Is the Retina display on the 13" insane?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Pfsteel, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Pfsteel macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    So here was me thinking I had good eyesight and that I needed a retina display on the macbook pro..

    First time I logged in I thought "hmmm..this default resolution sucks" so switched it to the high res. in preferences...blimey..the text was so small I panicked and thought I'd just aged 10 years... I've now balanced it by setting it to 1440x900 until I can get some glasses from ebay lol.:cool:

    What do you think??
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    What do you mean? The default resolution is 1280x800 at Best for Retina mode. It does not ever run at 2880x800 by default, and even then you need a third-party app to get it to run that high.
  3. Pfsteel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    no, you can change the resolution in System Preferences then Displays and instead of using the 'Best for display' which is default you can change it to scaled and then select 1 of 4 options. the left one is large Twxt (1024x640) then the default ("Best Retina") then 1440x900 and finally 1680x1050..

    try it..
  4. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Yeah, I know about all those. I was just having a hard time understanding your original post. Which setting did you think was too small, 1280x800?

    I think 1440x900 is ideal, while things appear way too small at 1680x1050. But many people are content with 1280x800.

    The 13" Retina display is amazing. Nothing wrong with it.
  5. nyc999 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    maybe there is something I am not understanding. If retina runs best on the 1440 resolution, then what is its advantage over the Mac book air screen? Why shouldn't I just buy the air if I am gonna run the retina at the same resolution. I am sure there is reason.
  6. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    There is a difference. The Retina MBP (13") has a total resolution of 2560x1600, but runs things at a usable screen real estate of 1280x800. The MBA simply has a resolution of 1440x900, and that's it.

    Things are much clearer on the rMBP. The Air screen is absolutely horrible at that resolution.
  7. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
  8. zottelkind macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    London, UK
    I wish Apple had made 1440x900 the default working resolution on the 13" rMBPs. :/

    The only reason the MBP 13" had/has 1280x800 is because it descends from the 13" Aluminium MacBook which was more of a low end model. The Macbook Air got 1440x900.
  9. commac macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    He said

    which would imply the 1680x1050.

    The 13" is indeed small if you are looking to do more than browse the web.
    A cool thing about the retina displays is how flexible the resolutions are.
    I'm constantly changing res depending on what I'm doing. I went from 13" to 15" for the extra inches and even more resolution options.
  10. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Got it. The OP was a running wall of text, so it was hard to understand. But whether or not the 13" is too small is up to the individual. I ordered a maxed-out 13" and will be using it for everything but the kitchen sink. Didn't need to go 15" to get a comfortable screen real estate. The 13" obviously isn't just for browsing the web.
  11. commac, Nov 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

    commac macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I wanted so badly for the 13" to be comfortable for my eyes because the form factor is so perfect. Unfortunate, because I spend so much time on 15"ers at work the 13" felt cramp and my eyes felt strained after extended use.

    The 13" if you write and read in many different spaces and positions.
    The 15" if you do graphics or use software with a complex (multi window) UI on a desk the majority of the time.

    In my case, I want to do graphics and complex software in many different positions... I tried both machines and find myself more productive on the 15" albeit a little more awkward in tight spaces.
  12. iWeekend macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    It does take some time to find a res setting you like. Personally, I like to run one of the more text options most of the time -- when I have my glasses on.

    If you want to go nuts, try demoing a resolution switcher that will get your MBPr to display natively.
  13. nyc999 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    so when i run the retina at 1280x800, does that appear different from a non-retina MBP at the same resolution? aren't pixels all the same? if there is a difference, please explain.
  14. channelinspire macrumors member


    Jun 23, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    The retina screen uses 4 subpixels to render each pixel in this resolution.
  15. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    This is a visual representation (this is a Kindle vs an iPad screen, but the effect is the same).

    If you run both the MacBooks at the same res and then go up really close to both of them, the retina one will look more like the image on the right - the pixels are physically smaller and there are 4x more of them so the image is much sharper at the same effective resolution.


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