My new 15" MacBook has a “Retina” screen, which I labeled a good “solution to a #firstworldproblem”. Now that I’ve had the Retina-vs-not difference shoved in my face, I realize it’s more dramatic than you might think.

On my desk at work is a Dell 30" monitor that Google bought for me back in 2010. It’s right in front of me and most work happens there; the Mac is on a stand off to the side and I don’t use it much except for telecons, hangouts, Skype, and so on. But of course when I’m away from the office, I’m working on the Mac’s screen.

And I have to say, the Dell, which I thought was perfectly OK, is looking really skanky these days. I snapped a picture of the same little chunk of my blog on both displays. (With my phone-cam, these days I have no qualms about using it for about anything.) The Dell is above, the Mac screen below.

Dell 30-inch monitor
· · ·
MacBook Pro 15-inch “Retina” monitor

You can still see the pixels on the Mac screen if you enlarge that picture. I hadn’t thought I was going to need to replace the Dell, but maybe I will.


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From: dave (Mar 13 2014, at 13:37)

Yeah, it's the same for my with my Dell 27" screen. But I also have the 2012 15" retina MBP, and it's not clear how well external retina displays work with it, so I'm waiting for somebody else to report how well say the Dell 24" 4K UP2414Q monitor works with my model before I get one [when it goes on sale in Canada...]


From: Bud Gibson (Mar 13 2014, at 15:42)

The Dell that Dave mentions seems to be the one to get. Apparently, 4k will look best with 2X scaling per this note by Marco Arment:


From: Ron Holmes (Mar 13 2014, at 21:03)

Hey Tim, and the Seiki TV you mentioned may get it's true beauty in the next update to OS X. Apparently the update will get us scaling akin to the scaling on the internal display.


From: Joe Clark (Mar 14 2014, at 04:14)

Using Verdana for display rather renders the discussion pointless. An Okidata dot-matrix printer from the time of our young adulthood can adequately render Verdana at that size.

Your Web site does not really have “typography.”


From: Chirs (Mar 17 2014, at 03:55)

Although the difference is significant, that Dell monitor is huge, and the Mac is only 15 inch.

If you compare it with at least a WQHD monitor, the differences won't be so big.


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March 13, 2014
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