The importance of retina displays on a laptop...

dgdosen

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 13, 2003
1,630
386
Seattle
I'm sure we'll be able to see direct evidence for ourselves in a few days, but can someone tell me why retina displays are so important on a laptop?

On iOS - I'm a huge believer. The clarity you have with a retina display is incredible. My eyes would get tired on an iPad2, but not an iPad3. I'd never go back.

But on a laptop, we already have sub-pixel rendering and text smoothing. The OS takes care of that and my eyes don't get tired looking at a laptop screen. That makes me think that I won't be wowed by retina on a laptop when I see it.

Too skeptical?
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
It's pretty simple. You get much more information for example when you're looking at an image than you got before. Another thing - perception of "realness" of an image goes up with angular resolution.

I said this before - Japanese NHK did tests in which they determined that observers could tell the difference in image quality all the way up to 155 cycles per degree (cpd) - that is astonishing 310 pixels per degree!



Currently, 3rd generation iPad (horizontal mode, 16'' viewing distance) occupies 27.26 degrees of your (horizontal) field of view. So, you get 2048/27.26 = 75 pixels per degree. There's a big difference between that and 310 pixels / per degree from NHK study.

At 125 pixels per degree, displays with normal contrast (including iPad) are "Retina" to me.
 
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yanksrock100

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2010
613
157
San Diego
Retina displays just make everything look better...photos, videos, text, ect. Even though it's more drastic for iOS devices, it will also be drastic for Macs, because it would make everything look great. I hope they come to the Airs, since similar ultrabooks (Asus) have Retina like screens already...it's time for Retina Macs :apple:
 

Nova Sensei

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2012
264
0
I wonder if that graph would make more sense to me if I was looking at it on a retina screen..... ?
 

ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
2,708
1,345
Retina displays just make everything look better...photos, videos, text, ect. Even though it's more drastic for iOS devices, it will also be drastic for Macs, because it would make everything look great. I hope they come to the Airs, since similar ultrabooks (Asus) have Retina like screens already...it's time for Retina Macs :apple:
Except your battery meter.....
 

pna

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2005
318
0
I would presume that, even if you weren't impressed by the actual boost in resolution, the greatly enhanced viewing angle that would come with these panels (provided they're using something similar to what is in the iPad) would be appreciated.
 

onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
I never really understood the importance of viewing angles, especially for a laptop. Personally, if I'm out on the go, I don't like people sitting next to me to be able to see everything I'm doing.

I can understand viewing angles being more important for desktops if people are gathered around to watch something.

Regardless, retina would be cool for the Air if it doesn't compromise battery life.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,280
1,922
New Jersey Pine Barrens
For me, it might be nice but I don't really feel a need for it. And I would not be willing to pay extra for a retina display or sacrifice battery life or speed for it. There's a story on the MacRumors homepage with (supposedly) leaked specs that indicate the new 13" MBP will not have a retina display.
 

bogatyr

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2012
1,127
1
I never really understood the importance of viewing angles, especially for a laptop. Personally, if I'm out on the go, I don't like people sitting next to me to be able to see everything I'm doing.

I can understand viewing angles being more important for desktops if people are gathered around to watch something.

Regardless, retina would be cool for the Air if it doesn't compromise battery life.
When on a plane where the seat in front of you dictates the angle of your laptop display - viewing angles matter on your laptop. Other than that, not so much.
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,574
35
For me, it might be nice but I don't really feel a need for it. And I would not be willing to pay extra for a retina display or sacrifice battery life or speed for it. There's a story on the MacRumors homepage with (supposedly) leaked specs that indicate the new 13" MBP will not have a retina display.
There are also indications that's because there won't be a 13" MBP at all.
 

MasterHowl

macrumors 65816
Oct 3, 2010
1,017
18
North of England
It's pretty simple. You get much more information for example when you're looking at an image than you got before. Another thing - perception of "realness" of an image goes up with angular resolution.

I said this before - Japanese NHK did tests in which they determined that observers could tell the difference in image quality all the way up to 155 cycles per degree (cpd) - that is astonishing 310 pixels per degree!

Image

Currently, 3rd generation iPad (horizontal mode, 16'' viewing distance) occupies 27.26 degrees of your (horizontal) field of view. So, you get 2048/27.26 = 75 pixels per degree. There's a big difference between that and 310 pixels / per degree from NHK study.

At 125 pixels per degree, displays with normal contrast (including iPad) are "Retina" to me.
Very interesting!
 

cherishzm

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2011
153
4
When on a plane where the seat in front of you dictates the angle of your laptop display - viewing angles matter on your laptop. Other than that, not so much.
Vertical and horizontal viewing angles are not same
 

Bob Coxner

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2011
796
25
John Dvorak is a curmudgeon but he makes some really good arguments in a column where he says retina would be a disaster on the MBA or MBP.


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405409,00.asp

FWIW, I have several geek friends who claim they can't tell any difference between the screen on the iPad 2 and 3. I use my 3 for reading text a lot, so I do see a difference but it's not huge.
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
John Dvorak is a curmudgeon but he makes some really good arguments in a column where he says retina would be a disaster on the MBA or MBP.


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405409,00.asp

FWIW, I have several geek friends who claim they can't tell any difference between the screen on the iPad 2 and 3. I use my 3 for reading text a lot, so I do see a difference but it's not huge.
Dvorak is wrong and he makes no points in that article whatsoever.
 

NutsNGum

macrumors 68030
Jul 30, 2010
2,851
324
Glasgow, Scotland
Dvorak is wrong and he makes no points in that article whatsoever.
Absolutely agree, that article is just him moaning plus a completely pointless reference to 4k televisions and the bandwidth not being there to support it, a point that does zero to support his original assertion.

Great article, John! :rolleyes:
 

AppleInMyBlood

macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2012
202
0
John Dvorak is a curmudgeon but he makes some really good arguments in a column where he says retina would be a disaster on the MBA or MBP.


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405409,00.asp

FWIW, I have several geek friends who claim they can't tell any difference between the screen on the iPad 2 and 3. I use my 3 for reading text a lot, so I do see a difference but it's not huge.
That article is so ignorant it's mind-boggling. There are wrong-headed assumptions and/or outright fallacies in almost every paragraph! Just one example, and probably not the worst: he complains about the performance hit that these unreleased MBPs will supposedly suffer. Not only is it impossible to review a product that isn't here yet, but the iPad 3rd gen has virtually identical performance to the non-Retina iPad 2. :rolleyes: Dvorak's rant is yet another item to go back to and laugh at when the Apple product in question is being enjoyed by millions!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if your eyesight is poor and you can't see the inadequacy of the pixel density that's been the standard on laptops and desktops for years, fine--but don't try to force the rest of us to put up with it just because you can't tell the difference.

The ultimate aim of display technology is surely to achieve an image indistinguishable from reality. Even Retina displays have not achieved that, but they are a hell of a lot closer to it than the old pixel densities we've been using for all these years.

And one more thing, so to speak: with all the whining that goes on in these forums about Apple supposedly giving up on the pro market, it's amazing to me that a feature that is so hugely beneficial to pro graphic designers, visual artists, fx artists, and photographers is decried as being overkill.
 
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thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,734
1,892
Retina displays just make everything look better...photos, videos, text, ect. Even though it's more drastic for iOS devices, it will also be drastic for Macs, because it would make everything look great. I hope they come to the Airs, since similar ultrabooks (Asus) have Retina like screens already...it's time for Retina Macs :apple:
It's nice being able to view things like photos closer to their intended level of detail. While resolution was already trending upward, Apple's branding may accelerate the process there.
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
The ultimate aim of display technology is surely to achieve an image indistinguishable from reality. Even Retina displays have not achieved that, but they are a hell of a lot closer to it than the old pixel densities we've been using for all these years.
Beautifully said. Thank you.
 
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