13" resolution really that bad?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Berius, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Berius macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    The resolution on the 13" MBP is pretty low. The fact that it is a glossy screen and has a lower res than the macbook air is making it hard to decide.

    I'm about 70% set on getting a macbook pro 13". I may get it in late October or early November. Hopefully by the rumored speed boost will be out by then. I expect maybe a 3ghz bump on the low end pro.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    A 3GHz bump is unlikely.

    What do you need the pro for?
  3. Samuriajackon macrumors 6502


    Feb 9, 2009
    I never have problems using my 13in screen. Truth is i think 13in macbook pro looks better then any Windows based 15in screen. But if you need a higher resolution.....
  4. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    Get the Pro and upgrade it to make it a beast.
  5. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    at 5.3GHZ I'd sell mine and buy it :D;)
  6. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I hope you mean 0.3 ghz because a 3 ghz bump is huge.
  7. Berius thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    Haha! Yeah i meant .3ghz.

    I plan to use this at college. Probably wont be running any difficult programs but i want the best bang for my buck obviously. The macbook air would serve me probably but I actually like the feel of the 13" pro more. It feels more solid and I like the fact that i can upgrade the RAM later on. I will likely get an ssd later on but im not willing to pay the extra $200 for the 128gb air.

    BTW When looking at notebookcheck.com it seems that the processors in the 13" air and pro bench very similarly. Does the air's cpu come close to matching the 13" pro's on with its 1.7ghz processor or does it have to use a temporary overclock?
  8. boxxy macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2011
    hi, i would highly recommend the 13" MPB.

    If your worried about glare, "Green Onion" makes this perfect screen protector. Its truly cut to size and goes on easy enough. It's not completely like the matte display but it cuts down on a ton of glare. If you have a Fry's locally they have em in stock. Amazon too. I was on the fence about buying the glossy display since having a matte screen but this made the buying so much easier.

    As for the resolution- that's going to be personal opinion. I have a 27" iMac and can tell the resolution difference on the MBP only bc of the easy comparison. At the same token, the led backlit screen and the smaller screen on the MBP just seem to "cover-up" the lesser resolution well enough.

    cheers! :apple:

  9. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    The screen on the Air make it unusable IMO, after 15 seconds of looking at them at an Apple store I wanted to gouge my eyes out. It's nice that it's 1440x900, but there's so many negatives it come nowhere near making up for.

    As for the resolution of the 13" Pro, it's not great but it's not that bad. It would be nice if it had the option of a 1680x1050 screen for some more real-estate; the current 13" has a higher PPI than the standard 15", so it's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be.
  10. ladytonya macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    Personally, I had a matte screen on my last computer and I absolutely hated it! I've got the glossy 13" MBP and this is hands down the best computer I have ever used. I too am a college student, albeit a non-traditional student so I'm not on campus or anything, working on an MBA through an online program so I don't have any specific needs for software other than MS Office and a fast internet connection. If I had to do it all over again, I would buy this exact same computer. I have the base model 13" and I figure that if I need to, I can eventually go to 8GB RAM and upgrade the HDD to a SSD. Right now, I just don't see myself needing more speed than this. Of course, you also haven't really said what your computing needs are. What is your major? What kind of software do you need to run? Are you a high-end gamer or do you just use your computer primarily for word processing and internet access? Also, do you need to do any photo editing? I do some light photo and video editing and this computer has met all my needs. Good luck and have fun with your new computer, whichever you decide to purchase!
  11. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Matte vs. glassy is obviously a very subjective thing... I don't care for reflective, over-saturated displays so I prefer matte.

    When I recently purchased a 13" MBP I put a Power Support anti-glare film on the display. I compared it to my 15" MBP matte display and they are comparable in appearance. I don't notice any problem resolution-wise; IMO people place too much emphasis on display resolution.

    The MBA? I think that it uses an inferior LED-backlit display compared to the MBP. I spent an hour and a half playing with an 11" MBA and within 15 minutes I had a headache. The eyestrain was severe and lasted until the next morning. I've worked on a variety of computers since the 1990s and I have never had that experience with any other display, CRT or LCD.

    You really should try to personally check out the displays that you are considering. You can obtain a boat-load of opinions but in the end what will work best is entirely up to you.
  12. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    The 13" MBP is a solid computer, and will serve you well for everything but gaming with newer titles, and perhaps 3D work like solidworks. It's also set at a price point which makes it a very good buy for many users. I just bought a 13" MBA which now appears to be my wife's new computer. :)

    The SSD in the Air gives it a definite advantage over my MBP, but I still like my MBP. It's just a little bit more versatile and a little cheaper. This makes it very desirable to a budget minded Mac user.

    My concerns when I bought this in an emergency scenario last February:

    - Resolution; It's a little bit of a deal, but not as bad as I thought. With the use of spaces and the ability to resize windows it's not that bad. Mind you, for work sometimes I'm connecting to user machine where they are running dual monitor 1680x1050, and I can still navigate okay. Ideal? No. Manageable, yes. I'd still prefer 1440x900@13" screen, 1680x1050@15" screen.

    - Graphics; This is definitely the weak point. If they sold a MBP 13" with an ATI 6750m discrete GPU I would be all over that like white on rice. Nonetheless, it seems I can run game titles from 2007 and before on medium-high graphics. This is good enough for my light gaming.

    - Weight. Yes, it's 50% heavier than a 13" MBA, but I rarely carry it in more than a sleeve nowadays. It's a non-issue. I'm still walking out the door with only 5.5lbs of extra weight.

    - Legacy; I still have an optical drive, the ability to change out the memory and hard drive to SSD, (and plan to). All at a reasonable price, less than a loaded 13" MBA.
    This means I could theoretically use this machine for the next 3-5 years and it would still be decently fast for most general purpose use. This is why if I could only have one machine I think it would be the 13" MBP. At least right now. We'll see with next year's Ivy Bridge refresh. ;)
  13. andrewjthrelfo macrumors newbie


    Aug 9, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    For general use the 13-inch MacBook Pro's resolution is ok, but if you ever want to use pro apps like Logic or Final Cut, forget it.
  14. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    There's no such thing. Time to study the difference between hardware & software.

    You've made it obvious you hate PC's. Just come right out & be honest. No one will hold it against you, it's your right.
  15. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2008
    i use my mbp 13" for mobile recording and just hook it up to a screen when i'm editing. for tracking, i don't worry too much about the screen since I track one instrument at a time and buss everything if i need to anyway
  16. disarticulate macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I had a 13" MBP for 2 years and decided to upgrade to a 15". Resolution played a big part in my upgrade. The resolution on the 13" makes even web surfing difficult. Go to the Apple store and play around on a higher resolution screen for a while, then go try to use a 13, it's pretty rough.
  17. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2011
    i have the 13 and I'm happy with it. i was going to get the 15 but i like the size of the 13 better. i don't do anything crazy with it, I'm consultant so i use iWork a lot and I'm really happy with it. it depends on what your gonna use it for. also might i point out if you want a better display the acd and tbd will hook up to give you what your really looking for. i plan on getting tbd next year for my office- but now I'm mostly mobile
  18. MultiBat macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2011
    Another 13" owner here.

    I love the screen of my MBP. When I bought my 13" MBP I actually got the same resolution as my old 15" PC. It could be a reason I never thought the resolution was a problem.

    That being said, Lion really lifted the experience. Using Safari, iTunes, pages and so on in full screen mode felt like a big improvement.
    It does give extra screen space, but maybe it also feels better because you have no distractions from stuff in the background?

    In short: No, the resolution is not that bad. Try not to listen too much to what other people say. If possible, try it out and form your own opinion.
  19. Srirama macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2010
    See,Its all a matter of perception.
    Eventually one will get used to it anyway.
  20. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    1280x800 isn't bad, it's just not as good as what you could have. I think the contrast and overall quality of the display make it somewhat comparable or better than Windows laptops with slightly higher res screens. If I went with a 13" MBP, it would the loss of usable screen space that would bug me most, not the clarity.
  21. andrewjthrelfo macrumors newbie


    Aug 9, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    Fair enough, I just that found that when I owned a 13" the resolution wasn't great for 80+ track projects in Logic Pro. Since I got my hi-res 15" I haven't looked back :)
  22. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Just generally wrong..
  23. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    i live & die on my 13"; my main app is logic (i use it full-screen), and i've never had a problem. sure it's nice on my collabs iMac...

    because i move around a lot (some travel, and the infamous ny subway system), the 13" is perfect, fits in my backpack, it's lite, etc.

    logic, photoshop, dreamweaver...etc. all good.
  24. windowstomac macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2011
    I have a 13" and am perfectly happy, and I am someone who came from a 15" laptop with 1680x1050. You just end up adapting the way your work, and with multiple spaces in use I don't notice it as a problem at all.

    I also personally think that with the 13" the laptop itself looks way nicer than the bigger MBPs..
  25. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    depends on what you do with it. it's sort of like asking whether a .25mm or a .5mm pencil is "best." If you are not doing drafting in this analogy, then it doesn't matter, and you may actually prefer the .5mm.

    People freak out about the numbers, but for many of us (not all) if you sit the MBP 13", 15", and MBA 13" down next to one another (I did this) you may decide that the 13" looks fabulous. Then again, you may think the 15" fits you better.

    In short, unlike something that is clearly better (like a quad core), it is a subjective decision.

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