2015 MacBook = 1152 by 720 screen real estate?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by LeeTom, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Am I mistaken, or is the screen real estate of the 2015 MacBook quite small? Since retina displays do some kind of pixel-doubling thing, isn't the screen real estate effectively 1152 by 720, making it even less screen real estate than the 11" MacBook Air?

    I love the new look of the thing, but I think I prefer a bit more "real estate" with my "retina", at the expense of readability.

    Lee Tom
  2. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    It's an iPad. Use one thing at a time. I felt cramped on the 13.3 with 1280x800.
  3. LeeTom thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Even an iPad has higher resolution in height: 768px effectively.
  4. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    Yea that's true. It looks great but doesn't really seem to fit. It will probably need to be ran scaled which will effect performance. I wish they would just add damn mouse support to iOS. Then I could use a Remote Desktop solution and an iPad on the go. The iPad and and logitech easy switch keyboard make a great combo, mouse support would make it even better.
  5. Hog Milanese macrumors regular

    Hog Milanese

    Mar 19, 2012
    Pacific Northwest
    I was worried about the same thing. The biggest downside of Retina displays on notebooks is the bloated, native size.

    A 13" rMBP gives you an embarrassingly out-of-date 1280x800 pixel display at native resolution (try browsing most modern websites at this resolution!), and if you scale, the performance dips significantly.

    The 12" MacBook, as beautiful as it is, will be even worse. :(
  6. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2002
    bat country
    This is the biggest weakness of Apple's notebook lineup. The screen real estate on retina models isn't competitive and is borderline unusable for professional applications. I've stuck with models of the 13 inch Air for about 5 years now because I want decent usable space in a 13 inch form factor. The fact that in 5 years, the screen resolution hasn't changed is really alarming.

    A rMBP 15in only gives you 1440x900 worth of real estate at native resolution, which is the same as the 13in Air.

    Several PC makers are building notebooks with full 4k displays in their 15in models and 1080p displays in 13.3in notebooks are common. There is no excuse for the lack of usable space on Apple's machines. The best you can do on a Mac is the 1920x1200 scaled resolution on the rMBP 15in.

    Retina definitely looks better, and makes more sense for people who aren't running a bunch of apps or doing any kind of graphic or audio tasks that require plenty of real estate. But lots of us need the space, and we just don't have any options with Apple's lineup. The resolution on the rMB is downright crazy.

    My guess is that in 2 years, the Air line will be phased out in favor of the rMB. I really hope that in that time, Apple listens to those of us who want more than an iPad with a keyboard and provides something that gives us the usability of a 1920x1200 resolution without having to lug around a 15in (or worse, a 17in) monster.
  7. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    Retina allows you to run scaled, and honestly you can't tell it's ant less sharp.

    I imagine a 1440x900 will be available, maybe even a 1680x1050. Unsure how it would cope though.
  8. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
    Apple's website states that it can go up to 1440*900.
  9. LeeTom thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Ah, scaling - 1440 by 900 could do well. Will try at the Apple Store next month!
  10. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Give it a try! I hate scaling on the rMBP. I only use it when I have to watch a video in a small corner of the screen while doing some other work but the screen looks far far far better in default format.
  11. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2002
    2304 x 1440 using SwitchResX

    Using this software on my rMBP, I can view the screen at full pixel resolution so it should work just the same to give you 2304 x 1440 on the new MacBook.

  12. Val-kyrie macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2005
    Yep. I was waiting to see if I might be interested in this model, especially in light of Dell's recent XPS 13 release, but the resolution pales in comparison to my old black MacBook (1280x800) and my 2013 MBA (1440x900). My laptops my not be "retina," but I can get more work done on the screen. Why couldn't Apple go edge-to-edge like the Dell but add a little height for the front-facing camera (which BTW is a meager 480p)?
  13. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    I was worried about that, too. The interesting thing is that the Tech Specs say it has "Supported scaled resolutions:"
    1440 by 900
    1280 by 800
    1024 by 640

    That makes it look like the "native 1/2" 1152x720 may not even be an option. Maybe they know it's too small for real work (but that 1024x640 is a resolution that you may need for things like projectors.)

    Either that, or they're not counting 1152x720 as a "scaled resolution"...
  14. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    The scaled resolutions on the 13.3 are noticeable right away and look blurry. The 15.4 retina scales better but it is still blurry. Best for retina makes the screen look like an iPad. Some people can't notice it, the blue is ugly to me though.
  15. wonderingwhywhy macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    If I use my 13 inch Macbook Air to display as 1152 x 720, then I see:


    which is in a window resized to the biggest size, not full screen. The 13 inch Macbook Air using the native resolution 1440 x 900 will show:


    so I suppose on the new Macbook, if I use it as a high-resolution 1152 x 720 display, then I will see that much items as in the first screenshot.
  16. artivideo.nl macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    The Netherlands
    nice comparison. Can you add the rMBp13 in this comparison ? Many thanks in advance.

  17. AppleWarMachine, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015

    AppleWarMachine macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
    ^^^ thanks for the screen shots, this is helpful :)
  18. KBS756 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have a 15 rMP ... and i just use switchres to run it at native resolution (2880x1800 not 1440x900) ... absolutely no issues with Retina
  19. ctyrider macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2012
    I suspect it looks blurry to you simply because you're "spoiled" by retina quality. Scaled still offers higher PPI than non-retina displays. So if scaled retina is blurry, does my Air display look unreadable?

    Essentially, running 2304x1440 screen at scaled 1440x900 gives you 1.6:1 pixel upscaling, rather than "native" 2:1.
  20. Nicky G macrumors 6502a

    Nicky G

    Mar 24, 2002
    Baltimore & NYC
    What do you do, put a magnifying glass in front of your screen as you use it?
  21. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I have never found that to be the case on my late 2013 13 rmbp, which I run at higher than native resolution at all times. Where are you getting that?
  22. Nicky G macrumors 6502a

    Nicky G

    Mar 24, 2002
    Baltimore & NYC
    The poster is referring to the "apparent" resolution of user interface widgets like menu bars, buttons, etc.

    My guess is, one of these days Apple will allow you to change the size of such widgets on the fly... Maybe 10.11?
  23. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    Exactly I'm just spoiled. No the air display is fine I used one for a while. I just enjoy the sharpness of the retina screen.
  24. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    Wow, my 15" Titanium PBG4 had a 1152 x 768 resolution and this new 12" rMB nearly doubles that! Amazing what 14 years can bring. :)

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