MB's: which screen is better for the eyes?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bananapearpeach, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. bananapearpeach macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2013
    Hi there all you Mac Rumored People,

    I'm on the verge of buying a new macbook (thursday's the day!), just still doubting between the MBA (8gb, 256 ssd) and the rMBP (basic standard). I can go up to 1500 (with student discount), so the base standard rMBP can be possible, and can fit my needs. The only thing now tearing me apart is:
    256gb ssd (MBA) vs 128gb ssd (rMBP)
    MBA screen vs rMBP screen

    The laptop will be primarily used at home and in the library, both are portable enough, and the work done is browsing and a lot of reading writing. the ssd difference is, well, it would be nice to have 256, but I can life with 128, my iTunes library will be on a external drive anyway. The reason that I'm considering the rMPB is that it might be easier on the eyes and therefore more comfortable to stare at for longer periods (I need to read a lot). So my question is, is that true? Is the screen so much better for normal use and reading-writing?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Get the rMBP. The display doesn't disappoint. It both uses IPS display tech and has that "retina" resolution. Read up on how that works with the native 1440x900 display setting and how it integrates with a full res display of images and video at: Apple, here at MR, or sites like Ars Technica or Anandtech. In some reviews there are some comments about scrolling and redraw speeds, but those have been, for the majority, fixed through the latest firmware and OS X updates (10.8.4)..

    IPS will give you better color quality, including blacks and dynamic range, and saturation. It doesn't change color while changing viewing angle either - only brightness, and that's at a totally acceptable level.

    You're not necessarilly stuck with the 128GB SSS. Storage is the only component that can be replaced - with with a 240 GB or 480 GB module from OtherWorldComputing (MacSales). The slightly smaller usable space reflects the over-provisioning they're going to use with the Sandforce controller.

    The SSS modules are $259 and $529 respectively. Add another $40-50 for their USB 3.0 enclosure for your old drive. (Again, make sure you have all the current firmware and OS X upgrades installed for USB 3.0 compatibility and performance.) Follow their instructions for the installation type desired (they even provide the necessary special tools). Option 2 uses a Recovery HD Partition and Disk Utility Restore to make a bootable image of your old drive and restore it to the new one. (Assuming you get the enclosure, which I'd recommend.) Oops - probably way TMI at this point.

    The only other thing I might add is that it sounds like the Core i5 should be fine...But... Doing anything intensive, you could see some improvement with the Core i7 (tad more cache, tad higher clock, and tad higher Turbo clock). Combined together, it should give a boost to higher performance, more CPU demanding tasks. Since there's no upgrade path for the CPU, it might be worth digging up the extra $200 for the i7. Just throwing it out there, as there's no way to change it later. It all depends on the type of work expected, how long you might keep the machine, etc. Do the aforementioned reading and surf around. You'll probably find more than enough opinions for/or against either CPU.

    One more thing on the display: after having owned an iPad 3 Retina for almost a year this last February, I had already committed myself to a retina Mac. I do most of my reading on the iPad, and I found it so much easier than even my hires 1920x1200 17" UB MBP. So, to shorten the story a bit, when the 2013 15" rMBP came out, I found a superb deal on a full up 15" rMBP (in sig). Now I spend more time on the notebook before the afternoon switch to the iPad for book reading, some gaming, and, of course MR. The 2.3 lbs difference between the 17" and the 15" rMBP help me let it be on my lap for longer periods too.

    Whichever you get, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. (But, more so with the rMBP... ;)
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If screen quality is important to you, then yes get the rMBP. The MBA is nice, no knocks on it, but I think I'd rather be looking at a retina screen all day then not.

    Just my $.02
  4. Calady macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    Personally I would go for the refurb 15" rMBP. I have the 13" MBA and at times I find the font to be too small that I constantly need to zoom in.

    If you want to be easy on the eyes, I would recommend the 15 rMBP for bigger screen or a MBA but with an external display at home.
  5. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Moving to a retina phone and then tablet (iPhone 3G to 4 and then 5, iPad 1 to 4) gave big improvements in eyestrain for me. I'm pretty sure the same will be true of the retina computer screen, although as a desktop user, I'll be waiting a bit longer for an affordable option. But I would definitely go rMBP if I was in the OP's situation.
  6. stevieraveon macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2012
    Wife has the latest 13 inch air and I have the 13 inch retina. Get the retina.
  7. bananapearpeach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2013
    Hi there friendly folk,

    Thank you for your opinion and experience sharing. I also had a chat with a good friend of mine who quite clearly stated that the MBA would actually be a silly option if portability and battery life are not that big a deal and necessity. The power and quality of a (r)MBP is just way better and I do intend to keep it for a while. And also the black bezel. The metallic bezel on the MBA just isn't that appealing.. I can easily see myself getting very annoyed by it.

    So yes, I'm getting the rMBP! (Maybe even the 15" one...)Thank you for encouraging my spending! (and also, the wife is on holiday till Saturday, I'll surely get hell by then but hey, by then I've probably figured out a bit of hell is worth it ;) )

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