AnandTech analyzes Apple’s new MacBook Pro Retina display: ‘Everything is ridiculously crisp’

“I’m in San Francisco until tomorrow morning, but aside from dinner I’ve been spending as much time with the next-gen MacBook Pro as possible,” Anand Lal Shimpi reports for AnandTech. “Apple, as always, has done an excellent job of giving users enough reasons to want this thing. There’s the display for those who stare at their computers all day, there’s the significant reduction in thickness and weight for those who want portability in a quad-core machine, and there’s the significant GPU/SSD spec bump for those who crave performance.”

Owners of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display “get a slider under OS X’s Display Preferences that allow you to specify desktop resolutions other than 1440 x 900. At 1440 x 900 you don’t get any increase in usable desktop resolution compared to a standard 15-inch MacBook Pro, but everything is ridiculously crisp,” Lal Shimpi reports. “If you’re like me however and opted for the 1680 x 1050 “high-res” upgrade last generation, this won’t do. Thankfully Apple offers 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 scaling options that trade a bit of image quality and performance for added real estate.”

Lal Shimpi reports, “Even at the non-integer scaled 1680 x 1050 setting, the Retina Display looks a lot better than last year’s high-res panel. It looks like Apple actually renders the screen at twice the selected resolution before scaling it to fit the 2880 x 1800 panel (in other words, at 1920 x 1200 Apple is rendering everything at 3840 x 2400 (!) before scaling – this is likely where the perf impact is seen, but I’m trying to find a way to quantify that now). Everything just looks better. I also appreciate how quick it is to switch between resolutions on OS X. When I’m doing a lot of work I prefer the 1920 x 1200 setting, but if I’m in content consumption mode I find myself happier at 1440 x 900 or 1680 x 1050.”

Tons more in the full article – recommended as usual – here.

Related articles:
Sold out already? MacBook Pro with Retina display ship date slips to ’2-3 weeks’ – June 12, 2012
Hands-on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina display (with video) – June 12, 2012
Apple unveils all new MacBook Pro with stunning Retina display – June 11, 2012

12 Comments

    1. Haha You might found this funny, but I created an automator script to refresh the store.apple.com page every 10 seconds until the site came back up 😀

        1. Haha thank you *bows*

          I’ve recently fallen in love with automator. Once you get the hang of it, you can create some amazingly useful scripts, from ones that rename images or files to organizing folders, or even ones that organize my launchpad for me 🙂

  1. This is very interesting, and shows a preview of the future of Mac displays. Once the human eye can no longer distinguish individual pixels, “native resolution” becomes irrelevant. A “scaled” resolution on a Retina Display looks superior to the native resolution on any existing display (prior to the Retina Display). When a single pixel is that tiny, it just doesn’t matter…

    At some future date, the Mac OS should be capable of scaling the “resolution” SMOOTHLY to ANY level, not just incrementally to discreet settings like 1440×900, 1680×1050, and 1920×1200. That’s why Apple put that slider bar control there, to get customers used to being able to slide it smoothly to any level that feels most comfortable for each individual user. They can’t do it yet, but the control will feel familiar when they can. And those “X-by-Y” resolution numbers will go away, because they will be meaningless.

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