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Apple launches MacBook Pro with 2880 x 1800 pixel 'Retina' display

By dpreview staff on Jun 11, 2012 at 20:24 GMT

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with the addition of the highest-resolution screen currently used in a laptop. As rumored for some time, the latest Pro model features a 2880x1800 pixel 15.4" display panel. The screen, which equates to a resolution of 220 pixels per inch, is being branded as a 'Retina' display - Apple's name for a display with pixels too small to discern at a sensible working distance. The cheapest version, which features a 2.3GHz quad-core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, will cost $2199. The MacBook Pro is likely to herald a wave of high-resolution screens on laptops and mobile devices, with companies such as Sharp developing high-res, low-power displays.

As is usual with Apple, it's not yet known who is providing the MacBook Pro's display, but it is common knowledge that Sharp has been working on IGZO (Indium gallium zinc oxide) displays that can offer higher resolutions and lower energy consumption than conventional amorphous silicon designs. Sharp proposed that its technology could offer 10 inch screens with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels - more densely packed, at 300 ppi, than the panel in the Macbook. It has already started production but the specifications of the panels it's making have not been announced.

In conjunction with0 Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, Sharp has also recently announced work on crystalline IGZO designs that should exceed even these devices, including a proposed 13.5" 3840 x 2160 OLED screen, which would offer 326 ppi. The good news for photographers being that we can expect portable high resolution displays to become increasingly common in the near future.

Comments

Total comments: 233
12
Iron Mike
By Iron Mike (Jun 11, 2012)

a 15 in display with 2880x1800 resolution will make stuff so small it will be very hard to see, including text. The 1080 resolution on my 16 in laptop is bad enough, this will only be worse...

0 upvotes
PaoloBosetti
By PaoloBosetti (Jun 11, 2012)

That's exactly the point. The apparent size of controls and text will stay the same. It simply will look better and crisper. Apple calls this "resolution independent graphics", and its something that has been gradually introduced in OS X during the last years (see very high res icons and graphic resources inside app bundles, for example).
The same happened with the transition between iPhone 3/3s and iPhone 4.

4 upvotes
webfrasse
By webfrasse (Jun 11, 2012)

Yes, no one will be able to read anything without the included iMagnifier. Just like with the New iPad...

So the conclusion is that this is a dead in the water product...or?

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Magnus3D
By Magnus3D (Jun 11, 2012)

The problem with this type of display is that the contrast level is too high, things will start to look unrealistic on it which is definately not something photographers and editors should desire. It's a common trick to boost contrast to increase the illusion of crispyness and sharpness in a display but for any sort of graphicsrelated work it will be bad news.

1 upvote
photoaddict
By photoaddict (Jun 11, 2012)

No, they won't be tiny at all. The MacOSX scales the text and controls nicely... the text and controls will STILL be roughly the same size as you normally see. It won't be tiny like you'd see on Windows because it cannot scale well for high DPI display.

5 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Jun 11, 2012)

I know, it's a pain when magazines and catalogs output at 2400 dpi and all the text is too small to read. They should print those at 72dpi.

8 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 11, 2012)

You can't change the size of the OS text? I really doubt that. You certainly can on Windows or Linux.

0 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Jun 11, 2012)

Which is more likely, Apple invested millions creating new displays and updating software to work them so they will look worse, or you don't understand how HiDPI and resolution independence works.

No need to answer, it's rhetorical.

3 upvotes
manakiin
By manakiin (Jun 11, 2012)

Apple doesn't invest millions creating new displays, they simply buy them.

0 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Jun 12, 2012)

@manakin. You don't realise how Apple work. You can't 'simply' buy something that doesn't exist. They design products they want to build. They specify the components. They research manufactures who have the skills to build components to these specification. They then help (if needed) them tool up, skill up and ramp up production volumes. Every stage involves capital outlay.

This is why they are nearly always first into the consumer market with new technology, they invest in it.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jun 12, 2012)

Najinsky is correct. Apple paid LG, Toshiba, Sharp and SONY 5 billion to product parts for the next phone. Apple no longer order from Samsung after it gets too big and rowdy so that's why Apple is pushing Japanese companies to come up with high-end stuff.

1 upvote
JakeB
By JakeB (Jun 12, 2012)

IT'S SCALEABLE.

People who think Apple don't consider stuff like this...

0 upvotes
RussellInCincinnati
By RussellInCincinnati (Jun 11, 2012)

Can't see any point (ha) to a display with more than 300 dots per inch resolution that also displays full colors per pixel (allowing for anti-aliasing). Am hoping the industry hews to increasing dynamic range and color accuracy and power consumption and stability over time and price and weight and thin-ness (transparency and flexibility?) and especially viewing angle, rather than endlessly chasing smaller-than-300-dpi pixels.

0 upvotes
webfrasse
By webfrasse (Jun 11, 2012)

Yes, I also wish that development of new technologies would just stop for a few years. Enough already. No one wants these new gadgets or features;-)

2 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Jun 11, 2012)

Yeah, I don't even know why people bother to print at more than 300 dpi. We should not try to make screen technology advance as far as CPU and hard drive technology has. We need to hold ourselves back on the one part of the computer that means the most to a photographer.

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Jun 11, 2012)

meh, the Asus 11 inch Zenbook is 1080p.. where is the DPR NEWS???

2 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jun 12, 2012)

This is two and half time the resolution. By far the highest resolution available for normal people.

2 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (Jun 12, 2012)

Asus.

That's hilarious.

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Jun 11, 2012)

What a resolution! But, does someone make laptop/tablet with HDMI input for connection with camera for high resolution taking photos? I THINK THAT NOT such as without tripod mount etc.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jun 11, 2012)

Any new laptop that costs over $1500 better have 8GB of memory or more. Apple should be offering 16GB at that price.

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (Jun 11, 2012)

The new MBP uses SSD rather than hard drive. Given a choice, I'll take SSD over 16 GB RAM.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 11, 2012)

You should be getting BOTH for that price. RAM is like $10 a GB these days, retail.

0 upvotes
altaf007
By altaf007 (Jun 11, 2012)

why don't dpreview.com change its name to electronicsreview.com since when they have started putting news articles about other electronics and computing items

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jun 11, 2012)

We've always reported on new technologies which have relevance to consumer and enthusiast photography.

20 upvotes
Webb Deneys
By Webb Deneys (Jun 11, 2012)

Well... the laptop *does* come with a camera after all. That said, if I had the means I'd get one for the display; it needs OS support to quite a degree too so getting it elsewhere is going to be difficult (non-retina apps get scaled otherwise the fonts etc would be small).

0 upvotes
persiyan
By persiyan (Jun 11, 2012)

This is like the only story that is not about a camera that I see. I mean I would understand your concerns if the front page was filled with non-camera related news, but you're extremely neat picking, and acting as if this site is not about photography all the sudden.

1 upvote
wwwaaronegrotk
By wwwaaronegrotk (Jun 11, 2012)

Do you know how much better is the editing of an image at 50%/75% of its size instead of 25% or less? This is a real step up for mobile photo editing.

Can't wait to see this technology in the 27" iMac/Apple display and have a go at my 5D3 images with no downsizing.

2 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Jun 11, 2012)

I see your point, altaf007. When has anyone ever seen a photographer with a Mac? That's crazy talk! They should talk about hardware that you would see next to more photographers, like a Hasslblad.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jun 11, 2012)

The new megapixel race is on.

1 upvote
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jun 11, 2012)

Noise will look finer on these displays!

2 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (Jun 11, 2012)

Actually high resolution displays were available 10 years ago.
It's just that consumers were dumbed to think the lame "FullHD" resolution is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Another thing that most people didn't get is that the only reason why every display manufacturer moved from 4:3 to 16:9 was cost cutting - the screens got SMALLER, yet consumers were tricked to believe it was better.

3 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (Jun 11, 2012)

> Noise will look finer on these displays!
Yes "100% crop" will not be any good for pixel-peeping ;)

1 upvote
armandino
By armandino (Jun 12, 2012)

wide aspect ratio makes a lot more sense for media, that is how we see with two eyes side by side, almost square? Good for a tiny screen

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jun 11, 2012)

I've been using a New iPad for the past 3 months for reviewing/viewing and making minor modifications on my JPEGS out of my Panasonic FZ150 and Nikon 5100, and all I can say is retina displays are fantastic for photos.

Comparing a 2005 Dell laptop screen (regardless of its stated specs) to a New iPad screen (or the just announced MacBook Pro with retina display screen) is like comparing an image from a Nikon D800 to a Polaroid camera photo, IMHO.

If you really want to see what your images look like, get something that has the image quality to display them well. I don't see the point of having a good quality camera and then viewing the results on a piece of junk screen.

A system is only as good as its weakest component.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Jun 11, 2012)

Agreed and well stated. To back that up, color on my 2003 MacBook Pro G4 550 can still graphically outdo a 3 year old Windows based Lenovo Laptop. And nothing can touch what the larger iMac and Cinema screens can deliver. Macs have always been known for being a great photographer's tool because of their color representation and sharpness. Those who would have any thing negative to say about them probably have no experience using them.

2 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Jun 11, 2012)

I don't see the point of paying for something that most people don't have anyway. If you want to buy it for yourself for better photo viewing, sure, go ahead. But as far sharing photos, how many people have retina screens? A system is only as good as its weakest component, but the people who view the photos are part of that system.

If you're speaking from a business perspective, I guess a retina screen would help sell your service, but for non professionals who rely on photography for their income, Retinas are a bit unnecessary IMO. Nice, but I'd rather have the price come down than have the high res.

0 upvotes
Fabrizio Rizzo
By Fabrizio Rizzo (Jun 11, 2012)

"A system is only as good as its weakest component."

Sadly, sometimes that happens to be the Photographer! ;)

5 upvotes
steelski
By steelski (Jun 11, 2012)

Dell had a business laptop in 2005 with 1920x1200 on a 15 incher..... and here we are 7 years later, the industry finally passed 2005 levels.

7 upvotes
tt321
By tt321 (Jun 11, 2012)

I had an HP business laptop with one of these 15 inch screens which was very difficult to use as text from many applications and webpages was almost unreadably small. These types of displays need better software support which was patchy with WinXP at the time. No wonder manufacturers scaled back on those displays.

2 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Jun 11, 2012)

Actually, they've gone backwards. Except on a Mac you can't even buy 1920x1200 any more, you can only get the less useful 1920x1080 resolution...

2 upvotes
Peter 13
By Peter 13 (Jun 12, 2012)

They were 1600x1200 ISP, there were no wide (short) screens then. I still have one of those.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 12, 2012)

"Actually, they've gone backwards. Except on a Mac you can't even buy 1920x1200 any more, you can only get the less useful 1920x1080 resolution..."

Yup, most manufacturers have gone 16:9 instead of the much better and, for work, much more usable 16:10. Too bad Apple also uses 16:9 in the 27" Cinema Display (and the iMac) - it was only the outdated 30" CD that had 16:10.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 12, 2012)

"They were 1600x1200 ISP, there were no wide (short) screens then. I still have one of those."

But there were, see e.g. http://michaels-musings.com/where-have-decent-wuxga-laptops-gone.html . Even the pretty slow-to-follow-the-trends IBM has announced the also-widescreen t60 in January 2006.

0 upvotes
645D
By 645D (Jun 11, 2012)

My current Samsung core i7 6GB RAM 750GB 15.4 display laptop costs $600. Why can't Samsung makes a 2880x1800 screen?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Jun 11, 2012)

it will cost much more than $600 and then everybody will say " why buy a Samsung if i can buy a Mac for the same price"
PS I do think we are too much behind in laptops's screen area than in gsm/smartphons or tablets, my 2012 laptop screen looks like my Siemens CX65 2004 phone screen

1 upvote
viking79
By viking79 (Jun 11, 2012)

The problem is people want cheaper notebook computers, so companies provide. These tend to be large, heavy, and you get what you pay for (low res screens, etc).

1 upvote
jesse2
By jesse2 (Jun 11, 2012)

It is for entry level.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
1 upvote
persiyan
By persiyan (Jun 11, 2012)

You're also missing some features in there, like that fact that those 750GB are on a moving HD, SSDs are much more expensive. I mean I don't even have to go into any other features you're missing, but just look at the Ultrabook battle, they aren't much less expensive than Macbook Airs, many are around the same prices. So if Samsung made a laptop that looks like this Macbook Pro with the same specs it is extremely unlikely that it'll be $600, although, I also doubt it'll be $2200, I think Apple here is really riding the niche market with the only "retina" display around, so they are banking on the price for now.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
armandino
By armandino (Jun 12, 2012)

I think Apple did a great job with the pricing, while it was getting announced I was expecting a good $500 more. This is much cheaper than the 17" macbook pro and it offers a lot more.

1 upvote
openskyline
By openskyline (Jun 11, 2012)

I am getting it !

2 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jun 11, 2012)

BE QUICK !!! Get everything new and trow it right after : the second it is out, all products become OBSOLETE

4 upvotes
openskyline
By openskyline (Jun 11, 2012)

i don't care what you are saying. I am getting it ;)

3 upvotes
Craigski
By Craigski (Jun 12, 2012)

Me too! I've kept my current macbook for five years, and I can say that it is indeed now obsolete, in that I need a 64-bit machine to run LR4. I hardly think getting the best that is available today will make it obsolete within a few years. And the prices may drop over that time, they always do, but in the meantime I have a great laptop that I can really place on my lap, without the heating and vibration issues of conventional hard drives.

2 upvotes
white tea
By white tea (Jun 11, 2012)

OK, but what about colors palette, angles of view without changing color and brightness? Are those features comparable with desktop displays?

2 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (Jun 11, 2012)

If the product is anything like the ipad3 screen than it should be fine - the ipad3 "retina" screen has been tested (purely quoting other sources) as one one the best screens out there for color.

It is amazing that apple has to do this - the screen can't be that much more and adding $200 (or whatever it is) to a $700 PC laptop would give you a great screen... Besides, not sure why they need such a resolution - 120dpi is fine - especially for my old eyes...

And why not aftermarket displays - I wouldn't mind a 20" display on my home system with that resolution.

2 upvotes
peacefrog33756
By peacefrog33756 (Jun 11, 2012)

and battery life. Those super retina displays take a big battery hit. Personally, I'll keep my current desktop and laptop. That cost for the new MBP could get me a nice DSLR and a lens, maybe two.

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jun 12, 2012)

The screen will be great. It was rumored to be originally intended for iPad3 but wasn't ready so Apple launched iPad with an old display.

The new screen makes the laptop thinner and more power efficient.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Jun 11, 2012)

So, where is the preview of the built-in camera :) ?

10 upvotes
Total comments: 233
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