Thinking of buying a retina 15 MBP - questions about the screen

cmm

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Original poster
Apr 30, 2006
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So if the app is not retina ready, what screen resolution do you get? Why does an app need to be retina ready to use the true 2880x1800 resolution?

I have a 17 MBP right now, love the screen resolution but the size/weight of the laptop stinks. I was thinking of getting the 15 retina, but don't understand the problem with the screen resolution....

Thank you!
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
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So if the app is not retina ready, what screen resolution do you get? Why does an app need to be retina ready to use the true 2880x1800 resolution?

I have a 17 MBP right now, love the screen resolution but the size/weight of the laptop stinks. I was thinking of getting the 15 retina, but don't understand the problem with the screen resolution....

Thank you!
You get the same resolution. But the graphics and text would simply be doubled in size (and then reduced back to 1440x900 apparent size) instead of being fully detailed.
 

cmm

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Apr 30, 2006
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You get the same resolution. But the graphics and text would simply be doubled in size (and then reduced back to 1440x900 apparent size) instead of being fully detailed.
So, does it not look nearly as good? Does Google Chrome work with the retina display? What about Word and Preview? I read a lot of PDFs....
 

geoffreak

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2008
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So, does it not look nearly as good? Does Google Chrome work with the retina display? What about Word and Preview? I read a lot of PDFs....
Yes, it looks pixelated if not retina supported. Yes, Chrome supports retina. No, word does not and yes, Preview should.
 

stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
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So, does it not look nearly as good? Does Google Chrome work with the retina display? What about Word and Preview? I read a lot of PDFs....
non-retina optimized apps look like ass. google chrome works but presently has a bug so they've disabled gpu acceleration which makes it slower than safari and slight lags when scrolling. word is not optimized for retina and probably won't be a for a long time.
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
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I've pasted some of the text of this thread into Word, did a screen cap (2880x1800) and reduced it in size to 1440x900 (the apparent onscreen size).

So you can judge for yourself how Word looks.
 

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cmm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 30, 2006
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I've pasted some of the text of this thread into Word, did a screen cap (2880x1800) and reduced it in size to 1440x900 (the apparent onscreen size).

So you can judge for yourself how Word looks.
Thanks all! Word looks okay, but of course, the higher resolution would be better.

So given that not many apps support 2880x1800, what do you think about your 15 MBP? Is it worth the $2200 price? Are there other drawbacks? I love the screen resolution on my 17 but as I said, it's just too damn big and heavy.

Does OS X switch between resolutions based on apps that support retina and apps that don't? Or do you have to select 2880x1800 and switch to a lower screen res each time you use an app that doesn't support the retina resolution?

Does the text still look better in Word than it would on a non-retina 15 MBP, or does the text sharpness/look go out the window with the lower resolution? I care a lot about how text looks considering how much I read on my computer and sometimes I get headaches from it...


Thanks!
 

rockyroad55

macrumors 601
Jul 14, 2010
4,152
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Phila, PA
Thanks all! Word looks okay, but of course, the higher resolution would be better.

So given that not many apps support 2880x1800, what do you think about your 15 MBP? Is it worth the $2200 price? Are there other drawbacks? I love the screen resolution on my 17 but as I said, it's just too damn big and heavy.

Does OS X switch between resolutions based on apps that support retina and apps that don't? Or do you have to select 2880x1800 and switch to a lower screen res each time you use an app that doesn't support the retina resolution?

Does the text still look better in Word than it would on a non-retina 15 MBP, or does the text sharpness/look go out the window with the lower resolution? I care a lot about how text looks considering how much I read on my computer and sometimes I get headaches from it...


Thanks!
I don't have a rMBP, but I can answer question 2. The screen will always stay at the resolution you choose, it won't switch back and forth. So a non retina app will look a bit weird. Think of it as using a non retina app on an iPhone 4S. It'll stretch the app out to fit the screen.
 

cmm

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Original poster
Apr 30, 2006
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I don't have an iPhone 4 and haven't used one before. So there is no way to switch the screen resolutions other than going to system prefs>display>

How do retina MBP users feel about this? Is it a PITA? Do you get used to it?

Thanks!
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
741
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Tulsa
I don't have an iPhone 4 and haven't used one before. So there is no way to switch the screen resolutions other than going to system prefs>display>

How do retina MBP users feel about this? Is it a PITA? Do you get used to it?

Thanks!
I have a script that automatically sets the resolution to 2880x1800 upon login. So no PITA here.
 

themumu

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2011
720
561
Sunnyvale
Thanks all! Word looks okay, but of course, the higher resolution would be better.

So given that not many apps support 2880x1800, what do you think about your 15 MBP? Is it worth the $2200 price? Are there other drawbacks? I love the screen resolution on my 17 but as I said, it's just too damn big and heavy.

Does OS X switch between resolutions based on apps that support retina and apps that don't? Or do you have to select 2880x1800 and switch to a lower screen res each time you use an app that doesn't support the retina resolution?

Does the text still look better in Word than it would on a non-retina 15 MBP, or does the text sharpness/look go out the window with the lower resolution? I care a lot about how text looks considering how much I read on my computer and sometimes I get headaches from it...


Thanks!
I think you misunderstand the way it works. First off, the whole point of retina is to make things look sharper, not to give you more screen real estate. On the iPhone and iPad it's the only way it works. But on the rMBP you get a choice, you either:

a) use it as retina, in which case the apparent size of all UI elements is the same as on a regular 15" MBP, just twice as sharp
b) use the full 2880x1800 resolution, in which case all UI elements would appear smaller and you would get more available screen real estate

All applications will work perfectly fine in mode b), it's only for mode a) that you need software makers to release updates.

Hope that clears it up. In short, if you want lots of screen resolution you will have zero issues, all your apps will work fine.
 

Jedii

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2012
116
0
The only thing I dislike about the retina MacBook, is its a bit unwieldy. Very thin, but very tall. If that makes sense, not a criticism. Just my own observation!

Almost like a supermodel.
 

magbarn

macrumors 68000
Oct 25, 2008
1,937
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I think you misunderstand the way it works. First off, the whole point of retina is to make things look sharper, not to give you more screen real estate. On the iPhone and iPad it's the only way it works. But on the rMBP you get a choice, you either:

a) use it as retina, in which case the apparent size of all UI elements is the same as on a regular 15" MBP, just twice as sharp
b) use the full 2880x1800 resolution, in which case all UI elements would appear smaller and you would get more available screen real estate

All applications will work perfectly fine in mode b), it's only for mode a) that you need software makers to release updates.

Hope that clears it up. In short, if you want lots of screen resolution you will have zero issues, all your apps will work fine.
Mode A is nice in Aperture as the UI elements look great/super sharp/readable, yet my pics are seen at full resolution. On a non-retina app like lightroom 4/CS5, the UI looks like ass and pixelated, while my pics still look real nice. The screen cap of Word above looks much better than real life, Word looks so bad to me that I don't even use it unless I'm on my MBA 13 or my rMBP is plugged into the ACD. IMHO Word definely looks worse on my rMBP than my previous 2011 hires MBP 15.
 

nontroppo

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2009
430
21
Word is unusable on my rMBP — horrible pixelation at the "best for retina" resolution — but as Scrivener renders text fine for writing (and is so many league above Word), and Pages for output = one more nail in the coffin of Word IMO...

By the way, the display is *beautiful*, writing and reading scientific articles is just a dream, and to see how perfectly glyphs render is a typographers dream!
 

omgitscro

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2008
570
87
Hi cmm—

Since no one has really answered your question in post 8 in layman's terms: you will never have to change the resolution of the screen if you choose not to. Everything will run perfectly fine out of the box. If you run a non-updated application, it will simply appear pixelated relative to the applications which are Retina-enabled, but in fact, it will look almost the same as how it looked on your 17" MacBook Pro. The physical size of the applications as you see them on the screen will be basically the same, as well. By updating an application, the developer is adding higher-resolution textures which will appear sharper on the Retina display. It will not make the application appear bigger on the display.

Also, PDFs will look great on the Retina display—it will be like reading paper, without the hassle of carrying actual pages around, not to mention having to print them in the first place—yuck!
 

Groovemaster17

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2012
63
36
I find that the only things that don't look "crisp" on the retina display are images on certain websites when zoomed in. Other than that, everything looks really, really nice :D
 

wethackrey

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2007
259
17
Redondo Beach, California
Thanks all! Word looks okay, but of course, the higher resolution would be better.

So given that not many apps support 2880x1800, what do you think about your 15 MBP? Is it worth the $2200 price?
Absolutely. I migrated to the MBPr from a series of 17" anti-glare MBPs. By the end of the second week the 17" was boxed up and sent off to by business partner.

There are no downsides for me. I'm not a huge fan of the Magsafe 2, but that's a minor point.

I discussed my decision at some length in this post.
 

rugbyman

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2012
3
0
Word is unusable on my rMBP — horrible pixelation at the "best for retina" resolution — but as Scrivener renders text fine for writing (and is so many league above Word), and Pages for output = one more nail in the coffin of Word IMO...

By the way, the display is *beautiful*, writing and reading scientific articles is just a dream, and to see how perfectly glyphs render is a typographers dream!
Hey just so you all know. You can make Word and Excel display with Retina quality. Word and Excel both look great now, and before I changed it I couldn't even use either application. I posted about it in another thread - here is the link:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1418567

Hopefully that helps