Acer Aspire S7 will be Retina, MBA update beforehand?

What’s the distance between your eyes and the MBA screen?

  • less than 45cm (18in)

    Votes: 2 12.5%
  • 45cm to 50cm (19±1in)

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • 50cm to 55cm (21±1in)

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • 55cm to 60cm (23±1in)

    Votes: 5 31.3%
  • 60cm to 65cm (25±1in)

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • more than 65cm (26in)

    Votes: 1 6.3%

  • Total voters
    16

Crissov

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 4, 2010
65
0
Acer announced two Aspire S7 ultra books to launch soon after Windows 8 is available. The smaller one has a 11.6in display, the larger one 13.3in – just like the MacBook Air does, but both of them are “Full HD“ resolution, i.e. 1980px × 1080px (16:9), whereas the larger MBA currently has 1440px × 900px (16:10, WXGA+) and the display of the smaller MBA is just 1366px × 768px (16:9, WXGA).

That means the small S7 reaches “Retina” quality, i.e. 1 arcmin/px, at about 46cm viewing distance, whereas the MBA of the same size needs to be 65cm away. Laptops of that size are usually 50cm to 60cm from the eyes, which is less than desktop monitors, but more than tablets.

The larger S7 becomes “Retina” at 53cm, the larger MBA at 68cm. So it would be preferable to use a finer resolution, if you wanted to call it “Retina”. Staying with an 16:10 aspect ratio, 1920px × 1200px (WUXGA) would lower the bar to 51cm, but to be save you would probably go beyond 2kpx horizontally.

I wonder whether Apple will update its MBA sooner than Acer releases their new subnotebooks. And what resolution will the 13.3in model employ?

PS: Nobody seriously believes Apple will just double the pixel density of its Mac screens.
PPS: I have created a Google Docs spreadsheet which compares several known and possible resolutions.
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
Why don't we start using 0.5 arcminutes / pixel for minimum separable acuity (30 arcseconds / pixel, 60 cycles/degree, 120 pixels per degree).

I don't have super vision and my minimum separable acuity is 0.48 arcminutes (125 pixels / degree). I believe young people with healthy eyes are around that number - 0.5, maybe 0.6 arcminutes. Number of studies confirmed that.

It is also important to know that minimum separable acuity is measured with normal contrast values. If you had a display capable of achieving very high contrast, you'd be able to distinguish even smaller pixels, that is - your minimum separable acuity would be even smaller.
 
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Crissov

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 4, 2010
65
0
Why don't we start using 0.5 arcminutes / pixel for minimum separable acuity
Because it’s finer than necessary, and 1 arcmin/px is a nicer rule of thumb. Remember, though, that even with higher resolution displays you can still employ sub-pixel rendering for text, i.e. where it matters most.
 
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Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
Maybe my grandmother has minimum separable acuity of 1 arcminute. I know that I and everyone around me has at least 50% better than that. My minimum separable acuity is 108% better than 1 arcminute.

Don't tell me it's "OK because old people won't see the difference".

If they want to call it "Retina" display, I want it to be "Retina" for young, healthy eyes.

I've read so much literature on this subject and it scares me that so much people take these figures (1 arcminute) for granted.
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,594
3,129
Unfortunately, the purported leaked base 13" MacBook Pro specs aren't looking good for a radical update to the 13" Air. We'll find out soon, I guess.
 
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jsolares

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2011
844
1
Land of eternal Spring
Maybe my grandmother has minimum separable acuity of 1 arcminute. I know that I and everyone around me has at least 50% better than that. My minimum separable acuity is 108% better than 1 arcminute.

Don't tell me it's "OK because old people won't see the difference".

If they want to call it "Retina" display, I want it to be "Retina" for young, healthy eyes.

I've read so much literature on this subject and it scares me that so much people take these figures (1 arcminute) for granted.
I think you're over estimating how many people actually have young "healthy" eyes.

40% incidence of myopia in the US (upwards of 80% in some asian countries), 30% have astigmatism as well in the US.

I have both at around 1 diopter (which isn't much) and my Galaxy S2 which isn't retina pretty much is, also the iMac and the Air :(
 
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