1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Apple Advice one which Macbook to buy?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by kissinger, 31 Dec 2013.

  1. kissinger

    kissinger Minimodder

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2011
    Posts:
    261
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm on the verge of buying a Haswell Macbook Air, but the last thing stopping me from pulling the trigger is the screen.

    I know it's a TN panel which runs at 1440x900. On paper, that sounds bad to me. Ideally I would like an IPS at 1920x1080, but obviously Apple don't do that. So is it actually decent or what? Better than it sounds on paper?

    I had a look into the Macbook Pro with retina display, but - and I might be the only one who thinks this - but I don't see the point when you effectively only get a resolution of 1280x800. Yeah it's 'clearer' but you don't get anymore screen real estate to work with, which is why I'm interested in the higher resolution to begin with. In fact, the MBA, despite being non-retina, gives you more room in that regard (and way better battery life to boot)!
     
  2. BeauchN

    BeauchN Multimodder

    Joined:
    5 Apr 2011
    Posts:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    394
    I may be missing something, but I'm not sure I understand your second point. According to Apple's tech specs the native resolution of the 13 MBPR is 2560x1600, and the 15-inch MBPR is 2880x1800.

    That would give you way more screen real estate than 1440x900
     
  3. kissinger

    kissinger Minimodder

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2011
    Posts:
    261
    Likes Received:
    6
    Not based on what I've read. If they were to run at 2560x1600 on a 13" screen things like icons and text would be tiny, so they run it with the same dimensions as a 1280x800 screen, but just use four pixels to display what would be displayed on one pixel in the old Macbook Pros.

    The only benefit to that is it makes things clearer, which might reduce eye-strain. Doesn't seem worth it to me though. Would make more sense to use a 1920x1200 screen and forget about the quadrupling pixels thing.

    There isn't even an option to run at 'true' 2560x1600, although there is an option to scale and run at e.g. 1920x1200, but you must be bloody mad to using scaling on a retina display!
     
  4. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

    Joined:
    28 Sep 2010
    Posts:
    12,592
    Likes Received:
    558
    I think the best thing you could do would be to visit one of the Apple stores or a John Lewis and compare the displays, and see what would be worth it to you.
     
  5. kissinger

    kissinger Minimodder

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2011
    Posts:
    261
    Likes Received:
    6
    That would be a good idea but I'm an idiot and I know I'll end up just buying online before I can get a chance.
     
  6. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

    Joined:
    22 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    4,714
    Likes Received:
    122
    Okay, so, in the past I've owned a 13" MacBook Air which was identical on the outside to the current models (i.e.: same display panel), just with slower internals than what is available now. Right now I have a 15" MacBook Pro with retina display.

    Firstly, to clear up some things. The retina screens do indeed have a native resolution of 2560x1600 or 2880x1800 depending on model, but that native resolution is hidden from the user. Instead, in Display preferences you get a scaling slider. The default is 1280x800 on the 13" model, which is "retina mode", where Apple use pixel doubling to make everything super shiny and smooth. However, you can just push the slider over to the right to use a scaled mode - equivalent to 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 on the 15" or 1440x900 and 1680x1050 on the 13". I run my MBP in the 1920x1200 mode all the time, and it's perfectly fine. If you do want to be silly and run at native resolution there are free 3rd party apps that will enable it for you. Essentially, Apple are expecting people to use the scaling slider a lot - just browsing the internet or something similar? Use retina mode. Need as much desktop space as you can get? Switch it over to one of the scaled modes.

    In terms of panel quality, yes, the Air is a TN panel. Saying that, it's probably the best TN panel you'll ever look at. I certainly didn't have any complaints when I had the Air, and it coped very well with every day computing tasks - and 1440x900 was an okay resolution to be honest. Right now, I think the choice is down to the Air or the Pro, and crucially how important weight is to you. Hands on is really important to be honest, so go to John Lewis, an Apple Store or anywhere that has them in.

    As a side note, make sure you get at least 8GB of RAM when you order. It's criminal the Air hasn't been updated in line with the other machines in this regard yet.
     
  7. MrJay

    MrJay You are always where you want to be

    Joined:
    20 Sep 2008
    Posts:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    36
    ^ What he said, most defiantly go for the 8GB RAM. Also steer clear of the 11" models they don't hold their value as well as the 13 inchers.
     

Share This Page