Is the retina display easier on the eyes?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by han_del, May 13, 2016.

  1. han_del macrumors newbie

    han_del

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    May 13, 2016
    #1
    A main factor in trying to decide between Macbook Air and the new Macbook is the retina display on the latter, which everybody raves about. I've never owned a retina Macbook, and my question is whether it is easier on the eyes when you're reading. That alone would make me choose the Macbook.
     
  2. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020

    BeyondtheTech

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    #2
    I don't know if it's "easier" on the eyes, but I can tell you is just "nicer." Especially when it comes to a MacBook, you will learn to appreciate the additional real estate.
     
  3. mjs402 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I read on my iPad Pro and my 12-inch MacBook all the time. I then attempt to read from a colleagues MacBook Air and it looks just awful. Blocky and distorted. Colours look bland, font is obviously not crisp. Personally, I would choose the MacBook 12-inch over the Air. While the 13-inch Air is usable (the 11 inch is a piece of garbage on a whole different category), there is no excuse to own/produce that screen in 2016.
     
  4. DadofThree macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I find it to be a big difference, personally. I've found it difficult to use other screens having had a retina screen on both my phone and macbook for a while now. The sharpness seems to cause less eye strain for me, anyway.
     
  5. jlp2979, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016

    jlp2979 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Having recently posted in the Air forum on here raving about my renewed love for the Air, I can say that retina is much easier on the eyes and overall clarity / sharpness is much better because of the high DPI scaling. Yesterday I finally gave the MB a chance in store and was able to set up the apps I typically use on a store model (which have been updated for HiDPI since I sold my MBP), left, returned half an hour later to exchange my Air for the MB. I didn't give it a second thought. IPS technology also helps with clarity and uniformity. On the Air even though the screen is only 13" there is still noticeable gamma shift and text on screen is noticeably different at top of screen vs bottom, because it has a TN display. Also the Air display is grainier than the MB and MBP retina. That can also cause some eye fatigue. For me it was annoying but I was fine with it.

    I don't think it is worth it to drop $1000 on a laptop with a TN screen in 2016. Not that it is worth it to drop $1300 on a laptop with only 1 USB-C port and Core M either...but I never plug anything else into my laptops anyway. I spent a year telling myself no way would I ever buy a MB retina, and then I finally gave it a chance. I was so wrong.

    You should visit an Apple store or another shop that sells both the Air and MB and decide. If they have both side by side you'll see the difference immediately.
     
  6. han_del thread starter macrumors newbie

    han_del

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    May 13, 2016
    #6
    Thank you for the answers. It sounds like it is better to go with retina.
     
  7. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

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    Oct 6, 2008
    #7
    Well when comparing to the Air you should consider a couple of things (I'm not sure which you are comparing it to so I'll do both)
    - 11" Air is a 16:9 display versus 16:10 on the 12" Macbook (or the 13" Air) - so less vertical space on the 11
    - Air's use TN panels versus IPS in the new Macbook. That means better color accuracy, better viewing angles, better black levels, better saturation, etc. Basically a whole lot better.
    - The 12" macbook can be set to be scaled to the same display space as the 13" Air (1440x900)

    IMO the only reason to buy an Air is if you want a full size USB port and SD card slot. It is just such an old an outdated design now especially considering the screen and trackpad.
     
  8. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a

    iSheep5S

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    #8
    As someone that is sensitive to eye strain i have no issues with the Macbook Air. I switch between an iPad Pro 12.9 and the Air at various points in the day with no issues.

    If i was starting again with the Macbook? If i could cope with a 12" laptop the rMB would get consideration but i'd probably get the rMBP (again) due to dongle prices and the fact unless i get a 2015 rMB the rMB is the expensive option.
     
  9. han_del, May 14, 2016
    Last edited: May 14, 2016

    han_del thread starter macrumors newbie

    han_del

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    May 13, 2016
    #9
    My eyes start burning when I look at a computer screen too long, which doesn't happen when I read a book. I think this is why there are so many products coming out now that project the UI onto a surface. At least, I hope it's better on the eyes. If retina eases the eyestrain even a little it's worth it.
    --- Post Merged, May 14, 2016 ---
    The 12" Macbook screen is the same size as the 13" Airs? Sounds good.
     
  10. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    May 2, 2010
    #10
    Two ways to answer this question:

    Clarity: Hands-down, the Retina display is off the charts, so clear and crisp, colors are perfect, it's like 2004 when you saw an HDTV for the first time, you'll be blown away.

    Strain: I find the Retina has nothing to do with eye strain but the 12" screen does. The secret formula of real estate/font size/viewing distance is specific to each individual, to me this is the biggest factor in the buying process. Go to an Apple Store, spend a solid 30 minutes with an RMB set to your liking, and make sure you can see it clearly with the proper font size at a proper viewing distance. This isn't an insignificant part of the buying process.

    BJ
     
  11. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #11
    BJ do not forget we have many more options under windows to adjust appearances of menus, icons etc I think they are much more restricted in OSX as Apple have preset scaling options picked for them is my understanding so they do not get to max out if you have eyes of a hawk for example :)
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    With third party App`s you can access many more resolution options with OS X, same applies to the look of the UI, although Windows in general is far more flexible in this respect.

    Q-6
     
  13. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #13
    Thanks :)

    Odd it's not natively in OSX to take full advantage of the retina display.

    I went through the cleartype text the other day it was like an optical exam :D
     
  14. han_del thread starter macrumors newbie

    han_del

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    May 13, 2016
    #14
    I downloaded something called f.lux and I feel that it has helped my eyes somewhat.
     
  15. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

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    Nov 22, 2011
    #15
    I feel ya, I wish it was cheaper but I am willing to pay extra for the hardware and software Apple provides, not to mention the customer service and warranty. So among the Apple choices, I came to the conclusion that I really appreciated the rMB portability and screen quality, whereas the MBA and the MBP didn't have both of those, only either or.
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #16
    In my opinion, yes. Text is a lot clearer and easier to read, the contrast is better, the viewing angles are better than the Macbook Air displays.
     
  17. Admiral macrumors regular

    Admiral

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    Mar 14, 2015
    #17
    A couple weeks from now you'll be declaring there's no way that anyone should use a computer that has a fan in it in 2016 either. Honestly I don't know how we ever could stand it.
     
  18. han_del thread starter macrumors newbie

    han_del

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    May 13, 2016
    #18
    Took your advice and went down to the Apple Store. No longer considering the retina Macbook. What I really want is a 13" Air with a retina screen. I did some typing on the rMB. Keys are very crisp. I typed quite well on it, but they are hard on the fingertips. If I typed for an hour or more on that thing the tips of my fingers would start to hurt. By the way, my white unibody white plastic mid-2010 Macbook (the very last white MB released) seems to have a better display than the 13" Air. Believe it or not, I'm still extremely happy with my 2010 Macbook. Visiting the Apple Store only made me appreciate it all the more. For now, I think I will wait to see if 13" Air with a Retina screen gets released. People speculate that Apple intends to replace the Air with the new MacBook. I hope not. At least, I hope they don't use the same keyboard. The rMB struck me as a great machine to travel with, but not for long writing sessions.
     
  19. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

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    #19
    Glad the advice helped, there is no point in buying a 12" screen if you can't experience it comfortably. Great thing about Apple Stores is that you can sit and experience any notebook for 30 minutes or more and make a very informed buying decision.

    BJ
     
  20. Aloha_808 macrumors newbie

    Aloha_808

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    May 21, 2016
    #20
    Retina is better as the eyes are used to it and suits the eyes better
     
  21. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2015
    #21
    The longer I have my RMB. I find my eyes are being strained. It may be that the screen is too small and the resolution is way too high. It can have a "searing" effect.
     
  22. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

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    #22
    I don't understand...
     
  23. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23
    HiDPI be it Apple`s Retina or Windows OEM`s equivalents is by far much easier on the eye, as long as the application is scaled correctly.

    Q-6
     
  24. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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  25. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

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    #25
    For you it is. Consider all the people who enjoy the 11 MBA. Or the people who use an iPad as their primary device. Your argument is only good for you.
     

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