Are Retina Displays Worth It?

Felasco

Guest
Original poster
Oct 19, 2012
417
2
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.

Thanks!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,852
30,368
Boston
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.
 

zI INFINITY Iz

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2013
174
5
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.
 

Praxis91

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2011
103
884
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!
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
642
40
Are retina displays an impressive feature worth purchasing
Yes.
[...] or a bit of over priced hype?
No.
please explain why you like it
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.
 

wingsabr

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2008
449
11
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!
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
642
40
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!
If someone considers your post to be tl;dr then they may want to consider being tested for ADD.
 

Felasco

Guest
Original poster
Oct 19, 2012
417
2
Wow, many thanks to all for the speedy replies to my question, much appreciated. So you love retina, that's clear enough.

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.
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.
 

TonyYYZ

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2014
49
0
Toronto, Canada
OP,

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.
 

Davidkoh

macrumors 65816
Aug 2, 2008
1,058
18
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.
 

Izaiah

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2013
102
1
FL
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.
 

mcarling

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2009
1,292
179
Are retina displays an impressive feature worth purchasing ...?
Yes.

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

fatlardo

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2011
296
4
One of the downsides to such a nice display is the power needed to run them well. But its beautiful!
 

Felasco

Guest
Original poster
Oct 19, 2012
417
2
One of the downsides to such a nice display is the power needed to run them well. But its beautiful!
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.

When I set the rMBP to 1680x1050, they difference is dramatic. My 2010 MBP just looks like crap next to my rMBP.
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?
 

fcomstoc

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2013
101
46
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.
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
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?
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.
 

Candlelight

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
734
535
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.
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
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.
 

theromz

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2013
117
0
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.
 

cool11

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2006
1,455
127
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?