What would Retina do for us?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Hacks, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Hacks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #1
    Bear with me for a moment, I am just trying to wrap my head around this.

    Currently I have a 13" MBA which has a 1440x900 native resolution. That's the biggest resolution that I could comfortably have with this size display, anything bigger would cause everything being displayed to be too small and hard to see.

    Ok, so if the new MBA's come with a Retina display, what will happen? We can have it set for the full native resolution because everything would be tiny and hard to see. So we would have to set it for a scaled down resolution. By doing that, what would be the point? Will the display be better looking even if it's not at the native resolution?
     
  2. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #2
    on my 15" mac, the resolution says retina "best for mac" but its not 2880 X 1800.
     
  3. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #3
    So I assume it's a scaled down version. I thought that when using an LCD any resolution other than the native resolution, the display would be fuzzy.
     
  4. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    You hit the nail on the head.

    You'll need to scale the 'retina' display to get any working space. At true retina x2 resolution, you'll have less area to work with than a current 13" Air.
     
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    The way Apple does retina, everything gets rendered at twice its normal size and then displayed at the display's native resolution.

    So you see the same stuff, but it's all much sharper.

    It would be worth it for you to go to an Apple Store if that's convenient and check out their retina offerings.

    There's very little practical benefit but it does look very nice.
     
  6. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    The whole point of "retina" is to eliminate visible pixels and jagged edges. If you do not use the 2x resolution of 1440x900 you can choose up to 1920x1200 and it still looks sharp. This is because your chosen resolution is always rendered at 4x size and then shrunken down. Native resolution has been effectively eliminated.

    The Air is all about battery life. The Pros had their dvd drive sacrificed for extra battery to drive the retina display and keep a similar battery life. Since the Air really doesn't have anything it could lose, there would have to be a new display technology invented to not sacrifice the great battery life.

    Best guess, I think you would get about 7-8 hours on the mythical 12 inch Air based on the 13 inch Pro and some power savings from the new CPU offsetting the smaller battery. I doubt there would be much demand for essentially a slightly smaller and underpowered 13 inch MacBook Pro. I don't see the 12 inch Air happening soon, maybe in a few years if they make a battery breakthrough.
     
  7. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #7
    What will Retina do for us?

    If 'us' refers to the installed MBA user base, all the effects are negative:

    Decreased battery longevity
    Decreased CPU power
    Increased demands on the GPU
    Added weight
    Added bulk

    I have made this same point a number of times in the "Warming Up" thread, but it makes no difference: The Retina fans will have their day.

    I'm holding onto my 11" MBA for dear life in case it's discontinued.

    My only hope is that Apple is not stupid; the stockholder in me believes Apple would not willingly discard a successful product just to replace it with something that no longer offers stellar portability and longevity. Perhaps the new "Retina MBA" will be a new class of product.

    There's no need to screw around with something that works ... and the MBA still works as-is.
     
  8. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #8
    The MBA does work as-is, but I think it could use a better display. The clarity isn't that great, but does it need such a huge jump to Retina resolution?
     
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #9
    Display technology has progressed. Notice the iPad Air 2 is extremely thin and light and it has excellent battery life and its 9.7" retina screen isn't that much smaller than a hypothetical 12" screen for a MBA.

    ----------

    If you double the number of pixels in both directions, everything scales up and down very nicely.

    If you go to an in-between resolution, the picture will end up somewhat blurry.
     
  10. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #10
    If this were three years ago when the first Retina notebooks came out, you'd be right. But PC notebooks like the Dell XPS 13 (which is scarcely larger than the 11" MBA) prove that you can have it all.

    And for the record, technology is all about screwing around with things that work "as-is". Nothing would ever progress is we were satisfied with things as they are. We'd all be using 5lb Powerbook Duos if that was the case.
     
  11. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #11
    I'll accept that technology moves forward; successful marketers do what works. That said, I admit to having been enormously satisfied with my PowerBook Duo 2300c.
     
  12. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #12
    i wouldn't wait for the rMBA, it wouldn't be powerful.
     
  13. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    NC, USA
    #13
    The four people that prefer the current Air display over a retina version, and truly think it's superior in some way to retina will be disappointed as retina takes over all Apple products (well except the mini). The clarity is simply unmatched. The good news for those that prefer the current display is that the used market will soon be awash with great deals on used Airs.
     
  14. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    You don't know that for sure. It's actually surprising how well the Core M can compete with the i5 in the current Air.

    Besides, those who absolutely need more power can simply get a 13" rMBP.

    Four people who have never tried a retina display, once they do their opinion will change ;)
     
  15. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #15
    I started this thread to find out how retina works and what it will do for us being that it such a high resolution on a small screen.
     
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #16
    The same thing it did when Apple added the retina screen to the iPhone 4. Every other screen on a mobile phone looked grainy and pixelated when shown beside an iPhone 4.

    Retina is all about having the sharpest image possible with no visible pixels. Being able to scale the display while keeping the image crisp is just an added bonus.
     
  17. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #17
    What's being displayed on an iPhone doesn't change when you increase the resolution like it does on a computer monitor.
     
  18. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #18
    Actually it does work same way as on the iPhone. 1 pixel on the grid equals 4 actual pixels. Everything is then rendered at twice the resolution and sized down to fit on the grid so it appears as the same size but is 4 times as crisp.
     
  19. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #19
    And how will that work on the 13" MBA?
     
  20. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #20
    Just look at a 13" rMBP and you'll see.
     
  21. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #21
    The 13" MBP has a resolution of 2560x1600. As we both know, that is unusable on a 13" display.

    So in order to scale it to a useable size, the final resolution will be 1280x800, is that correct? That's what the iPhone did when it went to Retina.

    If so, that is much worse (as far and screen real estate) than the 1440x900 we have now.

    So I have to be missing something here...
     
  22. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #22
    The rMBA is rumored to have a 12" display. If its display will have the same resolution as the 13" rMBP it will more closely match the current Air's pixel density in HiDPI.

    Very likely that it won't be 1440x900 HiDPI because of the smaller screen size.
     
  23. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #23
    You said to look at the 13" MBP. I went off of that and explained what I don't understand.

    Why would someone with a 13" laptop want a retina display if it's going to use such a low resolution (1280x800)?
     
  24. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #24
    Remember, the display's actual resolution is 2560x1600, which is actually a lot higher. To solve this problem OS X actually did something quite unique by developing scaling resolutions. One of them is 1440x900 HiDPI which is then scaled down to fit on the display. Although this does result in a slight loss of quality since it needs to be scaled down, it still looks better than a standard 1440x900 display.
     
  25. Hacks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #25
    I am following that the actual resolution is 2560x1600 and I also follow how scaling that down to 1280x800 will look super sharp. That scaled down resolution is proportionate to 2560x1600, each pixel displayed will be made up of 4 actual pixels.

    What I don't understand is how you would scale it to 1440x900. That goes against everything that I ever heard about LCD's. When you don't use the native resolution (or an exact scale of it, like the iPhone did) won't it be blurry because the resolution doesn't align with the pixels perfectly?
     

Share This Page