Are Retina Displays Worth It?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Felasco, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Felasco Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    Hi all,

    We don't have an Apple store where I live, so I am unable to see a retina display in person.

    Please share your opinions. Are retina displays an impressive feature worth purchasing, or a bit of over priced hype?

    If you have a retina display, please explain why you like it, or don't.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say they're worth it, its difficult to convey the crispness of the images and texts, and the high quality of the display. I'd say given the overall positive remarks here in this forum, my opinion is not in the minority.
  3. zI INFINITY Iz macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2013
    It's beautiful, sharp and great to work/play on. The viewing angles are insane, the clarity as well. You really notice that they didn't use a separate cover glass with the retina displays.

    My first Mac is a late 2013 15" rMBP, so I don't know about the non-retina displays from before. I've heard that those are pretty darn good as well.

    I'm a bit OCD about displays in general and can see pixels pretty quickly. I've enjoyed the improvements in smartphone displays for the past years (from WVGA, to 720p, to 1080p). I can say that at 1080p on my 4.7" HTC One, I finally don't see any pixels at all, everything is perfectly sharp like it's printed.

    Now for me personally, the 15" MacBook Pro's Retina display is on the same level as my HTC One. Amazing, amazing screen which doesn't have anything I don't like.
  4. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    I've owned my rMBP for about a month now (my first mac) and I love the display. My main computer has a 27" Asus monitor which is great as well, but the higher resolution on the rMBP is quite nice. It just looks damn good!
  5. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    The retina display delivers much crisper text, greater brightness and a wider color gamut. When comparing the displays of a rMBP, cMBP and MBA side by side, the difference is very noticeable.

    The retina display isn't the only positive about the rMBP. Don't forget that the 13" rMBP is 1 lb. lighter than the cMBP, and comes with an HDMI out port. Also notice that compared to a MBA with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD ($1299), the rMBP for $1499 has the retina display, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. So for $200 you get a much better display and double the RAM- that's a good deal IMO.
    You're welcome.
  6. ASKendrew macrumors 6502


    Mar 7, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Yes. You will never go back to something of less quality! :D
  7. wingsabr macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2008
    I have had a 2010 17in MBP, traded it in for a 2011 13in MBA, and now have a 15in rMBP. While my tasks are certainly light on the CPU, the biggest difference is the screen of the rMBP. It's just beautiful and is the only reason I switched to it from my otherwise functioning MBA. The color gamut and clarity are levels above anything else I've seen on a laptop and they lighter and thinner than years passed.

    TLDR; Retina is worth it!
  8. uiop. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Yeah. The slimmer form factor is also worth it (if you're considering a regular MacBook Pro also).
  9. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    If someone considers your post to be tl;dr then they may want to consider being tested for ADD.
  10. Felasco thread starter Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    Wow, many thanks to all for the speedy replies to my question, much appreciated. So you love retina, that's clear enough.

    Great point, thanks. I believe adding 4GB of RAM costs $100, so this means the price of retina would also be $100. Given the reports here, seems to be worth it.

    Thanks again.
  11. TonyYYZ macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2014
    Toronto, Canada

    I've been a Windows user all my life (Some Linux in there) and I just made the switch to a rMBP. I can say without a doubt that this is the most crisp and vibrant display I have every used. Forget about the resolution(s), the vividness and colour reproduction alone are worth it. This is something that is not matched even on the MBA.

    So yes, definitely worth it.
  12. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    For me it's worth it because of the more dynamic resolutions I can put there. If I am working on something I might use 1920x1200 to fit much on the 13" screen. If my eyes are tired that day I might use 1680x1050 HiDPI instead. Not being limited to one size is perfect. The non retina Macs of course have the choices of running a lower resolution. The problem is that their max resolution is the lowest one you'd even think about using.
  13. Izaiah macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2013
    I waffled on retina vs non-retina for weeks and finally decided on a rMBP on Friday.

    The display is simply gorgeous. I spend a lot of time on my computer and I really have noticed the crispness. It wasn't just a wow factor out of the box only to be forgotten about.

    I have no regrets about paying a little extra to look at a screen this great for the next several years.
  14. mcarling macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2009

    I have a 2010 15" MBP with the optional 1680x1050 HD display. I also have a 2013 15" rMBP set to display at 1920x1200. I have set them next to each other and the same documents are easier to read on the rMBP at the same distance despite the smaller size (because I prefer to have more screen real estate). When I set the rMBP to 1680x1050, they difference is dramatic. My 2010 MBP just looks like crap next to my rMBP.
  15. fatlardo macrumors 6502


    Mar 15, 2011
    One of the downsides to such a nice display is the power needed to run them well. But its beautiful!
  16. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    high res displays are the future. don't even consider getting a non retina laptop.
  17. wingsabr macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2008
    I have ADD so I guess that's why I put that note :)
  18. Felasco thread starter Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    Yes, good point. It looks like the cost is about 3 hours less time out of the battery. Still 9 hours of battery time is pretty darn good compared to normal.

    Thanks for this field test, pretty convincing. I appreciate all the replies here, as the nearest Apple store is 2 hours away from me, so seeing the displays in person is problematic.

    Hmm, wait.... Does BestBuy sell these laptops, anyone know? We have a BestBuy here, should I be paying them a visit? Or, do any other major chain stores sell Apple products?
  19. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Yes and most of them have retina Macbooks on display.
  20. fcomstoc macrumors member


    Sep 12, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    I recently bought my rMBP - it is definitely worth it, at normal resolutions (natively supported) it looks great, but with the RDM addon you can run at native-non scaled resolution, it makes everything tiny but it is great if you need to see a lot of content. I use the non-scaled for coding and photo editing.
  21. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    The retina display is definitely a perk if you can afford it. Work replaced my 2011 hi-res MBP with a rMBP and the difference is comparable to when I bought my first retina iPhone. I had a hard time understanding why anyone with normal eyesight would settle for anything less if given the option. The weight savings brings the 15" rMBP within striking distance of a MBA in terms of portability too.

    Some BestBuy's have in-house mac stores, but not all.
  22. Candlelight macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2011
    New Zealand
    Really depends what you need it for.

    My 2012 MBP 15" has 2TB of storage, whereas I would have to pay NZ$800 just to get a 1TB drive upgrade in a MBPr.

    As I need storage for more than a retina screen I wont be updating anytime soon.
  23. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    The display is beautiful. However, the whole package of the retina Macbook is what is so great. Super display, lighter, thinner, longer battery life, super fast PCIe flash storage, etc.
  24. theromz macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    Its not just the display, the thing is stupidly thin and light for the power. Then there is the display with full sRGB which most over retina class laptop display don't get, amazing blacks, viewing angles, very bright when you need it too be. And still you get more then enough battery life.

    It comes with draw backs, the new form factor means the only thing you can upgrade is the SSD. Everything else is a pain or just impossible to user replace. This means if your battery goes bust outside of warranty you need to pony up $400, which is crazy. But the battery is glued to the frame so the bottom half of the unibody will need replacing.

    Ultimately for me and many others it is worth it.
  25. cool11 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    Besides the quality of the display, can I assume that I can use the highest resolution available, so that I can see many things in the 15' screen?

    I read articles that having such monitor is like having a 'desktop replacement' with a big screen.

    But will everything get smaller at such resolution?
    I want the maximum useful space, like having a 19' normal monitor, in retina macbook pro 15'. Is this possible?

    Of course, I talk about easiness in use, and I will not strain my eyes in any case.

    So, besides quality in visuals, what else could I expect in the resolution area matters, realistically?

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