So how bad is the text on the Hi-Res 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LeoThe3rd, May 25, 2011.

  1. LeoThe3rd macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2009
    I've finally decided to go for the 15" model.

    I don't need portability, so the 13 was ruled out. I did consider the 17, but I think it will be too heavy for holding it on top of me while I'm in bed (I see myself doing that a lot), and also the price was another factor. So I've landed on the 15.

    I saw the standard res one and liked it, but never had a chance to see the hi res in person. The real estate advantage is less of a concern for me, but, I LOVE a sharp display.

    From my understanding, the only negative aspect of the hi-res screen is text reading, eventhough it seems to be very subjective (depends on your vision?).

    So how bad is it really?

    ps: It is possible to duplicate the 1680x1050 res on my 24" display?
    In other words, what resolution do I need to set on a 24" screen to see the actual text size of the hi-res 15" MBP?

    Thanks !!
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    I consider the "high" resolution a huge advantage, not a problem. My previous 15" computer also had a 1680 by 1050 display and that is now 3 years old, so I would actually consider the resolution of the Hi-Res MacBook Pro 15" to be the norm. 1440 by 900 is pretty poor in my opinion.
    If I could have gotten a 1920 by 1200 on the 15", I would!

    I have perfect vision.
  3. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    it is slightly smaller text, if you are ok with that and have good eyes, get the hi-res.

    You are going to need a very hi-res display to get text to be the same size on an external monitor.

    The screen on a 15" is 8.16" tall, with 1050 pixels.

    An imaginary (perhaps very high end??) 24" screen can be 11.76" tall, with say 1600 pixels.

    something that's exactly 1" tall on the 15" screen is going to be 128.68 pixels.

    something that's exactly 1" tall on a 24" screen is going to be 136.05 pixels

    Now obviously all of these numbers change with the aspect ratio and screen resolution of each screen, but you will need a 24" monitor with more than 1600 "vertical lines of resolution" to have the same size text.
  4. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    The text on the hi-res 15" will be the same size or very similar to that of the text on the following:
    17" MacBook Pro (with the 1920x1200 resolution)
    13" MacBook Air (with the 1440x900 resolution)
    11" MacBook Air

    Also you won't be able to get the same effect on your 24" display since the max resolution that goes is likely 1920x1200 which would be a monitor with around 95 pixels per inch (PPI) while all of the machines listed above have monitors with 130 PPI. Setting the resolution lower on your 24" will be the reverse effect that you want.
  5. acron1 macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008
    Your best option is to go to an Apple store that has it in stock and check it out.
    You are right, it's a highly subjective matter... I much prefer the additional real estate of the hi-res display and the text displays just fine (you can always change the default font size in Safari anyway)...
  6. benbrownlol macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    My eyes are not good, need glasses but never wear them, and i have no problems with my "hi-res" 15" mbp.
  7. ShootingStars macrumors member

    May 13, 2011
  8. Blipp macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2011
    The text is not "bad" at all, it's sharp and clear. The 17" has the highest pixel density of any Apple laptop display and your 15" hi-res is only just a little bit less dense. You'll be fine.

    Also, the 17" is hardly going to crush you when laying it bed, it's only one pound heavier than the 15".
  9. LeoThe3rd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2009
    I didn't consider this. Thanks.
    I just realized that I can also check out the Anti-Glare 15" to see the hi-res effect. (the glossy hi-res isn't available on display in my country)

    I have a feeling that eventually I'll wish that it had even a higher resolution. Maybe I should reconsider the 17".

    True, but what about the long run? I assume that with time, that "only one pound" will be more and more substantial, and after 2-3 hours will feel more like 3 pounds heavier.
  10. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    I say go to the store and compare the AG and Glossy side by side. Do not rely on fellow forum members for this important decision. I have 20/20 vision and when I am online for three hours or more reading/researching: my eyes become tired. Also, I use the zoom feature, which is very helpful since it enlarges the page equally. Hope this helps. :D

    Another note, movies look very average while viewing them. Do not get me wrong, I like the AG screes, but I wish that Apple could have made the text larger and less blurry. Yeah I know, I wasted a wish on such a silly circumstance. :)
  11. Blipp macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2011
    Hardly. It's just resting on your stomach or lap, 1 pound is always 1 pound. If you were holding the MBP in one hand at the end of an outstretched arm then yea it's going to get heavier faster but that's not what you're doing. If the price difference alone is enough to make you not want the 17" then that's a fine reason but the weight difference (especially since you said mobility isn't an issue) isn't worth worrying about by a long shot.

    You can make the text larger yourself as well as disable font smoothing if it's really a bother to you. Or are you saying the AG display makes fonts blurry?
  12. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - This thread isn't a debate about glossy and antiglare screens... It's about the difference between the standard resolution (1440 by 900) and the high-resolution screen (1680 by 1050) on the 15" MacBook Pro.
  13. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    From reading some of the posts on this forum about the text size of the Hi-Res I was initially worried about getting one.

    Honestly, I love it. I adapted to the Hi-Res screen within two hours. I'd never go back now. Everything looks crisp and clean. You really notice how good you have it with a Hi-Res when you go use a standard display as on the 13 inch MB(P).

    Try it out in the store if you can. If you have the funds and want it, I recommend it.
  14. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I wear reading glasses so it doesn't make any difference (ironically).

    I'm hooked on the higher resolution LCDs. For me the HRES machine is just right, and I would NEVER use a lower res machine.

    I hope that doesn't help. :)
  15. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    I just got a high-res model and the display is absolutely gorgeous. The text is easy to read (for me at least); it's far from microscopic. It's also very sharp- my 24" iMac looks terrible now with its low ppi.
  16. mastaofdisasta macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2011
    Check it out in person first. I bought the hi-res but my eye's strained like crazy to the point where my eyes would get sore after using it. Switched to the standard res and I was fine after that.
  17. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I guess it also takes some getting used to. I loved it from the first second but still now I am so used to it I would never accept anything less than this res anymore.
    My father complains even at our 17" 1280x1024 screen at home with native res and normal dpi so I raised the DPI but he also likes to site quite a bit away from the screen.

    When I read stuff I usually just zoom it to the size I like it. Some webpages have bigger writing some very small writing, same with pdfs. I also like a page to mostly fill up my screen. But zooming is easy with gestures and also single key shortcuts in Opera.
    The "normal small" text I only read
    in menus where it is very convenient because it is small and takes less space but you can still read it. Only when reading long papers a bigger text is better (but again you just zoom pdf)
    also in Eclipse and Developer tools where I want to few as much as possible at once. It is a blessing you can easily read it but also see a lot at once and very crisp and clear.

    In general for the whole zooming stuff the HR gives you simply a clearer crisper picture and you end up seeing the text as big as ever.
    In many small apps like editors, terminal ... you can also simply adjust the standard text size to your liking.

    Just get the HR you will love it and there is truly no reason to be afraid of the smaller text. If you wear glasses and have problems you only need a better cliometrician. There are some who really know what they are doing and some who don't. Also I have learned that eye doctors usually have little to know clue how to give a patient really good glasses. It may be different if you have only little bad vision (not enough to require glasses) or contacts which usually cannot correct as well as real glasses.
  18. JayDH macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I wear glasses, but have generally good vision. I read a lot on the computer for work and the hi-res display text is too small for me. The standard res screen is just more comfortable. If I did less reading, I'd probably prefer a sharper resolution display.
  19. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Definitely get hi-res. The text perfectly readable if you have decent vision. One drawback though...once you get used to the extra real estate, you won't be able to use a low-res screen again ;)
  20. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    The pictures from my iPhone 3GS don't do it much justice.

    Attached Files:

  21. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Text is perfect. If it ever gets too small cmd + is your friend, use it.
  22. 100Teraflops, May 25, 2011
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

    100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    I checked Safari preferences and I saw an option for font size. I have the font size set to 16, but the text on my screen is not 16 font. Also, after researching for long periods of time, the text becomes blurry, not the screen. I saw a box to check/uncheck font smoothing, so I will adjust the setting. Thanks!

    EDIT: I found the font smoothing option in system preferences and unchecked it. Thanks again.
  23. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    The OP requested information about reading text on a 15" hires and I happen to have a hires AG screen, so I shared my experience regarding my viewing of text. My store reference is my advice for the OP to view text on a hires AG or hires glossy screen.
  24. jvmxtra macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2010
    It all depends on your eye sights.
    I do wish however resolution independence works on this $2000 machine (whereas $500 ipad can do it no problem). Hello Lion??
    Somtimes, it's not good to have such a tiny fonts.(especially I am lying down and laptop is bit farther away.
  25. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
    I have more than one & find them excellent. That said my 17" is a personal favorite. Compared to most 15" competitors the 17" MBP is no heavier. It's all personal preference at the end of the day.

    That's why I have both. I prefer choices. :)

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