To High resolution or not, that is the question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mpsruo, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. mpsruo macrumors member

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #1
    Hello!

    Finally, new macbook pros.

    Question is: high res screen or not? I'm getting a BTO so store-purchase is out of question anyways. I do graphics editing, but not heavy. Mostly i'm interested in the screen to view nicer photos (raw images), movies, etc.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

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  3. csnplt macrumors 6502

    csnplt

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    #3
    I'm wondering about the same thing. I'm coming from a 27'' iMac (still will be my main computer - just need a Macbook Pro for work away from home), so any resolution will be much less than I'm used to.

    I'm thinking about the MBP 15'' HiRes version, because it gives me a good blend of real estate and portability, but I'm also tempted by the 17''. Either way, I need the antiglare model.

    Is the size difference between the 15 and 17 very noticeable? I'll use my iPad for when I need extreme portability, so while portability is one concern, screen real estate is more important to me. I'm also concerned with the dpi of these screens, though. I'm worried about eye strain. Anyways, these are just my random thoughts:)
     
  4. mpsruo thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks for the advice, mind going into a bit more detail as to why? I understand more "pixels" and such but I'm looking for a frame of reference.

    For example, my iMac runs 1920 by 1200 pixels, but the screen is 24 inch so the ratio isn't exactly a vast difference over the MBP.

    I guess my question isn't "is high res worth it", but more "can you really see the difference in a 15" screen?"

    To csnplt: I've had the pleasure of owning laptops that vary from 9 inch to 19 inches. In my opinion, over 15" is too big, under 13" is too small. The 17" gains a lot of weight and it's harder to find cases / fit in backpacks / carry around easily. You have a 27" imac for that!

    The 15" is my top choice because the weight differnece between 13 and 15 is very small, but the resolution and screen size bump is 100% worth it
     
  5. rawd macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #5
    I'm curious as well. Hopefully they have these High Res models in store in Canada. I want to make sure it's not unbearable for me
     
  6. csnplt macrumors 6502

    csnplt

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    #6
    That makes sense. I also don't really want to spend a lot more for the 17'' if I don't have to.
     
  7. mpsruo thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Exactly! Now imagine apple allowed you to build a 17 inch with an i5 instead of i7, same specs as 15" mid but bigger screen...well NOW you're talking. Instead, we have no choice
     
  8. fasoola macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2010
    #8
    I cant speak for a MBP, but my work laptop runs at 1680*1050. Although I find the resolution just a bit too high for daily use and go down to 1440*900, I appreciate having it and do make use of it time to time.

    In my opinion, definately worth it the extra $, also a screen isn't a cheap upgradable part so you would be stuck with it if your needs changed
     
  9. csnplt macrumors 6502

    csnplt

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    #9
    Actually, the base 17'' has the i5, and they want you to pay $200 to upgrade to the i7. Going from the top 15'' to the 17'' is actually a bit of a downgrade (at least for the processor).
     
  10. rawd macrumors regular

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    #10
    When you pitch the resolution down, is it just as sharp? Im kinda worried about that. If they had a 15" anti-glare it would have been any easy choice for me
     
  11. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #11
    It is a personal choice and the best answer is, 'it depends'. If you are looking at photos sized for the web then expect the higher resolution to reliably offer smaller pictures and thus have a lesser impact. for example a photo that is 750 pixels tall will be over 15% shorter. Also, fonts will be smaller which may or may not be important for you.

    I was first drawn to the previous 15" model because the pixels and screen resolution hit a sweet spot for me in terms of image size and ability to read. The 17" MBP physically hurts my eyes and my 27" imac requires me to constantly do some sizing to read which is my only real complaint. The pixel density of the 24" imac (1900 x 1200) is perfect for me as is the regular 15" MBP - and I still need glasses to read. Personally, I wouldn't consider the higher res 15" but would have wanted the anti-glare. I will be getting a 13" MP to compliment my 27" iMac

    If you have younger eyes and don't have problems focusing close then the higher resolution models are likely a better choice. When the resolution is too small, as it can be for me, you don't have to ask for opinions, you just know that more pixels is not better. If you think that you may want a tighter pixel density then you probably can take it - but remember fixed size web images will be smaller. My large 27" iMac monitor akes everything I see and read smaller than my previous 21" (1650 x 1050) monitor which never strained my eyes
     
  12. mpsruo thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    By Lincoln's beard, I believe you're right. Wow I can't believe I didn't notice that. Cheers
     
  13. mpsruo thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Thank you for that right up, great perspective. I see what you're talking about. I don't mind the 1200 resolution on my 24in imac, but I can see how this would strain my eyes on a 15".

    I wish I could SEE the difference, but the only way to do that is to have a high res and non high res MBP next to each other. Considering the high res won't be sold in stores, that's pretty much impossible right now : (
     
  14. PinkLuxe macrumors member

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #14
    Thanks so much for this info Vantage Point. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to resolution and the like, and I have awful vision so I'm really glad you pointed this out. Now I'll save myself $100!
     
  15. senor ding dong macrumors member

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #15
    maybe just wait a couple of hours, i'm pretty sure the guys over at engadget will have something to say about this issue in their upcoming review. shouldn't take long!
     
  16. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Glad to help guys. As a photographer and forum moderator for Nikon based website this stuff is important.

    There are always two things to keep in mind that go hand in hand, pixel density and viewing distance. Laptops can get away with a higher density since the monitor is closer. The density of a regular 15" MBP is about the same as a 27" iMac but the 27" iMac is 2-3x further away making what I look at relatively smaller.

    What is worst is that I can change the minimum font size in Safari preferences to always be larger but that is a double edge sword since that can reformat web pages. When I browse at B&H Photo with the larger fonts the price of the items can appear off the page and not visible. This drives me crazy and why I prefer the 24" 16:10 ratio with a pixel density of 94 dpi. My 27" iMac at 109 dpi and more pixels is actually about the same height at the 24" and pushed back further so I can see the entire screen with eye movement not head movement and this similar height but different density and viewing distance create the conundrum.

    Go to a best buy or apple store and look at the 17" vs the standard 15" MBP and you will see how the larger 17" shows everything much smaller
     
  17. PinkLuxe macrumors member

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    #17
    Thanks again Vantage Point. That info really comes in handy. I would have been making a huge mistake upgrading to higher res screen had I not found your post.
     
  18. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Again, glad to help as this topic is very important to me.

    The 'more is better' is a marketing thing - that works. 'More' is not always better, for some yes, for others not so much. More pixels means smaller physical size!!!

    Here is a link that shows pixel density for various size monitors. Notice that the density for a normal 15" MBP is 110 and the higher resolution version is 129 (the standard 17" MBP is 133). I therefore encourage those on the fence to look at the similar density 17" MBP at your local store to 'see what I mean'

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_displays_by_pixel_density

    They say good things come in small packages. I always say, small things come in small packages - which may or may not be a good thing
     
  19. PinkLuxe macrumors member

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    #19
    Yeah, thats definitely what had me fooled. Not knowing much about resolutions I assumed that it must be better and more beneficial in every way. I know this is such a noob question, but who/what exactly benefits from higher resolution? Because its not really sounding very appealing to me.
     
  20. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Because everything is smaller there are two advantages. First, soft picture can appear sharper (great for marketing) - and useful for movie watching (but I prefer a larger screen than a laptop to watch movies). Second, since everything is smaller it is easier to have two windows or applications open that do not fill the screen - plus be able to show more tools in applications like Aperture without scrolling.

    The smaller (sharper appearance) and bright display display setting at the store help to attract buyers. who wants to buy a computer with a dull flat look? The bright displays in stores also doubles as an illusion in that the brighter the display setting the less you will notice the glare. There is a reason why PC's in stores often are set to those white background pages - so you do not notice the glare. However, at home the brightness can cause eye strain so you knock it down and then with a darker image on the screen the monitor becomes a mirror. That in turn requires either controlling the room light or getting an anti-glare screen - which is no longer available unless you get the high resolution screen.

    Also, another tidbit on brightness with regard to printing. If the monitor is set too bright (determined by the printer standard of about 100- 120 cd/m2) then prints will reliably be too dark.

    I have suffered from all of this since I need to be expert in this area for what I do
     
  21. PinkLuxe macrumors member

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    #21
    Wow quite interesting Vantage Point. If I could I'd use the $100 you've saved me with this info to buy you dinner!
     
  22. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Thanks. If you were local, NJ, I would take you up on that. I will be buying a regular 13" MB to go with my iMac and $100 gets me another 4Gb of memory.

    If you want to buy one of my prints I would take that as well but for now, glad to help.
    http://www.vantagepointimages.com
     
  23. Hadron macrumors regular

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #23
    For me it's the ability to have multiple windows, or two documents, readable at the same time without overlapping. It's just a matter of how I work.

    Right now I'm using a 1280x800 12.1" screen (not a Mac), which is a resolution I'm fine with. Compared to that, 1680x1050 on 15.4" is ~70% more pixels on ~60% more area, so pretty similar density. So for me this is a bonus, and the low density of the 1440x900 15.4" was its biggest drawback. But I can quite understand how others may differ - I'd not want it a lot higher myself. Whether that would be different if I were 20 years younger I can't say - 20 years ago I'd just stopped using a VT100, and VGA was considered a good resolution for a monitor :)
     
  24. Maximus434 macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #24
    I used the regular MBP display for the past 4 years on my old C2D machine before I sold it. I had no problems whatsoever and felt no need for a higher resolution. IMO the 1440x900 resolution is perfect for the screen size and I've just ordered the 15" Core i5 2.4Ghz model with it. Any larger and I feel I'll just be squinting unnecessarily. I'm going to use the money I saved to buy a laptop stand and adapter so I can hook the new MBP up to my Dell 24".

    Some people might prefer the higher res but I don't feel it's important at all.
     

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