The importance of retina displays on a laptop...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dgdosen, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. dgdosen macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2003
    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?
  2. Randomoneh, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012

    Randomoneh macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2011
    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.
  3. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2010
    San Diego
    Retina displays just make everything look, 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's time for Retina Macs :apple:
  4. Nova Sensei macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2012
    I wonder if that graph would make more sense to me if I was looking at it on a retina screen..... ?
  5. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Except your battery meter.....
  6. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    In my book, battery life > retina resolution.
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Except for the new IGZO displays from Sharp which don't require the extra backlight power that the iPad 3's display requires.
  8. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    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.
  9. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    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.
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    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.
  11. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    Would it be nice? Absolutely. But necessary? Not in my opinion.
  12. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    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.
  13. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    There are also indications that's because there won't be a 13" MBP at all.
  14. MasterHowl macrumors 65816


    Oct 3, 2010
    North of England
    Very interesting!
  15. cherishzm macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Vertical and horizontal viewing angles are not same
  16. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    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.,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.
  17. Randomoneh macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2011
    Dvorak is wrong and he makes no points in that article whatsoever.
  18. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    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:
  19. AppleInMyBlood, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012

    AppleInMyBlood macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    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.
  20. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    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.
  21. Randomoneh macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2011
    Beautifully said. Thank you.
  22. AppleInMyBlood macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    You're welcome! :)

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