What Is MacBook Pro Retina Display and is it Worth the Extra Cash

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What Is MacBook Pro Retina Display and is it Worth the Extra Cash

MacBook Pro Retina Display

What Is MacBook Pro Retina Display and is it Worth the Extra Cash?

We have all seen advertisements for the new MacBook Pro Retina Display series of notebooks, but what exactly is a MacBook Pro Retina Display?  Well a MacBook Pro is a line of the MacBook series of notebook computers, and Retina Display is the new display technology that they, along with some other Apple products use.

What Is So Special About The MacBook Pro Retina Display?

The MacBook Pro itself is a fantastic notebook computer with a lot of features, the most advertised being the Retina Display feature available on the 15 inch, and just recently, the 13 inch models. Also, since the newest MacBook Pro models came out, they have the advantage of being almost as light weight and as thin as the MacBook Air.

Once you see the screen, you’ll definitely see what’s so special about it, as it’s simply stunning. With a resolution of 2,560×1,600 on the 13-inch laptop it has the highest-resolution screen of this size; only the 15-inch laptop with its 2,880×1,800 resolution has more pixels.

MacBook Pro Retina Display Explained

We will take a look at the other features of the MacBook Pro, but first let’s take a close look at the MacBook Pro Retina Display that everyone seems to be talking about.
When Apple made their new version of the MacBook Pro, they decided that they wanted the notebook to have a screen where everything looks vibrant, detailed, and extremely sharp. Because of this, they created the MacBook Pro Retina Display models with a screen resolution higher than any other notebook in the world.

Over 5 Million Pixels

The MacBook Pro Retina Display has over 5 million pixels packed into the 15.4 inch display, and because of the amount of pixels, the picture quality is absolutely amazing. The pixel density (on average 300 or more pixels per inch) is so large that the average human eye cannot discern individual pixels, which makes images appear more realistic, and text appears sharper, and the average human is completely unable to notice any pixelation at most viewing distances. To give you something to compare it to, when using a display resolution of 2880 x 1800, a MacBook Pro Retina Display has about 3 million more pixels than an HDTV.

Higher Screen Resolution

Along with the high pixel density, the MacBook Pro Retina Display also has the highest screen resolution available in any notebook. You can set your screen resolution to 2880 x 1800, which means that you can see all of your high resolution images with amazing pixel for pixel accuracy.

Reduced Glare, More Color and Contrast

Not only does the new MacBook Pro Retina Display have more pixels, and a higher resolution., it also has a 29% higher contrast ratio than the standard MacBook Pro display. This higher ratio greatly reduces glare, and increases the quality, color, and contrast of all of your images.

IPS Technology

The new MacBook Pro Retina Display uses IPS (In Plane Switching) Technology.  This is a technology that was developed by Hitachi in 1996 to help solve the viewing problems associated with LCD screens. If you look at an LCD screen that doesn’t use IPS Technology, the picture can appear to fade or grey out if viewed at certain angles.
With IPS Technology the liquid crystal runs horizontally, which means that the viewing angle is much wider. IPS Technology also produces faster response speeds, and a simpler pixel structure. Because the MacBook Pro Retina Display uses IPS Technology, you get a 178 degree wide viewing angle, so that you can see a complete, colorful, and sharp picture at almost any angle.

MacBook Pro Retina Display Graphics Processing Unit

Of course, as with any computer or notebook, what type of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is installed will play a big part on the quality of your images, how fast they will load, and what screen resolution options you will have. Due to this, Apple has chosen to use the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics processor in its MacBook Pro Retina Display notebooks. A GPU that is based on a new Kepler HPC (high performance computing) architecture, which is claimed by NVIDIA to be the world’s fastest and most efficient architecture available.

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M has a whopping 1GB of dedicated video memory, and can provide up to 60% faster graphics performance than any other Apple notebook. Not only can the GPU easily drive the Retina Display, but it can also drive up to two external displays.

What Else Can You Find In A MacBook Pro

Of course the MacBook Pro Retina Display is probably the biggest selling point on these fantastic notebooks. But they are also packed with some other great features. All MacBook Pro’s have:

  • All Flash Storage
  • Long Life Battery – Up to 7 hours and a 30 day standby time
  • Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor
  • SDXC card slot, HDMI port, two USB 3 ports, two Thunderbold I/O ports
  • Power cord that attaches magnetically instead of plugging in
  • Advanced speaker design
  • Dual mics
  • Lighter and thinner than any other notebook.

Here is a look at what comes with the 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pro’s with Retina Display:

image showing stats of 15 inch macbook proimage of macbook pro 13 inch with retina display


MacBook Pro Retina Display Summary

It doesn’t matter what you plan on doing with your notebook. The MacBook Pro Retina Display series has the graphics quality, the speed, and the power to fulfil all of your needs. Whether your needs include playing games, creating graphics, editing photographs, or simply surfing the internet.  While the MacBook Pro Retina Display was at first only available on the 15 inch models, the 13 inch model has just recently been made available as you see above. This makes it much more affordable for those that still want the best, but don’t want to pay the most.

The difference in price between a MacBook Pro that has Retina Display and one that does not have it is from $400 to $600. There were not any other differences between the two, other than the Retina Display, so you’ll have to decide if paying an additional $400 (at least) is really worth having the great display. There is rumor of a  video that has been seen showing a Retina Display MacBook Pro running Photoshop CS6. So this may be something to consider if you’re truly into graphics with your MacBook Pro, because if this is true the photo editing software will finally be getting native high-resolution screen support. If you’re not sure if the MacBook Pro is for you, check out our MacBook Pro 2012 Review to help you decide.

Do you have a MacBook Pro with Retina Display? If so, what do you think of it,? Do you notice a difference and is the difference worth the extra money? If Photoshop CS6 is truly coming out with the ability to work with the Retina Display will this be something that you’ll consider in your decision? We’d love to hear what you think about Apple’s new technology, so please share your comments with us below.

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About The Author
Harry Carver
Harry Carver is TheHTS resident science nerd and super gamer. As well as researching and learning about physics and chemistry, he enjoys playing the mad scientist in his home lab so be sure to watch for his chemistry and science videos here and on our YouTube channel. He has a dislike for social media, but you can find him on Linkedin should you want to know more.

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