Retina MBP v Non Retina - Retina Luxury or Necessity? Checklist

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smoking monkey, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. smoking monkey, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013

    smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    I read a comment on here today that states the Retina version of the MBP is a luxury compared to a necessity.

    Interesting. As somebody who is in the market for a new Haswell MBP, I'd really like to know the benefits and drawbacks of a Retina version MBP today (not 12 months ago). And does it even make a difference in many situations?

    I searched for some threads on this, but most of the threads were last year.

    Things that might be of interest in comparison as of June 2013 are:

    fonts (size) and reading
    screen resizing flexibility - blurriness.
    Apple apps such as pages, FCP, itunes, iPhoto etc.
    Adobe apps
    Other company apps
    surfing the web/retina compatibility
    watching movies that are or aren't HD
    fan noise
    power consumption
    games (I don't play them, but others might)
    general compatibility
    or anything else people have noticed for themselves.

    If I get enough comments I can update the OP and include all the information. It may be helpful to a lot of potential buyers over the coming months.

    rMBP Pros
    -MS Office and Photoshop Retina ready along with Apple apps
    -Text is crisper and easier on eyes
    -Thinner & lighter
    -Runs quieter & cooler

    Not all apps are optimised (which ones?)
    some reports of screen lag (does this still happen with new rMBPs in June 2013?)
  2. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Luxury or necessity?

    Well, that's relative.

    Is a Mac a luxury or a necessity? You may argue that any Windows PC can do any task a Mac can, so a Mac would be a luxury.

    Is a new computer a luxury or a necessity? You may argue that your old computer is able to do any task a new computer can.

    Is a computer a luxury or a necessity? The human race has lived without computers for ages, so you may say that it is a luxury.

    So, that's relative. Yes, a retina display is much better than a regular display. And yes, you can notice the difference. It's perfectly noticeable when you're reading text, for example. it's noticeable to everyone, although some may not care about it. But the retina display is perfectly noticeable. But is it a luxury? It depends on the point of view. A few things are really necessary, and a computer is hardly one of them.
  3. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I bought before retina came out, but the hi-res classic MBP is a bit of a compromise.

    Retina is just so much better if you read a lot of text though. It is much crisper and easier on the eyes.
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I don't think this question matters very much these days - we might be just a few days away from the discontinuation of the non-retina MBP.

    Beyond that, I don't think that it makes sense to call the rMBP a luxury item and at the same time consider the cMBP a necessity - in my opinion they fall into the same price category, so should either both are luxury or neither is.
  5. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
    From my POV, as someone who has astigmatism, the ideal viewing distance for me which is sharp without me needing to wear glasses is about 34cm. This is way too close for my 27" iMac, which I am currently selling to replace with an rMBP, because I can view it at 34cm.

    as for the iMac, my normal viewing distance is about 68cm. But I need to wear glasses and this is not as nice. So usually I will lie back and watch a movie from a distance with glasses, which is equivalent to watching my ipod touch at a distance of 34 cm!

    I've made numerous trips to a store to check out the retinal MBP and it is with heavy heart that I must dispose of my iMac.

    I will be able to view the rMBP from 34cm and at that distance it will give me a larger screen than my iMac at 68cm viewing distance. Not only a slightly larger screen, but a much much sharper image.

    When I first saw the retina screens I was not that convinced, but after buying an ipod touch 5gen, I am converted.
  6. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Hey, I said it was a luxury, so I think you might of meant me. Yes, I agree 90% that its a luxury, since people don't particular need it. In some rare occasions, it could be good for people who suffer bad eye sight or are old of age. But I really think you can easily do any task to a proficient manner that you don't really need a retina screen.

    Sure in some cases it would help like photography, but I would rather have a 27 inch monitor with a professonally caliabrated colour garmut (an actual professional monitor), then a retina screen. Unless you do photography or video editing, it hardly increases work flow unless you use the screen in a different resolution setting.
  7. iPoopeh macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    I agree with inscrewtable... I also have astigmatism... Yet my 21.5'' iMac is too blurry without my glasses. My face would be smashed against the screen in order to see anything... Even with my glasses on, sometimes the words start to blur up, but hey... Maybe that's just my problem. ;)

    With the rMBP, the text is very crisp and sharp/clear. With my glasses on of course... But I can see the difference, and I don't even have the laptop yet. :eek: So for certain people I say it is a necessity... For others, it may just be another toy to add to their collection!
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The retina screen is pretty much a necessity on the 13'' MacBook pro due to glare, but even with everything else equal (price, specs, weight, etc.) I would rather the 15" matte or the anti-glare MacBook air screen to a retina display any day of the week.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The retina model is lighter and thinner. Already this makes it better than the cMB in my book. The display is just a bonus. Being able to go 1920x1200 is also nice.
  10. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Have you consider MBA? It's in the mid of the two.
  11. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    My cMBP has served me well for several years. The most tasking things I do are essay writing and web surfing. Who wants to see college essays and Facebook in retina? Definitely a luxury for me since a new computer is a luxury in and of itself. Retina does look pretty even in 20/30 vision, but it's not a necessity for me. It wasn't a selling point for the iPhone 5 when I got it.
  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Having come from a cMBP to a rMBP I would say that I would find it difficult going back to a cMBP non retina display, having used a rMBP screen for the last year.

    So I would say luxury until you have used one, then necessity after you do.

    The rMBP runs quieter and cooler than my previous cMBP. I have had no problems with display lag, that some people have reported. More Apps are retina optimised now, including Microsoft Office and Photoshop.
  13. SlovakApple macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    In the heart of Europe
    Exactly my case.:D

    If it is bought for work, I can think of some profession where it could be necessity. For private use, it is a luxury. But if I can afford it, why not buy something nice which I can enjoy?
  14. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    If you requirements are lighter and thinner than you bought the wrong machine. Get the MBA.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    MBA is not powerful enough for my needs. The 15" rMBP is the ultimate mobile workstation.
  16. devilcm3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2011
    South Melbourne, Australia
    It depends.
    I use productivity and efficiency as a metric to justify whether a feature/device is a necessity or a luxury. :eek:
  17. smoking monkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    Any other comments from rMBP users on specific apps, battery usage, screen lag...?
  18. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Can you make the Retina display lag? Sure if you try hard enough. But I've never once thought "boy, I want to get rid of this due to screen lag".

    I think it comes down to what you do. Are you doing typography? Are you doing photography? Editing video? The retina display is a big advantage for all these and more. Is it a luxury or a necessity? Any MacBook Pro is a luxury. If you are spending that kind of money you should be able to justify one that meets your needs best. I've had many Apple laptops (back to the PowerBook 100). I could see maybe getting an Air due to size and weight if those are your priorities. I'd never get a cMBP again.
  19. adjeff8 macrumors 6502


    Nov 18, 2012
    I had that PowerBook 100. At the time I thought it was awesome. If I had to work on that thing now I would slit my wrist. As I recall I paid $2000 for it
  20. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    With more and more PC makers jumping on the HiDPI bandwagon I don't think you can call the Retina display a luxury anymore. 4K HDTV and HiDPI resolutions are the future. Sub 1080p screens, including those on the classic MacBook Pros, are eventually going to go away completely.

    With this trend you'll see an uptake on the software side. It's not perfect now, but it's an eventuality that all software developers will support HiDPI displays by default.
  21. M5RahuL macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2009
    Well, like someone else said, buying an Apple product might already place you in that *luxury* category, to a lot of people!

    If you have the finances, the retina is a no brainer at this point! It IS an above average purchase if all you need is a laptop for browsing the web, emails, and facebook... But, honestly, even if I were doing just that, and I had the expendable income, I'd spring for the Retina without a doubt!

    You're eyes will thank you every time, especially with extended use [ if you do use it for hours... ]

    Also, I have zero lag on my rMBP, or heating issues, and never had the throttling issue [ knock on wood ] after the EFI update! All this on an August 2012 built computer!

    I don't see my rMBP as a Gen 1 machine. I see it as a refined amalgamation of the MBA + cMBP and is quite possibly the best laptop computer I might have owned to date! :apple:
  22. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    I'm pretty sure it's the best laptop you've ever owned... just because it's the best laptop ever released so far.
  23. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Don't forget to consider product maturity if you plan to take 13" rMBP. With the same integrated GPU as MBA I heard few users experienced screen lag. Next iteration should be better.
  24. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    I was just referring to the requirements you mentioned.

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