Question for Web Designers RE: High-Res.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Z1NX, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Z1NX macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Web designers or the like,

    I'll be buying a 15" MBP for Web Design (as well as obviously other casual use) and still undecided on whether to get a standard res or high-res.

    From your experience, when designing sites, do you find the standard-res too little (i.e. do you design for bigger screens, meaning you'll need to keep scrolling around) or do you design for a similar sized screen to the one you use and the browsers upscales/downscales the site accordingly?

    Hope i've made myself clear.

    P.S. Can't actually see the high-res screen for myself as NO stores (in London) have one on display/in stock.

  2. torpy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2007
    Sydney + Los Angeles
    The horizontal resolution (1440) of the standard is more than enough. I usually design for optimal viewing on 1024x768 so there's a lot of extra space.

    However, having said that, I can see the vertical resolution being heaps useful, I usually end up scrolling around in Photoshop - my canvas usually turns up being about 1100x1200 when designing.

    Though veering off-topic a little, for about AU$20 more than the AU$130 it costs to get the high-res here I can pick up a 21.5" Dell monitor with the same resolution as the high-res MBP option. Thinking of upgrading myself and probably going this route since I'm a sucker for instant gratification ;) (and the online lemon policy has me slightly apprehensive)
  3. Z1NX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Finally - someone who's in the exact same boat is me! I#m not too keen on the idea of ordering online. More prone to damage in the postman's hands and stuff. Prefer taking it home myself from the store!

    What's the lemon policy you're referring to? First time I've heard of such a thing.

    So most of the time i'll be creating a 1024x768 canvas on Photoshop? If that's the case, I think I should be fine with standard-res. Obviously i'll be zooming in/out which will mean scrolling is involved but it shouldn't be too much of a pain, right?

    Just to sum up, I don't intend to buy an external monitor and will be working on the MBP for the whole time. By only being able to order it online, on top of the fact that i'll need to wait a couple of weeks until it delivers, what would you suggest for me to do? (as well as the extra £80 :p ). It's not TOO much of a pain for the times when you need to scroll around, is it?

    Thanks for helping.
  4. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    I design for 960px wide because something like 95% of modern screens are at least 1024px wide. If you design for anything wider you'll get a significant proportion of users scrolling horizontally, which is a big no-no. (And you need to leave a few horizontal pixels to fit the vertical scrollbar and the browser chrome).

    So I don't need the width to design with, but can't stand trying to work with limited vertical resolution. Remember that a lot of websites scroll, so that also means the extra pixels are useful when you're blocking out a site (or working with someone else's design) in Photoshop.

    And if you ever have to use Flash, the timeline takes up additional space at the top of the screen and the properties panel at the bottom. Honestly, I find even 1680x1050 cramped for working with Flash, once you add in the palettes and the Actionscript panel.

    Plus when you're scripting or even just coding HTML, the more lines you can see on the screen at once, the more efficiently you can work.

    Add in Firebug taking up a few hundred px at the bottom of the browser when I'm working, and every pixel is precious. For me, the high res is going to make the transition from desktop to laptop a zillion times easier.
  5. torpy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2007
    Sydney + Los Angeles
    Haha, yea, I know what you mean, plus the fact that I'm not home most of the time during business hours (9-6 class @ uni everyday are no fun!) just means it'll take even longer from order to actually receiving it.

    Oh and it's not so much a "lemon policy" than it's the fact that you can't return a customised Mac for exchange if something's wrong with it when you receive it. You've gotta send it off to AppleCare to be repaired. At least that's what I've heard and understood from the online store's sales policy (

    To be honest, since you don't have any plans of getting an external display, if you're willing to put up with that and don't mind trusting the ole' postman this one time, go high res! Like splitpea said, when you add things like Firebug or Safari's web inspector to the mix, the more vertical pixels you have, the less swearing you'll do.

    (And I agree - Flash is an absolute nightmare to work with on the standard 15" screen)
  6. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    I usually go for 900-1000 pixels, with scaling up depending on the site. The lowest common resolution these days would be 1024x600 for netbooks.

    I'd go for the higher res display because when working in Photoshop or Illustrator the UI takes a lot of space.
  7. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    You'd be surprised just how many people are still using old displays, or have no idea how to punch up the resolution on their current one. Also, a lot of "older" people prefer the lower resolution in order to make everything on the screen larger.
  8. C64 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2008
    I'll be doing the same work, and the high res is a no-brainer for me. I've worked on the previous MBP version a couple of times with the the 1440x900 resolution, but I just feel like the standard resolution is too low for the screen size.

    My 13" with 1280x800 res is very constraining, and an update to 1440x900 just wouldn't be much of a difference in terms of constantly needing to adjust window sizes and minimize toolbars and such. I do have an external screen, but I'm not always at home, and I want to be able to work with a comfortable resolution wherever I go. And from the pics I've seen so far 1680x1050 looks great on the 15", so.. high res please :)
  9. Z1NX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Awesome - thanks for the tips people.

    Regarding a couple comments above, I'm not a fan of designing with Flash. I feel it's overused and much prefer just standard HTML/CSS. So for that reason, the standard-res won't be an issue for me.

    What WILL be an issue for me, like the person above ^ stated, is working in Photoshop and other similar programs. Mmm..

    What I might do is go to the Apple Store tomorrow, open up something with a large UI like Photoshop (if they have it running on their display MacBook Pros) and if I feel it's big enough and that it's not a pain to scroll around, I'll buy it there and then.

    I'm a student about to start university so once I do start getting right into Web Design as an occupation (a few years from now, after uni) I'll probably get another laptop. Food for thought!

    Thanks for the tips anyway guys :D
  10. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    I don't like designing in Flash either: I think for 98% of cases it's a bad idea. But I have clients with existing Flash sites that need updates. And Flash is useful for a few specific things (e.g. video, until HTML5 gets 95%+ penetration and universally-supported formats, and browser-based games).

    As a student, you're less likely to actually *need* to use it, but it's helpful to know.

    If you go to the Apple Store to check out how Photoshop feels at the lower resolution, be sure to bring a thumb drive with a file of the type you're likely to end up working with on the computer so you can get a sense of how comfortable it is. Also check out working with a debugging panel in the browser.
  11. riotgear macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2010
    The standard 15" display is plenty for design work when I am mobile. When at home I use a 27" monitor and a 30" in the office. I would do the same if I had the 17" mbp.
  12. Z1NX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Great advice - thanks. I'll get a pre-designed mockup of a site i've designed and compare it to my current machine (with a 1152x864 monitor).

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