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Will a retina Macbook be a disapointment for a mainly internet browsing use?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello guys,

 

I intend to buy my girlfriend a 13" rMBP or a 13" Macbook air. The main use will be internet browsing, watching movies and pic. The air would be perfect for her, but I was thinking why not the retina. It does look so much better in the shop!

 

However, for internet use, I can see a lot of people complaining about the blurry pic, etc. But mostly it is discussions from 2012. What about now? Should we keep on avoiding a retina mac book if we mostly use it for internet browsing? 

 

Thank you very much :)

post #2 of 15
lucky gf !
Buy the best you can afford.

If just Internet - why not iPad ?
post #3 of 15
Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

However, for internet use, I can see a lot of people complaining about the blurry pic, etc.

 

Yeah, they don't understand what they're looking at. Websites haven't doubled the size of their graphics yet, and so millions of them look almost terrible on a retina display.

 

It's their fault, not Apple's. You shouldn't fault someone for something over which they have no control.

 

Having said that, why not the iPad? Too small? It's great for these things.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazolight 
However, for internet use, I can see a lot of people complaining about the blurry pic, etc. But mostly it is discussions from 2012. What about now? Should we keep on avoiding a retina mac book if we mostly use it for internet browsing?

Apple can't easily avoid lower resolution pictures being blurry. As soon as you take images away from a 1:1 mapping, they have to be resampled, which involves averaging pixels. The rMBP has to upscale everything to the highest resolution and then downsample it to the screen resolution. If they used a different sampling method, they could sharpen the images but then it could leave text jagged.

It makes it worse when you see images next to text because the text is really sharp.

On the other hand, the rMBPs use IPS displays with better colors and viewing angles.

The Air is lighter but the rMBP is faster.

I think both of them would be good choices for different reasons. For a basic browsing laptop, I'd go with the Air though. The rMBP would be better for photography and any kind of image processing because of the better quality display and extra performance.
post #5 of 15

So you're thinking of a $2000 MBP ?

 

I don't think I've ever met a woman that wouldn't rather have a $600 iPad plus a $1400 diamond pendant.

;)

 

...but then, I like to keep my women happy.

From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #6 of 15
I'd go with the 13" Air Ultimate with 256 GB of storage and CTO 8 GB of RAM or just get an iPad.

Don't go for the retina MBP until Haswell.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your answers guys! 


Originally Posted by RobM View Post
lucky gf !
Buy the best you can afford.

If just Internet - why not iPad ?

 

Yeah, but I am as much lucky as she is ;)

 

Actually she will have to write her master thesis, and her current laptop is very shitty. An Ipad would be great, but not to type, that's why I'm not considering Ipad. Macbook + Pages, that's the way to go for a thesis!


Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
Yeah, they don't understand what they're looking at. Websites haven't doubled the size of their graphics yet, and so millions of them look almost terrible on a retina display.

 

It's their fault, not Apple's. You shouldn't fault someone for something over which they have no control.

 

Having said that, why not the iPad? Too small? It's great for these things.

 

Where did I fault Apple? I never did! But yeah, I'm asking if the overall internet experience is awful, because I don't have enough money to be a Guinea Pig :)

No Ipad for the reason stated above. If most of the website didn't double their graphics size and have no plan to do so, then why should I buy something I will not enjoy? It's the job of early adopters :)


Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

So you're thinking of a $2000 MBP ?

 

I don't think I've ever met a woman that wouldn't rather have a $600 iPad plus a $1400 diamond pendant.

;)

 

...but then, I like to keep my women happy.

 

Yeah that's true, the diamond pendant will come in time :) 


Originally Posted by Winter View Post
I'd go with the 13" Air Ultimate with 256 GB of storage and CTO 8 GB of RAM or just get an iPad.

Don't go for the retina MBP until Haswell.

 

I guess the next MBP this year will be the one with Haswell? What will it change, except the longer battery life? The internet experience will get improved till that time you think?


Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
Apple can't easily avoid lower resolution pictures being blurry. As soon as you take images away from a 1:1 mapping, they have to be resampled, which involves averaging pixels. The rMBP has to upscale everything to the highest resolution and then downsample it to the screen resolution. If they used a different sampling method, they could sharpen the images but then it could leave text jagged.

It makes it worse when you see images next to text because the text is really sharp.

On the other hand, the rMBPs use IPS displays with better colors and viewing angles.

The Air is lighter but the rMBP is faster.

I think both of them would be good choices for different reasons. For a basic browsing laptop, I'd go with the Air though. The rMBP would be better for photography and any kind of image processing because of the better quality display and extra performance.

 

So overall, the rMBP would be a bad choice. An Air gives a great experience, and except for storage capacity it doesn't have any cons. A rMBP, on the other hand, is not just great, but great^3 but have one huge disadvantage: awful internet experience (until a few more years?). Maybe I would go for myself with the rMBP, but for a non-geeky girl I guess the retina would be a disappointment.

 

Oh, I forgot one thing: I don't plan to buy it before this december 2013! By that time the storage capacity of the Air will be at reasonable price I hope (500$ if you wanna add 500 Gb, I know it's flash but it's just too much, and 256Gb is not very sufficient...), but will the internet change enough to make he retina interesting? Does website already started to double their graphic size? That's the question... 

post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

…I'm asking if the overall internet experience is awful, because I don't have enough money to be a Guinea Pig :)

 

It's not.


If most of the website didn't double their graphics size and have no plan to do so, then why should I buy something I will not enjoy?

 

Because you WILL enjoy it, and because if no one adopts it, no one will ever use it. And this is something that needs adopted.


I guess the next MBP this year will be the one with Haswell? What will it change, except the longer battery life?

 

You'll notice the battery life the most out of any of the hardware's improvements.


So overall, the rMBP would be a bad choice. An Air gives a great experience, and except for storage capacity it doesn't have any cons. A rMBP, on the other hand, is not just great, but great^3 but have one huge disadvantage: awful internet experience (until a few more years?). Maybe I would go for myself with the rMBP, but for a non-geeky girl I guess the retina would be a disappointment.

 

None of this is the case. The retina model of anything is probably the best model to get. She'll wonder how she was even able to use anything else.

 

Of course, it sets a standard that you have to keep meeting. She'll not accept anything less going forward. 1wink.gif


Oh, I forgot one thing: I don't plan to buy it before this december 2013!

 

You'll be… well, at least you're planning ahead. That'll be… what, about halfway through the Haswell revision, I think… It's not a bad time to buy, it's just… well, we don't really know much about release dates around then, so Broadwell could be pushed up, pushed back, etc. 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazolight 
So overall, the rMBP would be a bad choice. An Air gives a great experience, and except for storage capacity it doesn't have any cons.

It depends on how much the blurriness bothers you/her. Putting it on the higher resolution mode can help as mentioned here:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1400602

but then the UI elements are very small. The display quality is nicer and it's a faster machine but as I say for browsing as the primary use, the Macbook Air is fine and is very light.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazolight 
Oh, I forgot one thing: I don't plan to buy it before this december 2013! By that time the storage capacity of the Air will be at reasonable price I hope (500$ if you wanna add 500 Gb, I know it's flash but it's just too much, and 256Gb is not very sufficient...), but will the internet change enough to make he retina interesting? Does website already started to double their graphic size? That's the question... 

I don't see the internet changing to accommodate this very quickly. Even 27" displays tend to be 1920x1080. Apple is rendering at 2560x1600. Making websites compatible would take a fair amount of work redoing the graphics, rewriting CSS and testing layouts. A few sites will do it to be able to publicise that and generate traffic but I expect they will be in the minority for a long time.

Retina displays just make things look sharper but the pixel density on the Air is ok as you can see here:



The text will be better at a smaller size of course but it's not a must-have feature IMO.

You can always exchange it or upgrade it later on but I doubt your girlfriend will have any problems with the Air.

There have been performance issues on the current Retina models too:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6409/13inch-retina-macbook-pro-review/5

but by the time you come to buy one, the new GPUs should resolve this. I don't think it's a case that the retina Macbook Pro is bad, I just think the MBA is the better choice here.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well. I just went by a shop today, and navigate a bit through the internet, including google image on a retina. I didn't find anything blurry or annoying! I forgot to check youtube, but, well, during 3mn i didn't find anything chocking. May someone who own a retina give me a few links for pics that display correctly on normal screen but awfully on retina? So then i will go back to the shop and see the difference by myself! Thanks :)

 

Honestly that screen is indeed amazing. The first time I couldn't tell the difference, but now its very obvious. Just wow.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

Well. I just went by a shop today, and navigate a bit through the internet, including google image on a retina. I didn't find anything blurry or annoying! I forgot to check youtube, but, well, during 3mn i didn't find anything chocking. May someone who own a retina give me a few links for pics that display correctly on normal screen but awfully on retina? So then i will go back to the shop and see the difference by myself! Thanks 1smile.gif

Honestly that screen is indeed amazing. The first time I couldn't tell the difference, but now its very obvious. Just wow.

You should see the biggest difference in images that have small patterns. For example, the Mac Pro image on Apple's site:

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_pro

The grating design has very small holes on it and the image is at a small size. When that gets resampled, it will map some of the pattern details to non-whole pixels. You can replicate the effect to an extent in Photoshop by resizing up say 150% and then scaling down 67%, even 200% then 50% would work but when the resolutions aren't in exact ratios, it shows the worst case using 150%. The effect should come out something like this in the middle:



The image on the right shows a different sampling algorithm (nearest neighbour) to show what happens if they used a sampling method that doesn't blur things and has a non-integer scaling.

In real-world scenarios, the blurring won't even be that bad due to the fact it's displaying the final image using more pixels so the biggest problem will be in the contrast between the text and images. In the following screenshot, the right image only looks slightly more blurry than on the left but the text on the right is sharper:

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1181857/Screen_Shot_2012-06-11_at_11.08.jpg

This means you get sharper text and more blurry images at the same time and that contrast between the two can make the effect look worse but it's subjective. The person on the following site who bought one didn't like it at first but after a few days got used to it:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1389277

You'd probably be able to see it most by using Google images and search for something like carpet patterns. Try it on different scaling resolutions too (settings 3 and 4 in display prefs).

If you have to go out of your way to see a huge difference or it doesn't bother you, it's worth getting the Retina for the nicer quality display. I quite like the fact it has a black display border instead of silver. By the time you buy it, the price will hopefully have dropped a bit and you'll get the Haswell version with faster graphics, which helps.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you Marvin.

 

Honestly I don't think it's really annoying. I think the advantages of the retina screen outweight easily any inconvenience, as Tallest Skill said.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

 

Oh, I forgot one thing: I don't plan to buy it before this december 2013! By that time the storage capacity of the Air will be at reasonable price I hope (500$ if you wanna add 500 Gb, I know it's flash but it's just too much, and 256Gb is not very sufficient...), but will the internet change enough to make he retina interesting? Does website already started to double their graphic size? That's the question... 

 

 

You'll be… well, at least you're planning ahead. That'll be… what, about halfway through the Haswell revision, I think… It's not a bad time to buy, it's just… well, we don't really know much about release dates around then, so Broadwell could be pushed up, pushed back, etc. 

 

Omg I just understood what you mean, I understood your sentence as meaning that we would be halfway BEFORE Haswell will be released. It took me so long to realise you said a different thing :) It seemed strange, since Haswell is rumored for june. I still need to improve my english. Anyway if I had to wait for Broadwell, I can as well wait for Skylake. And if I wait for Skylake I can as well wait for Skymont. And never buy it :D As you said, things should be bought when needing it -unless we can expect revision for the following weeks.

 

Can we expect this year thanks to Haswell a retina Macbook Air? Wouldn't it be just the perfect laptop? 13"rMBA, how would it be possible to improve such a thing then...


Edited by Yazolight - 2/26/13 at 7:06pm
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

Can we expect this year thanks to Haswell a retina Macbook Air? Wouldn't it be just the perfect laptop? 13"rMBA, how would it be possible to improve such a thing then...

 

Mmm… we can expect a Haswell MacBook Air. I personally wouldn't pin anything further than that down right now.

 

A few more months and a few more rumors before I'd put money on retina yet.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post
Wouldn't it be just the perfect laptop? 13"rMBA, how would it be possible to improve such a thing then...

By solving the image retention issue. I am surprised that no one mentioned it in this thread.

 

There is a HUGE discussion running in the Apple forums about it. I wanted too a retina model but I may very well end up with an Air one; unless Apple drastically addresses this problem which, for such a high-end and expensive machine intended for professional use, is very serious.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Interesting. But I bet this problem is less and less frequent and exchange is not so problematic, so maybe you should try your luck. But I do agree that a 400 pages thread means a lot.

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