Hi res 15 inch - worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Haviland, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Haviland macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    I am torn. The hi res model intuitively would seem like the way to go, however, a number of factors are pushing me towards getting the lower res version. Firstly, I won't be doing any tasks that require a lot of screen space . I will be throwing some processor-intensive tasks at it (video encoding, conversion, and a little bit of rendering), but nothing like photoshop. Then again, the extra space would be very helpful for multitasking.

    Secondly, I have glasses (which I have to wear all the time), and I am afraid that the text would be too small. I am looking at a 1680x1050 21.5 inch iMac as I type this and the text seems to be a tad large as far as size goes. This resolution on a screen much smaller might make it difficult to read text for me.

    Thirdly, I occasionally play games on my laptops. I am a casual WoW player and I have recently taken up Starcraft 2. The 330m is a rather underpowered GPU as it is and I think I would probably lose about 15-20% performance at 1680x1050 as opposed to 1440x900.

    I watch a bit of HD video and I do a lot of web browsing. No stores in my area have 15 inch hi res or 17 inch display models that I could check out. Cost is not an issue.

    Could anyone with experience of the hi res 15 inch or 17 inch displays give any advice? Is the hi res worth it for someone like me?
  2. Tmacfan4321 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    University Park, PA
    More screen real estate is never a bad thing, but if you have eye troubles, I would reccommend the standard res screen. It's just easier to not have to resize text.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The 21.5" iMac actually is @ 1920x1080, so you wouldn't be squeezing quite as many pixels into the HR MBP, but I find the HR screen to be a bit uncomfortable to look at, and I have better than 20/20 vision (just had my eyes checked not three weeks ago). I wouldn't get it unless I were doing heavy photo editing, just use the spaces feature for multitasking and such. I have a 20" monitor that is 1680x1050, and that seems to be the perfect size for that resolution.
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    I got the 17 inch hi res a few days ago. My head just stopped hurting yesterday. Now my 20" cinema display looks hideous and has been relegated to secondary duty. I wouldn't change it for anything.
  5. Tyre macrumors regular

    May 23, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    I ordered a 15inch i7 the day of the refresh with an HD display and it is beautiful. Be sure to get the matte option, though. Even in sub-normal lighting you can watch yourself type on the screen.

    And it's a now brainer for SC2
  6. aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2010
    The DPI of your 20" (assuming this is what you meant to say) 1680x1050 iMac is 99
    The DPI of a 21.5" 1920x1080 iMac is 102

    The DPI of a "low res" 1440x900 15" MBP is 110
    The DPI of a "high res" 1680x1050 15" MBP is 129

    Some other DPI information to put things into perspective:
    The DPI of a 27" 2560x1440 iMac is 109
    The DPI of a 13" 1280x800 MBP is 113
    The DPI of a 17" 1920x1200 MBP is 133

    So plan accordingly. I suggest going to an Apple Store and checking out both the high and low res models.
  7. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    Personally, I like it. It does take a little getting used to I'll admit. Initially, watching movies on the HR screen was a bit of a headache but I've gotten used to it now. If you have eye issues or don't like having to squint at the screen, the HR option might not be a good idea for you. Since the upgrade is only $100 (I think?) it couldn't hurt to get it anyways. You can always adjust the settings and getting the MBP without and then seeing in action would suck even more.
  8. Haviland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    The iMac is a 2006 (I think) white plastic model, so it has a lower resolution than the aluminum 21.5 inch models apple is selling now. As I said, I don't have an apple store or an apple retailer with the 17 inch MBP or the 15 inch hi res to see if my eyes would strain after reading off of it. The nearest one is a 16 hour round trip.

    How easy is it to change the text size in the default programs in OSX? I mean, if I ended up finding that the text was giving me headaches, is it fairly easy to make it readable?

    Of course, I would be grateful if anyone else who has seen the hi res display on a 15 inch MBP or 17 inch MBP could chime in.
  9. Tyre macrumors regular

    May 23, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Yep it's quite easy and the readability, in my experience has been great. I enlarge font more in Chrome than anything else, but across the board the text is crisp.
  10. aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2010
    I personally don't think the text is too small on the hi-res 15". To change the text you can either use the system wide zoom feature by holding control and scrolling up/down, or if you are in something like safari you can zoom in on the page using command +/-. Also, If you get the hi-res you can always lower the resolution to 1440x900 in the display settings.
  11. Tmacfan4321 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    University Park, PA
    I own a 15" MBP with the HR AG screen and I love the screen, but this is an issue that's completely based upon personal preferences.
  12. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    I bought the standard res for two reasons:

    1. My eyes aren't the best and I have to resize even with standard res sometimes.
    2. I'm a gamer and 1400x900 will let me play newer games at somewhat batter settings.

    That being said, I'm sure I would eventually get used to high res, and I wouldn't mind having AG. So I think youll be fine either way. I say get the high res and take advantage of the two week grace period. Return it if you cant stand it.
  13. secretanchitman macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
    high resolution is definitely worth it. antiglare ftw :) you can never upgrade the screen so you should get the best you can afford :)
  14. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I think it's well worth it but it's my only computer so I use the real estate for all my daily things. Which currently entail getting pawned on Star Craft 2 grrrr and browsing the web, email.
  15. Haviland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    I just took a look at a friend of a friend of a friend's (yes, really) 17 inch 2009 MBP with a 1920x1200 display and it was awesome. Text was crisp, much better than my aging 1280x800 15 inch dell at home. The text in Safari was a little small for certain sites but the pinch to zoom gesture worked well enough. Pictures and text looked much cleaner and less fuzzy than on any other laptop I have used. I imagine HD videos would look better as well.

    I am willing to take a performance hit to have the extra screen real estate and crispness. Thanks for the advice all, I will be ordering an i5 with the hi res glossy upgrade as well as a 7200 rpm 500gb HD tonight.
  16. Vyruz Reaper macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2009
    Def. get it. Im 26 college student and it was the BEST upgrade i made on my MBP
  17. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    You decided to get a 17" instead of the 15"?
  18. Haviland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    No. The 17 inch has approximately the same pixels per inch as the 15 hi res, so text and images are about the same size and crispness on both displays. I think the 17 is 133 ppi, the 15 hi res is 129 ppi, and the 15 low res is 110 ppi.

    I am getting the i5 15 inch +hi res +7200rpm 500gig HD
  19. Yimbie macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2010
    I would really recommend the hi-res display for the 15". The resolution seems perfect for a 15", like how 17"'s resolution is really well suited for it. If you dont have eye problems, then why not? It's really much more screen real estate. It's just less page scrolling and also, if you have two pages side by side, you'll get to see much more. I'd never go any lower than the hi-res on a 15".
  20. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
  21. DancetoExpress macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    I have the hi-res anti-glare on my 15-inch MBP and I have to say, I don't regret getting the hi-res or AG. The hi-res is a lot more convenient for me because I'm able to yes, have more space to work with. I wear glasses and I wasn't very used to the font size, but resizing the font on browsers and such was a cinch. Anti-glare is a HUGE HUGE plus, since it gives the freedom of being able to work in bright locations without having to strain your eyes. I love my hi-res AG screen, no joke.
  22. kharvel macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2010

    1) What are the chances that Apple will make the high-res display standard across all MacBook Pros this fall? I don't mind paying extra for the matte screen but 1680x1050 resolution? That IS the standard across all high-end laptop in 2010, except obviously Apple.

    2) Related to question #1: Why did Apple stick with 1440x900 resolution as the standard in the last MacBook Pro upgrade in April? Is it related to battery usage? LCD expenses? What? It doesn't make sense in the current competitive environment.
  23. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If it's your vision that's the concern for this inability to decide, I have 7.75 vision and the HR display looks great.

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