The excitement and news of the Macbook Pro with a retina display took the tech world by storm. Everyone, even Apple haters could not deny that the idea of a retina display on a laptop is something special. It isn’t exactly revolutionary but it is something which is now becoming available to the consumer.
Mobile phones like the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S have high-pixel-density displays now and it looks like this is now becoming the norm in mobile phones. Devices like this were easily able to adapt to the change. Because the graphics needed were 720p HD or under, which has become the industry standard. It’s easy work with this amount of pixels on computers too, because modern computer screens now at least have full 1080p HD screens.
But this is entirely different for computers. The personal computer varies massively when it comes to screen sizes. The reason for this is that computers screens on average last a hell of a lot longer than a mobile phone. I still have a CRT screen which works completely fine, albeit the colours and resolution are absolute crap, but it still works.
When looking at the analytics for UltraLinx, of all the people that visit the site, 15% use a screen resolution of 1366×768 and another 15% use 1280×800. That already makes up 30% of my audience. 1920×1080 comes third, with a percentage of 12%. Nothing above 1920×1200 is even in the top 10. So you can see people still haven’t fully adopted 1920×1080 full HD yet.
The majority of websites on the internet have a max width of 1000 pixels and this is so that they fit neatly on everyones screens. Now Apple are coming out with a screen which has a pixel width of 2880, that’s nearly three times wider than the average website width. So yes you might have fancy retina screen but what’s the point of it if most of the internet hasn’t even gone past 1000 pixels wide. That 2880×1800 pixel screen in the Macbook Pro is also in a small size of 15.4-inches, everything on your screen will be barely readable unless you have it very close to your face. Yes, you could zoom in but then every image will become blurry, ruining the browsing experience.
And this just doesn’t apply to websites, this applies to movies, images and software, the things you most use your computer for. Most of the people who visit the internet don’t even have good enough connections to view full HD content, I know I don’t. Software has to also update to add higher res images which takes time and a lot more space because they are effectively doubling the size of the image.
Blu-ray hasn’t even become the standard yet and already streaming is taking over. Most streaming services also don’t even do full HD yet because the demand for it just isn’t there and people don’t have fast enough internet connections to get it.
The starting price for the Macbook Pro with a retina display is £1,799. I mean like that price is stupidly high right now for most. Unless you’re on a comfortable salary, this isn’t the sort of cash you have lying around.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get the thing at all, what I’m trying to say is wait. This is now a waiting game, we have to wait for the internet, wait for the movie and software industry to catch up. It won’t take a few months like it did with mobile phones, this process will take years. Also in a year or two the price of computers with retina displays will massively drop. It might be cool being one of the first, “the cool kid”, but it isn’t cool if in a year someone else is offering the same tech for £1000 less, now who’s the sucker.