Question about Retina MBP and resolution scaling and quality....

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Before I take the plunge and buy this pup, I wanted to ask those of you who already own one as to how the display scales. What do I mean by that? OK, you know how any laptop or desktop display you've ever bought has a "native" resolution. Native in this case also means Highest! Some computers let you "scale down" or lower the resolution if the items and text on your screen are too small for you to read and it's a struggle to squint your way through trying to do anything on your screen. However, anytime you lower the resolution (i.e. change the native resolution), text and gfx do become bigger but everything now looks out of focus and distorted.

Of course, things are different with the Retina display where you can actually scale UP as well as down the resolution. The extremely high 2880x1800 resolution doesn't give you more desktop SPACE, which higher resolution monitors usually do, because of the "Retina" effect that essentially packs all those 5.1M pixels into a 15" display with a WORKABLE resolution of 1440x900. This pixel doubling gives the effect of the higher ppi (pixels per inch) and that's what makes it so incredible looking.

At any rate, OS X lets us INCREASE this 1440x900 resolution ("for lack of a better explanation") to 1680x1050 and even 1920x1200, which does give us more SPACE, so my question is about the QUALITY of the scaling/rendering of the higher resolutions of the Retina display. Meaning is the picture as beautiful (or almost as) and is the text as sharp as with the "native" 1440x900???

Basically, does the Retina display look as gorgeous at 1920x1200 than it does at 1440x900? It all scales from 2880x1800, so you'd think that with the right software and GFX hardware, do I get my higher resolution/desktop space *AND* the beauty of "Retina" (or really really close to it anyway)???

Sorry for the long post...I'm so rrrrrreadyyyyyy to get a Mac!!! :-)


  • Reply 1 of 1
    hodgkinhodgkin Posts: 20member

    I tried briefly using resolutions with a third party utility (including native 2880) but was not satisfied with the way text looked on them. An effective resolution of 1440x900 was what I was trying to overcome in my last 15" MBP, so I was trying to decide between 1680 and 1920. At 1920, I found that UI elements were scaled very well, but font sizes on webpages were all over the place. Basically, at 1920, scaling up the smallest fonts to be legible at my viewing distance cause all kinds of UI and HTML rendering issues that the developers clearly did not intend on. (Setting a larger minimum font size was not sufficient to remedy this.) So I'm finding that the tradeoff for me is right at 1680, where text looks amazing and preserves intended formatting of dynamic page layouts.

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