Beware the allure of Apple's Retina Displays

Apple's Retina Displays are a knockout, but they can make just about every other display look ugly.

MacBook Pro Retina.
MacBook Pro Retina. Apple

Apple's Retina Displays are drop-dead gorgeous. But be careful what you wish for.

Like many, I got the third-generation iPad because of the 2,048-by-1,536-pixel-density Retina Display. And, like many, I didn't see a huge difference at first.

That was then. Now it's painful to pick up my Dell laptop with its 1,366x768-pixel 13.3-inch display and Windows 7 fonts (note: font-smoothing utilities go just so far).

And while my 11.6-inch MacBook Air fares better than the Dell (it packs the same number of pixels but into a smaller area giving it a higher PPI or pixels per inch), I'm suddenly questioning my preference for portability (the Air is under 2.4 pounds) and wondering if I should go with a 4.5-pound 2,880-by-1,800 MacBook Pro Retina instead.

In short, I have become a pompous pixel ass. Thanks to Apple.

And it's not so much images and graphics that grate -- they're usually fine by comparison on Dell's display -- but text. It's become hard to tolerate the choppy, jagged text on Dell's display.

But I shouldn't single Dell out. I just happen to have a Dell laptop. This could apply equally to any Windows machine with a 13.3- or 14-inch 1,366x768 display.

Change is coming, though. In addition to existing very-high-resolution laptops like Sony's Vaio Z, newcomers like Vizio are touting machines with breathtaking high-pixel-density displays. For instance, I would have no problem staring at the 15.6-inch Vizio Thin+Light laptop's screen every day.

And Microsoft's Windows 8 Pro (Intel-based) Surface tablet is expected to have a Retina-like display. As I'm sure others will.

Wait, did someone mention a 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina?

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

The one thing every refrigerator owner should know

One key factor determines how long your food stays fresh (and how much you end up wasting). Sharon Profis shares a few refrigerator organization tips everyone should know on "You're Doing it All Wrong."

by Sharon Profis