rMBP Word Processing - Text Clarity

hjb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2011
20
0
If I understand the rMBP concept, one key benefit is extraordinary resolution.

Apple's 13-inch spec: 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors. Scaled resolutions: 1680 by 1050, 1440 by 900, and 1024 by 640 pixels.

Two questions:

1. When I use, say, Pages at the native resolution, are the characters extraordinarily clear and well-resolved? Is this true of other word/text based software applications?

2. If I change the resolution, presumably, the words/text will be larger. Do they retain the higher resolution?

I hope those questions are clear. If not, tell me what's not clear and I will do my best to rewrite.

Thanks.
 

beautifulcoder

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2013
218
2
The Republic of Texas
1. Yes

2. When you change the resolution you are changing the PPI. Apple's recommendation is 1280x800 which looks best on retina and will have the highest PPI.

'Native' resolution on retina devices is really irrelevant. What matters is the PPI and physical screen size. I know of some folks that have a hard time understanding this.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
4,816
Officially, you can't use the native resolution on the rMBP (you can enable it through hacks though). The scaled modes use sub-pixel rendering to give more detail than you would expect using the corresponding resolution: e.g. scaled or logical resolution of 1440 by 900 is actually rendered as 2x2 physical pixels per each logical pixel, so you end up with a much clearer picture than a real 1440x900 could provide.
 

hjb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2011
20
0
Sorry, I don't understand. Why is it not possible to use the native resolution?
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
481
Sorry, I don't understand. Why is it not possible to use the native resolution?
Full native resolution on a retina is 2560 by 1600 on the 13" and 2880 by 1800 on the 15".

Using full native resolution would make everything appear extremely small.

To put things in perspective, say you have a 500x500 pixel image, at "best for retina" mode on a 15"(which is 1440x900, with twice the pixel density), it will occupy roughly 19% of the screen.

If you use the very same image at native resolution (2880x1800), that percentage has fallen to 4.8%.

Imagine doing the same with text.

So while using the native resolution is possible, it'll render the computer unusable since you will barely see objects or text on the screen due to the small size.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
4,816
Sorry, I don't understand. Why is it not possible to use the native resolution?
Because the whole concept of resolution works differently with the retina's HiDPI mode. Apple explains it rather neatly:

http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/GraphicsAnimation/Conceptual/HighResolutionOSX/Testing/Testing.html

The 'normal' native resolution is not exposed to the user via the normal means. I guess the reason for that is that Apple though that text would be too small for most people to read comfortably (and they are absolutely right).