Is Apple’s Retina Display as Cool as it Sounds?

The trademark of Apple devices – Retina Display – Is it really worth it? The high resolution and the pixel density is a marketing gimmick or actually makes a decisive difference? Let’s find out.

Now even if we don’t have an official definition to it, here’s how we can explain Retina Display: A screen display having a resolution and pixel density high enough to leave your eyes unable to distinguish individual pixels at a normal viewing angle. So, you can call it both a marketing term and technology.

That said, not all of Apple’s MacBooks and iMacs have dense Retina displays, so how do you know which to choose? Retina version devices of Apple cost way more than the non-Retina versions.

While many reviewers claim MacBook Air to be the perfect laptop, it comes without the much-coveted retina display. But if you are a graphic or a media professional you may choose differently. Non-Retina Macbook in India starts from INR 55,000 which is much lesser than the retina display laptops.

Let’ one-by-one discuss the pro and cons of Retina Display to help you make a better choice in buying a MacBook.

Merits of Retina Display

These are the key advantages that Retina displays have over the old generation screens:

Superior User Experience

There is no debating that lower resolution screens cost lesser. However, in doing so, the viewing experience suffers. Images often appear murky due to visible pixels and poor colour reproduction. Retina displays give much better user experience by showcasing crystal clear images and text.

More Display Information With Higher Resolution

One reason why graphic designers (or people in media) prefer retina display is that it can show more information than displays with lower resolution. Even if you were to open apps side-by-side on a laptop with a Retina display, you could work without diminished image quality. And it is not different for bigger Retina monitors with higher resolutions.

All Benefits Of IPS Screen Technology

As previously mentioned, Retina display is just a marketing term for an Apple-branded ‘In-plain Switching’. So, Retina display might very well be just an exclusive term used by Apple that refers to their high quality IPS screen display.

Thus, you can enjoy all benefits of IPS screen technology in this display. This includes wider viewing angle, better colour reproduction and representation, intense white colour, and better response time.

Benefits of Retina display over AMOLED display

The AMOLED display technology is the closest rival to high-quality Retina displays. Popularised by Samsung, this technology has since been featured in midrange to highrange smartphones and laptops. However, Retina Display has a few advantages over AMOLED:

– Retina display is better suited for viewing the screen in bright sunlight (as compared to an AMOLED display) because of a built-in backlight.

– A Retina display also has a considerably longer lifespan than AMOLED. It has a short lifespan because the organic constituents tend to degrade faster.

Reduced Eye Strain

If you spend a lot of time in front of your computer or tablet, you may suffer from eyestrain. A higher resolution and pixel density can reduce this by ensuring that you wouldn’t exert too much effort in focusing your eyes on a particular area in the screens.

Demerits of Retina Display


Just like everything else, Retina Displays have a flip side to them as well. Here are the drawbacks of using this technology:

Devices With Retina Display Are Expensive

The Retina display is a standard feature in recent Apple devices such as the new MacBook and the iPhone. And all these products are expensive because of the enhanced screen technology. The involved engineering complexity in producing IPS screen displays is more expensive than providing a TN LCD.

Higher Power Consumption Than AMOLED Or TN Screens

This is one of the major disadvantages of IPS screen technology over TN and AMOLED. A typical IPS display requires 15 percent more power than TN. Unlike AMOLED it also needs a strong backlight to improve screen clarity. All these requirements result in faster battery drainage.

Apps And Web Contents Support

Retina display doubles (or triples) the number of pixels of a standard resolution. These densely packed pixels are suitable for viewing, but all apps and websites need to be updated to meet the norm.

While Retina displays have been around for a long time , there are still some apps that aren’t optimised to take advantage of screens with high resolution and pixel density. So, non-optimized apps would appear pixelated and slightly distorted in Retina display devices.

So, if you still want to buy a Non-Retina MacBook in India, you know what you’re in for. What would you choose?