Considering Returning my Retina MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dreamtenstudios, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. dreamtenstudios, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    dreamtenstudios macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    Was anticipating the arrival of the new retina MacBook for over a year and ordered as soon as it was on sale. I received it Friday and I'm nearly 100% satisfied with it. It's fast, looks beautiful, and is super thin and light.

    The one and only issue I have with it is how it displays images on the web. Text and any css3 rendered elements look amazing and are crystal clear, but photos and graphics look really bad... significantly worse than on regular, non-retina displays. This was a big surprise to me, I thought images and photos would rendered with more clarity, similar to how video quality is clearer on upscaled DVDs. I was wrong. Photos are pixelated and edges are jagged. Best way I can describe it is that it looks like anti aliasing has been turned off.

    As a web designer, I'm not sure I can do my job properly without being able to see images as they'll appear to 99.99% of users out there. Going to try using it for a week and see if I can adjust, but without being able to see images as they ought to appear, I'm not sure if the retina macbook is right for me (or for any visual content creators out there for that matter).

    ---Update: June 27, 2012---

    Well it's been over 10 days, and I can say that I am 100% keeping my rMBP and am extremely satisfied with it overall. Designing on it was a little difficult at first and the pixels aren't exactly the same as a normal lcd, but I've been designing on it a few times a week using the retina display and it really hasn't affected things. I primarily use a 27" ACD, so I can easily check my work on that to see if things look different.

    Any designers out there who are considering the purchase but are unsure, I'd say go for it. You always have 30 days to return it with no restocking fee, so it won't hurt to at least try.

    Btw, my old MacBook Pro is up for sale
  2. MacBird macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I canceled my order, too, after I saw that images look blurry. I don't think it is a good fit for photographers and other people who consider unsharp images to be a deal breaker.
  3. dreamtenstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
  4. J.L.Photography macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    South Florida
    Waaaa.... All you whiners are really getting old...

    But best of luck on the next choice. Hopefully my thoughts differ when mine arrives.

    I remember when ipad3 came out....had similar issues but were resolved soon after.

    Again, best of luck on next choice.
  5. mackry macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    @dreamtenstudios I'm having the same exact same thoughts, though I haven't received mine yet – I've played with it in the store and fiddled with Photoshop. As you said, I'm extremely leery of designing on it for non-retina devices whatsoever; not knowing what your designs will look like is absolutely frightening!

    Do you have a Cinema Display or iMac? I plan on coupling it with an external display so I can see how both will look, but this defeats the purpose of having a MacBook! (which is why I'm switching back to one from my iMac – I totally miss the mobility).

    One option is to do your best if designing in Photoshop and just make sure your designs are implemented completely using CSS3 and font icons ( is an excellent example of this). OR... design in the browser :) which I prefer sometimes... Now, if you're designing only for retina devices, it's a dream come true :)

    Let me know what you decide! Again, I've not received mine yet, but I have the very same concerns. I plan to have this thing for quite a while too.

    NOTE: Only UI designers will understand this issue. If you're not, feel free to move on... and keep your damn Retina MacBook.
  6. Snesley Wipes macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    Won't ML fix this?
  7. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I have a 18MP Canon t3i and my photos look amazing in Aperture. From what I have heard, they might be a little fuzzy in CS6 (I only have CS5). But I am very confident that Adobe will come out with Retina support. Probably soon. They only launched on Monday. Most people haven't even gotten their hands on one yet EDIT: Including developers. For the time being, you can always use an external display.
  8. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I played with Photoshop and Illustrator on the RMBP briefly in store and did see some aliasing but didn't notice any really major issues, that was only for a few mintes though.

    As far as things appearing blurry, is that still the case when running Photoshop at more standard resolutions?
  9. MacBird macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    Adobe might be able to fix it within PS, as of now images are scaled no matter what resolution you choose. This won't change the problem that images you view in your browser will be less sharp than the original.
  10. mackry macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Even if Adobe updates Photoshop with a Retina UI, that does not fix the fact that you will not know exactly what designs (specifically talking about user interface designs) will look like on non-retina devices. This is simply because you're able to see every pixel of regular resolutions way more clearly and thus the pixelation is much more apparent.
  11. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Until people start adopting higher resolution pictures. Everything is going to get better, either now, or soon.
  12. dreamtenstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    I have a cinema display, but I do a lot of designing on my laptop when I'm at home, on travel, etc, so this will affect my work big time.

    I'll definitely lean more heavily on CSS3 and font icons more now, but working w/images is unavoidable.

    Tbh I'm leaning more towards returning it than keeping. I will try for a week then make a final decision.
  13. MacBird macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    Yes, higher resolution images would help but many photographers won't do this because there are too many people who steal images. Some of the professional photographers I know don't post anything larger than 600 px on the longest side for that reason.
  14. mackry macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Exactly. If you take a 50x50 image and scale it to 100x100, you loose quality and it will look more pixelated. Your computer is basically guessing/calculating what pixels to fill in the gaps at a larger size.

    The only way to have absolute clear graphics/type is to use completely scalable technology (vectors) or very high resolution photos (though for the web, you do not want to be sending down huge images to devices without high resolutions – just a waste of bandwidth and unnecessary load times – ideally you want to have two versions, low and high). Check out
  15. dreamtenstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    It's more apparent at the default resolution, but even when viewing at 1920x1200 it's noticeable.
  16. jsnuff1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2003
    Not exactly sure what you see as the problem. The issue lies with the fact that the laptop is so advanced very few websites have graphics that can take full advantage of the screen, not that there is anything wrong with the laptop.

    As others mentioned hook up an external display to see what things look non scaled.
  17. dreamtenstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    I hope so, but I don't think it can. I think this is a hardware related issue
  18. mackry macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    You can start using something like for targeting retina users. Though, I know this doesn't help the designing-of part.
  19. dHk macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    Hopefully you didnt return it yet. It would be a lame mistake. Just wait. After a month, there will be massive improvments.
  20. gokart mozart macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    The actual resolution is 1920x1200. I recommend that you read some of the articles that are out there on how OS X scales.

    IF retina displays catch on and PC manufacturers start producing laptops with competing displays, then the web will be updated with higher-res content. It'll become an expectation just as HD has become an expectation for many cable/satellite subscribers.

    I could see where this would be a problem now, though. Designing web sites on this thing would be a pain since you'd be producing content for an audience that'll be viewing it on an inferior display (or you could just use high res images).

    I see the new MBP being more attractive to photographers dealing with high res photos, film editors, and gamers (once they get better GPUs in these puppies) in the mean time. There's simply too many pixels here to waste on email and reading web articles.
  21. dreamtenstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    The link he posted was to change the res to 2880x1800 without scaling.
  22. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I think it is great for high MP cameras.
  23. dreamtenstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    I agree there's nothing wrong w/the laptop. If you're merely consuming content, writing emails, etc. things are fine. However, it isn't suitable for UI designers who need pixel perfect renderings of their graphics, as the Retina upscaling of graphics causes bad pixelation compared to non retina counterparts.
  24. ladeer macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    I have thought A LOT on this topics and come to the realization that this is a HUGE issue that Apple never addressed.

    i don't understand why are there more people on this forum complaining about the "lack of matte screen reduce image fidelity" when they completely ignore the fact that, retina screen actually shows you a very different picture than your users will see.

    Most time, your images will look like crap in applications that are not optimized, such as Photoshop.

    If they do optimized the application, then you will not be able to see what 99.99% of the people actually see anymore, because in Photoshop, even thought your Mac might have a 1440x900 resolution setting, the pictures themselves are actually displayed in 2880x1800 native resolution. There will be NO SCALING at all for images in an updated Photoshop. This is why iPhoto looks so much better on Retina screen.

    But when that day comes, you have to understand, your 200x200 images will look 100x100 on your screen. You can't really tell what your customers will see, unless you blow that up to 200% size, then you can see roughly the same physical size as your customer. But then, if you do that, the image will be scaled, and again lose fidelity.

    This is a huge dilemma for anyone who cares about graphic design, web design, and especially at pixel level. I personally plan to give it a try after receiving mine on Tuesday. I will see if I can do these editing in Boot Camp using full native resolution. Luckily I don't do design work every day, so hopefully I don't have to return mine.

    I have written extensively on this topic from several forum posts too:

    Problem with Photoshop in rMBP:

    What happened when you take a screenshot on your Mac and paste into Photoshop:


    exactly. Graphic design is not just about making a beautiful art work, but making a beautiful art work your customers can see. If on your machine, you can't see what your customers actually will see, how can anyone know what we are actually delivering to them?

    Is Retina MacBook too ahead of its time? But if the developers don't start developing in Retina, there won't be content to drive adoption. So we really have a chicken and egg problem! I think we probably have to design on two computers: Retina for retina graphics and regular for regular graphics.

    By the way, all these problems don't really affect video and photography artists since they are dealing with works on a larger scale. It really impacts the web/graphic designers where each pixel counts (really, each pixel does count).

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