I looked at a Retina the other day and........

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Questions thread
Najinsky
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Re: I looked at a Retina the other day and........
In reply to blogan, Apr 6, 2013

blogan wrote:

I couldn't really see a big difference. I have a macbook from 2010. It suits me just fine. I have 8 gigs of memory in it.

From what I saw of the Retina, there didn't seem to be a huge difference. Can anyone explain what the difference between the Retina screen and my screen might be?

It's different for text and graphics. Text improvements are system wide and should nearly always look crisper and smoother. A few apps (very few, and usually cross platform apps that share source code) render their own text and these can actually look worse due to scaling.

On none retina displays you usually can make out the gaps between pixels, and the pixels are larger so the text looks corse. It depends on your eyesight and the viewing distance, but the closer you look, the more obvious the difference, as these two close-ups show.:

For graphics, the application has to be designed to display retina level detail. If it isn't, it will be rendered using up-scaling. The retina pixels are still much finer, but the upscaling cancels out most of the benefit.

For example, the Safari browser downloads it's graphics from the net, and these graphics are designed for most browser on most computers, which overwhelmingly means designed for regular DPI. On retina, these graphics have to get up-scaled to display at the intended size so again don't really get any benefit other than the smaller gap between the pixels. Some websites can detect the use of a Hi-DPI screen and send high resolution graphics instead and these look much better, but they are still very few in number.

However, Aperture fully supports retina, and images there look fantastic, because you see 4 times the detail; patterns on fabrics and skin, veins on leaves and flowers, and so on.

If you don't see these resolution differences, again, it may be due to viewing distance or your eyesight. It might be worth checking your vision with an optician. I don't mean that in a flippant or offensive way. Many people walk around without realising their eyes have deteriorated slightly, as they may encounter very few occasions for it to become noticeable. But with 20/20 vision, and normal viewing distances, the retina difference are clear and striking.

Resolution aside, depending on the model you're comparing to, the retina display may have a better colour gamut, be brighter, have better contrast and more even backlighting.

-Najinsky

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