Why Apple Won't Put Higher Res Screens in the 15" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dwalls90, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Looking around these forums, many people would only buy the 17" because of it's "larger" screen and enhanced resolution. I think if the 15" had enhanced resolution, this may cut more into 17" sales (I see very few 17" compared to 15"). That said, which resolution would 17" move to if 13" and 15" saw an increase in resolution?
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    it would increase the overall cost, increase the price to the to the consumer to maintain their aggressive profit margins
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It wouldn't. You can't go higher than 1920x1200 and expect to be able to read anything on a 17" display.

    The next resolution up is 2650x1600. From the 30" display. So that isn't happening.
  4. catachip macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2007
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    It's probably because their research has shown that 1440x900 is the ideal resolution for a 15" screen. The best balance between resolution and readability. Apple is very details-oriented company, I hardly think they would maintain the same resolution screens for a decade without good reason. Don't you think there is a design team that has sat around a table in Cupertino and discussed this exact issue?
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personally, I'd stop buying them. I find any higher resolutions on the 15" screen would be unreadable for me. I'm sure many people feel the same way, in fact my wife (who has better eyes then me) complains at how small the text is on my 15" MBP.
  6. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I'm looking at getting another 17" this summer for school next year and thats simply because I can't stand the 15" screen. Pretty much every laptop manufacturer offers a 1080p screen for their 15", if not then at least a 1680x1050 (or 1600x900 is its 16:9). Would I get a 15" if I could get 1680x1050? Probably. I save a few hundred on the 15 and get all the features of the 17.

    If it did happen, the 17" screen wouldn't go any higher. WUXGA is as high as it gets for 16:10 displays other than WQXGA. Maybe Apple would come up with a custom 2048x1280 screen...
  7. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    It would stay at 1920x1200, it's still an increase from 15" 1680x1050.

    And I still don't know why Apple's not offering the OPTION of a higher resolution on the 15", especially when the 17" has moved completely to 1920x1200. Maybe even high res as standard and a option of a lower resolution.

    3.5 years.
  8. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    If Apple is eyeing OLED technology (which they probably do), raising screen resolution now would be a bit pointless - either they would have to downgrade it if they moved to OLED in less than 2 years, or they'd have to wait for higher resolution OLEDs, which would probably mean 4-5 years perspective. Right now OLED displays are slowly reaching resolution of currently used 13" and 15" screens.
  9. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Really? A VAST majority, I am willing to go as high as 80% of 15" laptops I see are set to 1280x800. Most consumer 19" LCD monitors do 1440x900 max. Thus, 1440x900 on my 15" Macbook Pro is fine with me, everything looks like a great size without being insanely small. I think we are just spoiled now days. My first laptop did 800x600, then I got a 1280x800 laptop for college in 2006 that was $1800, now I have a $1800 Macbook Pro that does 1440x900. To me, the screens are getting better while still being practical. If you set the default resolution for a display at say 1680x1050, and someone wants to kick it down to 1440x900, it becomes blurry and an eye strain for many.
  10. Nitrocide macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    The general pixel density of the resolution has remained the same for a lot longer than 3.5 years which is really what were talking about here.
    The dimensions of the aspect ratio however has changed slightly over the years.
  11. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
  12. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Agreed. Sure 1440x900 it the "sweet spot" but it would be nice to have that next resolution. If you don't like it don't use it but at least have it as an option.
  13. HyperSnake macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009

    I understand though why Apple don't put the resolution up, but I'm happy they keep upping the screen quality(color etc, not res.) at least.
  14. catdog02481 macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I made the 1920*1200 mod on my c2d MBP and have had numerous 17" including the latest, and have 2 T60p QXGA and i can tell you that the optimal resolution for a 15" MBP would be 1680*1050. Apple needs to do this as an option, which will make the 15" be consistent with the 17" nice working resolution.
    I passed on my 15" umbp to the wife because the ppi was too low to be useful for multiple documents etc...
  15. L0s7man macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2009
    Apple simply doesn't like choice. They rather take away your choice (damn glossy screens!) rather than give you an option to get what you want.

    Unfortunately, other companies do it too, albeit on a smaller scale. For instance, being fed up with Apple, I decided to buy Vaio SR. But since I'm in Switzerland, it's bloody hard to get QWERTY keyboard (just QWERTZ)! If I buy in France (I actually live in France, work in Switzerland), It's even worse - AZERTY. But there IS a solution to these problems.

    There isn't solution to Apple being anal about giving customers options to get what they want!
  16. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    The last revision of the 15" PowerBook G4 (late 2005) went from 1280x854 to 1440x960. Same with the 17" PowerBook (1440x900 to 1680x1050).
  17. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    Every time I open up my 5-year old Inspiron 6000 I'm reminded of just how awesome having a 1680x1050 screen is on a 15.4" laptop.

    It would be nice if Apple gave the 15" MBP the option, but to console myself I keep saying that at least it's not 1280x800 like the majority of PC systems you buy off the shelf.

    Of course, even if they gave the 15" the higher resolution option, if they didn't offer a anti-glare option I still wouldn't be interested in buying it.
  18. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Maybe the issue is supplier related? LG doesn't seem to do any 1680x1050 15" screens at the moment, not sure about ChiMei and Samsung. Very few laptops seem to have 1680x1050 displays at the moment so maybe the production levels aren't up to levels required by Apple?

    In any case I hope next year Apple will bump the res up to 1680x1050. 1280x800 and 1440x900 are getting a bit small. If Snow Leopard is resolution independent then readability won't be a problem since the UI can just be scaled a bit larger if needed.
  19. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    I'd really like a 1680 x 1050 matte display on the 15" MBP. It would give us 36% more pixels than the current display.
  20. mobgame macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2009
    Actually I was very much care about the 1680 option for 15' MBP. That is the only reason i am still waiting for that...:)
    Hope apple can notice this.
  21. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
  22. frou macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2009
    They're too cheap.

    "Anything higher would make things too small" doesn't cut it as a possible reason. Look at the pixel density, and subsequent UI element dimensions, on the 17".
  23. Nitrocide macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    That slight change in amount of pixels on screen is only due to the change in the physical size of the screen, not the pixel density (how many pixels per inch). The 17 inch admittedly has had a pixel bump, but were discussing the 15" not the 17".
  24. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Nope, both models are 15.2".

  25. MBP09 macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Is it possible to add the 1680 x 1050 through a software update?

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