15" Retina Vs 17" non retina

NStocks

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Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
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I plan on buying the 15" retina macbook pro, replacing my 17" 2010 macbook pro.

I'm sure there is a scientific way to work it out, but due to the resolution and not screen size, am I correct in saying there is more 'working space' in the 15" retina? The more pixels the more room for stuff?
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
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I think that by default the new 15" retina will have an effective working space of 1440x900, but with double the pixel density.

I read in one article that there were different scaling options mentioned, so you could choose a tradeoff between real estate and sharpness.

I guess if you were crazy you could run at native 2880x1800 with no scaling, but that would make things pretty hard to read.
 

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2011
892
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Nope, not at all.

Would you argue that a 7" 2880 by 1800 pixel display had more working space? Obviously not.

You need to decide what screen size you're comfortable with, before talking about resolution.

If you're doing serious work, you should own an external monitor anyway, which would make this whole dilemma trivial.

----------

I think that by default the new 15" retina will have an effective working space of 1440x900, but with double the pixel density.

I read in one article that there were different scaling options mentioned, so you could choose a tradeoff between real estate and sharpness.

I guess if you were crazy you could run at native 2880x1800 with no scaling, but that would make things pretty hard to read.
Working space is a misnomer, you really can't talk about pixels without talking about screen size. They go hand in hand.
 

therealseebs

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2010
1,057
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Nope, not at all.

Would you argue that a 7" 2880 by 1800 pixel display had more working space? Obviously not.
Not in general, but there are plenty of cases where, on a given size of screen, higher resolution gives you more working space.

You need to decide what screen size you're comfortable with, before talking about resolution.
For me, anyway, 15" to 17" or so are all fine.

If you're doing serious work, you should own an external monitor anyway, which would make this whole dilemma trivial.
That would totally be true in a strange parallel universe where the purpose of a laptop was not in any way to be able to use it while not at home or in the office.

But in our world, the display on a laptop actually matters.
 

NStocks

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
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If you're doing serious work, you should own an external monitor anyway, which would make this whole dilemma trivial.

I agree but I remember when looking at the "old" macbook pro unibody, the options between upgrading the 15" resolution me ants you effectively get more working space on the same screen size...
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
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Switzerland
The retina display can be run in 1920x1200 mode... in that mode it should offer the same work space, however you have to find out if you can still work when things are so small.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
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I agree but I remember when looking at the "old" macbook pro unibody, the options between upgrading the 15" resolution me ants you effectively get more working space on the same screen size...
Basically it looks like you get to pick your working space with the new MBP:

Supported resolutions: 2880 by 1800 pixels (Retina); scaled resolutions: 1920 by 1200, 1680 by 1050, 1280 by 800, and 1024 by 640 pixels
http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs/
 

Shaddow825

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2006
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Guess the question is, how do the scaled resolutions look. If they look like every other scaled non native res Ive seen, then not so good. Apps will feel like a 1440x900 screen, which IMO is to low a res for the size of apps to me.
 
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KohPhiPhi

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2011
763
194
I would personally prefer a 17" @ 1920x1200 (real working space of 1920x1200) over a 15" @ 2800x1400 (real working space of 1400x900).

With retina, you gain crispiness but give up on screen real state. I personally prefer screen real state.
 

NStocks

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
1,521
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England
I would personally prefer a 17" @ 1920x1200 (real working space of 1920x1200) over a 15" @ 2800x1400 (real working space of 1400x900).

With retina, you gain crispiness but give up on screen real state. I personally prefer screen real state.
So the actual screen real estate of the 15" wouldn't be different to that of the 2011 macbook pro 15"?

If so, I don't think I will be changing! My brother has the 15" and it seems tiny in comparison...

I don't really want an external either.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
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So the actual screen real estate of the 15" wouldn't be different to that of the 2011 macbook pro 15"?

If so, I don't think I will be changing! My brother has the 15" and it seems tiny in comparison...

I don't really want an external either.
It is the same physical size screen. It has the ability to have more effective real estate since you can run it in 1920x1200 mode.
 

Shaddow825

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2006
445
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It is the same physical size screen. It has the ability to have more effective real estate since you can run it in 1920x1200 mode.

I'll wait and see what that looks like at an Apple store. I've never seen a scaled res look good on an LCD.
 

NStocks

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
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England
It is the same physical size screen. It has the ability to have more effective real estate since you can run it in 1920x1200 mode.
Ahh yes. When you 'scale' the resolution, doesn't it make things... weird.? Like if you scale your TV from the input from the Mac, you end up losing the dock etc.

Also, if you scaled the 15" retina to 1920x1200, wouldn't the 'retina' aspect be somewhat pointless because although it's greater than the non-retina 15", it's still no the 4x increase apple boast?
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
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Ahh yes. When you 'scale' the resolution, doesn't it make things... weird.? Like if you scale your TV from the input from the Mac, you end up losing the dock etc.

Also, if you scaled the 15" retina to 1920x1200, wouldn't the 'retina' aspect be somewhat pointless because although it's greater than the non-retina 15", it's still no the 4x increase apple boast?
It won't be weird like TV scaling, since they're all still the same 16:10 aspect ratio and the scaling is done in software.

By choosing a larger working area you are reducing how many pixels each on screen element takes up, but you're still using all 2880x1800 pixels.

Since it looks like these are actual software powered scaling modes, it will be higher quality than simply taking a high res monitor and sending it a different resolution.

In your case it might be best to wait until they're available in store so you can judge the different scaling modes for yourself, since nobody has seen in person how good they are.
 

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2011
892
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Not in general, but there are plenty of cases where, on a given size of screen, higher resolution gives you more working space.
Not plenty of cases, that's always the case. If screen size is constant, then more resolution is only a good thing from an 'ease of access' perspective.


That would totally be true in a strange parallel universe where the purpose of a laptop was not in any way to be able to use it while not at home or in the office.

But in our world, the display on a laptop actually matters.
Well I don't consider typing as 'serious work' ... Anyone can code or write a document on a laptop.

I however, cannot model in simulink on a laptop, I cannot edit photographs on a laptop, I cannot draft in google sketchup on a laptop ... I guess it's just a habit.

Anyway, fact of the matter here is that screen size should never be spoken about independent of resolution, the two go hand in hand, always.

You could have a 40" screen ... But without the right resolution it would be close to useless to work on.

Similarly, you could have 1,000,000 by 1,000,000 pixel screen, but if the screen is not big enough, then it's a pain to work on.
 

NutsNGum

macrumors 68030
Jul 30, 2010
2,851
324
Glasgow, Scotland
I'll wait and see what that looks like at an Apple store. I've never seen a scaled res look good on an LCD.
I think that's a good idea, I'm going to check it out in the store against my 17" before deciding. I'm sure it'll look astounding though, even though it is being scaled.
 

csrand

macrumors newbie
Jun 11, 2012
1
0
17" MacBook Pro

I currently have a 2010 17" MacBook Pro and was hoping to upgrade this year. I work on the road a lot, but value screen real estate more than lighter weight.

I'm disappointed that Apple has discontinued the larger screen. Looks like if I upgrade I'll be gaining in some ways and losing in others. :(
 

Shaddow825

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2006
445
44
Too bad Apple kind of abandoned resolution independence. Then this wouldn't be an issue. All the UI elements could scale to whatever res/dpi you desired and wouldnt rely on doubled width/height elements.
 

VacantPsalm

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2010
85
0
Ugh. I'll check out the store model and give it a chance, see if the pixels actually make a difference or if it's still cramped. But damn, I want my 17" screen.

I'm waiting a bit before buying no matter what though. My early 09 model may be showing it's age a bit, but at least I know it has the screen space I want.
 

NStocks

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
1,521
15
England
Ugh. I'll check out the store model and give it a chance, see if the pixels actually make a difference or if it's still cramped. But damn, I want my 17" screen.

I'm waiting a bit before buying no matter what though. My early 09 model may be showing it's age a bit, but at least I know it has the screen space I want.
For sure, checking it in store will be the best way to decide...

Also, waiting until Mountain Lion is out would be added benefit! (From a resell point haha)
 

orthorim

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2008
490
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Guess the question is, how do the scaled resolutions look. If they look like every other scaled non native res Ive seen, then not so good. Apps will feel like a 1440x900 screen, which IMO is to low a res for the size of apps to me.
I feel the same way - a MacBook Air 13" also has 1440x900. But retina is a new tech and I guess that's why we're losing some pixels.

I am still getting the 15" - I think retina will look so much better that even though you could have it run at 1680x1050 and it would look just as good as a standard res MBP at that resolution, you'll want to run it in retina mode only.

The good thing is there's a choice. Goodbye 17", you've been great ;)
 

orthorim

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2008
490
60
Too bad Apple kind of abandoned resolution independence. Then this wouldn't be an issue. All the UI elements could scale to whatever res/dpi you desired and wouldnt rely on doubled width/height elements.
That's because the retina solution is practical, whereas resolution independence doesn't work as long as you have bitmaps. And the way it looks like, bitmap graphics aren't going to go away any time soon, from the OS, and certainly not from the web.
 

Nikos

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2008
1,578
185
New York
I think that by default the new 15" retina will have an effective working space of 1440x900, but with double the pixel density.

I read in one article that there were different scaling options mentioned, so you could choose a tradeoff between real estate and sharpness.

I guess if you were crazy you could run at native 2880x1800 with no scaling, but that would make things pretty hard to read.
This is the way I see it as well. It'll effectively have the same real-estate as the current 1440x900 models. It seems that certain apps might work differently, however. In today's keynote, it was mentioned that the preview window on this screenshot was an actual 1080p video. If I understood that correctly, it'll be interesting to see what developers do with the resolution.

 
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