Is the retina display worth the extra cost?

If you’re in the market for a MacBook, you’ve got a lot of choices to consider, and a big one is whether or not it’s worthwhile to buy your new computer with retina display. The cost of doing so is higher, of course, but are the improved features worth the price?

The choice of whether or not to go for the retina display likely depends on a few factors. First, if you intend to work on graphic design, video or photo editing projects, you’ll appreciate the significantly improved picture quality. Second, if you have the extra money to spend and want the latest technology, then you may be inclined to go for the model with the new screen.

At present, a 13-inch MacBook Pro without retina display costs between $1199.00 and $1499.00 through the Apple Store, while the comparable model with retina display will set you back $1499.00 to $1699.00. The standard 15-inch model is $1799.00, while the price of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display is a fair bit higher, priced between $2199.00 and $2799.00.

Retina Display Comparison
13-Inch MacBook Pro Retina Display Comparison

Some people don’t feel the extra expense is worthwhile for those who primarily use their Mac for tasks such as word processing, checking email and surfing the Internet. Others point out that the first generation of Macs with retina display have some drawbacks, and it may be wiser to wait for the next iteration with the bugs eliminated. However, plenty of early adopters are jumping on board, with many insisting that retina display makes user experiences for basic computing better and even text appear sharper.

The primary argument, besides price, for not purchasing a MacBook Pro with retina display is that some consumers with it have experienced various significant stability issues. Display defects, mainly with models that use the LG display as opposed to Samsung, have been reported. Other problems include graphics hiccups and troubles with battery life. Apple has now recognized the issues and is working with customers to address and rectify them.

Stability concerns aside, however, there is no denying the retina display looks stunning. The MacBook Pro with retina display features a tremendous 4 million pixels on the 13-inch model and 5 million on the 15-inch model. The retina display is also significantly brighter and glossier, boasting 263 lux and improved color saturation.

There are other advantages to choosing between the two types of MacBook Pro as well, including advanced all-flash architecture, more powerful Intel processors and additional RAM. Furthermore, more apps are being developed specifically to take advantage of Apple devices with retina display.

Whichever you choose, buying a new Mac is a significant investment. Start by identifying your specific needs and budget, and then access the many online resources that will allow you to read reviews and compare different models. Finally, it never hurts to pay a visit to the nearest Apple Store, even if you intend to purchase your computer online. Doing so will allow you to compare the standard and retina displays in person and make an informed decision.

While the standard Mac screen quality is still excellent, there’s no denying that retina display is the way of the future. At this time, sound arguments can be made for choosing either. Your best option is simply to do your research and pick what suits you best.