or has Apple purposely downgraded their quality to make the Retina displays look better?

The cMBP has always been that glossy. The rMBP doesn't have a cover glass, what you see is the actual screen. Look at the retina screen on its side and you'll see how close it is to the surface as if it's painted on. The glossiness or light reflectance has been greatly reduced.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaanol View Post
Off the top of my head I don't know exactly when the switch happened, but for a while Apple used IPS displays in its MBPs, then they went back to TN screens for all but the Retina models.



I know my 2007 MBP has an IPS screen, and I believe that technology was used in MBPs for several years before they downgraded to TN.

The rMBP was the first macbook to get IPS. Its hard to think back to what it was like before the rMBP, but nearly ALL (mac and windows) laptops back then were using TN panels.

Once Apple convinced the consumers and competitors that IPS panels do matter in a laptop, that's when it became the standard.
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Old Nov 15, 2014, 01:40 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedragon101 View Post
The antiglare itself was responsible for a lot of this. The antiglare uses a diffusion panel on-top of the LCD that diffuses light both in and out, so everything becomes a little fuzzier. The 17" MBP glossy is noticeably sharper as it just puts a sheet of glass on-top. Of course then you have to deal with the reflection issue.
I understand where the OP is coming from. If one has a 17" with anti-glare it's already a very good display. I wouldn't upgrade to retina just for the display. I think the glare might be an issue with rMBPs though.

I only ever had anti-glare screens before my current rMBP. I was bothered by the glare so put it off as long as possible. Radeongate forced my decision.

The retina screen is better, but not by that much when you compare it to the high density anti-glare screens. But I think it is way better than 1440x900.
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Old Nov 15, 2014, 11:33 PM   #36
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I always loved my girlfriend's 15" cMBP with a built to order 1,680 x 1,050 matte screen when next to my standard 15" screen. With that said, the screen on my 15" rMBP just trumps every other displays I've used. I typically use it in 1920 mode when I'm working on the go. At my desk, when it's far away and I'm using a secondary display (22" 1680x1050) I set my rMBP to emulate 1440x900px. The great thing is that the computer remembers these settings and automatically changes the settings when I plug in the external display.

With the two displays side by side, there's a clear difference in sharpness. The display on the laptop has amazingly clear text. It's also a joy to look full res pictures on (colours are great too).

When I put my rMBP next to my cMBP the difference is also very clear. When I go back to the lower resolution screen everything looks so blurry.

Did you open your 17" next to the retina? It's hard to objectively say how good some of these things are.
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Old Nov 16, 2014, 07:41 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by leman View Post
They retired the 17" because it was not profitable. Only very few people bough it. With the introduction of the retina model, the 17" was even more redundant - the rMBP offers the same (or higher) real screen estate, while being significantly more mobile.
Yeah, I'm still sad about this. I used to own a 17'' 2007 model. Just a few days ago I saw someone working on a 17'' MBP - 1920x1200 was just the right resolution to work with two documents side by side.
I moved to a 15'' high-res which was good enough, but not great. Currently I have a 13'' rMBP - tried to run it on 1650x1050 but it is a bit too small for me. 1440x900 is workable, but really is a bit short on real estate.

Currently debating whether a 15'' rMBP or a 27'' iMac will do me a better job - very unsure.

I think retina displays are good - the ability to run at scaled resolutions without the blurriness is a strong feature.
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Old Nov 16, 2014, 08:57 AM   #38
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A couple things here:
  • Not all "non-Retina" MacBook Pros have the same pixel density. The 1920x1200 17" MBP had a particularly high pixel density, higher than the 1680x1050 15" MBP which itself had a higher density than the 1280x800 13" MBP. This has been the case from the very start of this generation in 2008-2009. Apple did not lower the pixel density of any of those products after that. The 17" always had a a significantly sharper display than the 13" cMBP.

  • A glossy display and its specular reflection increases contrast compared to an anti-glare display an its diffuse reflection. That's just how physics is, a matte display will never reach the black levels of a glossy display. A higher contrast level makes you notice imperfections caused by the low resolution more, and that's also part of why glossy non-Retina displays looked worse to you.

  • Apple did not stop offering the anti-glare option on any currently selling product. The only products that had the option were the 15" and 17" non-Retina MacBook Pros, both of which are discontinued now.

  • There has been a couple potential reasons why Apple chose to not offer the anti-glare option on the Retina MacBook Pro:

    First, they didn't feel as much pressure to offer it since the laminated display reduced glare significantly (but not completely).

    It also offers better image quality due to the increased contrast and better sharpness. Anti-glare displays are just glossy displays with a grainy film applied to them. This grain reflects light in all directions to create a diffuse reflection, but also refracts light in all directions which lowers sharpness a bit, especially when grain size is larger than pixel size.

    The laminated Retina display also offers less reflectance than the anti-glare displays. Do NOT confuse the type of reflection (specular vs diffuse) and the amount of light that's reflected. The Retina display, while having a specular reflection, reflects less light than the anti-glare MacBook Pros.

  • Some people certainly see a sharpness difference between a Retina MacBook Pro and 17" MacBook Pro at average distance. Not everybody has the same visual acuity! You might not have perfect vision.

Last edited by pgiguere1; Nov 17, 2014 at 05:42 PM.
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Old Nov 16, 2014, 02:33 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgiguere1 View Post
A couple things here:
  • Not all "non-Retina" MacBook Pros have the same pixel density. The 1920x1200 17" MBP had a particularly high pixel density, higher than the 1600x1050 15" MBP which itself had a higher density than the 1280x800 13" MBP. This has been the case from the very start of this generation in 2008-2009. Apple did not lower the pixel density of any of those products after that. The 17" always had a a significantly sharper display than the 13" cMBP.
I the interest of people knowing all the facts, it had a 1680 x 1050 screen not 1600 x 1050. Which also happens to be 15" Retina's medium level "More Space" setting.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 12:18 AM   #40
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My aunt couldn't see a difference between the iPad 2 and the iPad 4.

I, however, see a big difference. I had a 1440 x 900 MBP for a few years and never had any issues with it. When it's GPU failed I got a 15" rMBP from Apple and couldn't believe the difference. I stare at a lot of text all day (PDFs, web pages, spreadsheets...oh the spreadsheets...) and there is a night and day difference. I also think it helps with eye strain; i no longer have to zoom into PDFs to make text and images look clear.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:40 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by alphaod View Post
I agree Retina displays are pointless for most users.

It's nothing more than a new "thing" Apple has going. They started with multitouch displays and now they're going with Retina displays.
It's hard to say clearer text is pointless...for anyone...There's a noticeable difference on any website. Unless of course they haven't updated for high res, which is just silly since every computer manufacturer is moving to retina or higher resolutions.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 05:50 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by simon48 View Post
I the interest of people knowing all the facts, it had a 1680 x 1050 screen not 1600 x 1050. Which also happens to be 15" Retina's medium level "More Space" setting.
Correct, I just edited my post
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 01:32 AM   #43
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On a side note, the antiglare display in the cMBPs are actually more color-accurate than the retinas. Specifically, the 15" early-2011 cMBP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgiguere1 View Post
A couple things here:
  • Not all "non-Retina" MacBook Pros have the same pixel density. The 1920x1200 17" MBP had a particularly high pixel density, higher than the 1680x1050 15" MBP which itself had a higher density than the 1280x800 13" MBP. This has been the case from the very start of this generation in 2008-2009. Apple did not lower the pixel density of any of those products after that. The 17" always had a a significantly sharper display than the 13" cMBP.

  • A glossy display and its specular reflection increases contrast compared to an anti-glare display an its diffuse reflection. That's just how physics is, a matte display will never reach the black levels of a glossy display. A higher contrast level makes you notice imperfections caused by the low resolution more, and that's also part of why glossy non-Retina displays looked worse to you.

  • Apple did not stop offering the anti-glare option on any currently selling product. The only products that had the option were the 15" and 17" non-Retina MacBook Pros, both of which are discontinued now.

  • There has been a couple potential reasons why Apple chose to not offer the anti-glare option on the Retina MacBook Pro:

    First, they didn't feel as much pressure to offer it since the laminated display reduced glare significantly (but not completely).

    It also offers better image quality due to the increased contrast and better sharpness. Anti-glare displays are just glossy displays with a grainy film applied to them. This grain reflects light in all directions to create a diffuse reflection, but also refracts light in all directions which lowers sharpness a bit, especially when grain size is larger than pixel size.

    The laminated Retina display also offers less reflectance than the anti-glare displays. Do NOT confuse the type of reflection (specular vs diffuse) and the amount of light that's reflected. The Retina display, while having a specular reflection, reflects less light than the anti-glare MacBook Pros.

  • Some people certainly see a sharpness difference between a Retina MacBook Pro and 17" MacBook Pro at average distance. Not everybody has the same visual acuity! You might not have perfect vision.
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 10:22 AM   #44
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On a side note, the antiglare display in the cMBPs are actually more color-accurate than the retinas. Specifically, the 15" early-2011 cMBP.
I agree with this. I previously had a 2011 MBP with the anti-glare monitor. I have a rMBP now and I find the screen not as bright, I have to put the setting higher when doing the same camera work. I also needed to calibrated the monitor to where I could use it properly.
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 03:53 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by MacInTO View Post
I agree with this. I previously had a 2011 MBP with the anti-glare monitor. I have a rMBP now and I find the screen not as bright, I have to put the setting higher when doing the same camera work. I also needed to calibrated the monitor to where I could use it properly.
It's also the only reason why I had my 2011 MBP's Radeon GPU reballed after it succumbed to Radeongate.
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 09:50 PM   #46
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There is a huge difference. Going back to my 21' 1680x1050 monitor after not using it for two months was not nice to say the least.
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 10:00 PM   #47
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It's also the only reason why I had my 2011 MBP's Radeon GPU reballed after it succumbed to Radeongate.
I really should have done this with mine as the the retina MBPs aren't heaps better. But I did find a good deal on a retina so I'm okay for now!
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 10:49 PM   #48
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Take this for what it's worth:

I bought a 2012 macbook pro 2 years ago and was blown away by how great the screen was.

Earlier today I was in a Staples store and noticed the 2012 macbook pro and I thought the screen looked like total crap.

There were no retina models in store. Only the 2012 pro and a macbook air, so it wasn't a case of me seeing the retina and thinking the regular pro looked bad in comparison. It just looked bad.
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