Is the Retina Display Worth Paying More for Apple Products?

Jul 3, 2012
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Is the Retina Display Worth Paying More for Apple Products?

Apple’s Retina display has quickly become a major selling point for consumers. The technology is purported to deliver the very best picture quality out there, and the vast majority of folks that have actually taken the iPhone 4S or MacBook Pro with Retina display for a spin would probably agree.

However, with the Retina display comes one issue for some customers: a higher price. Apple’s iPhone 3GS, for example, can be purchased for nothing, as long as you sign up for a two-year contract. However, as soon as you start to get into the iPhone with Retina displays, you’ll be doling out cash.

On the MacBook Pro side, it’s a similar story. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with the standard display comes in at $1,799 to start. However, the MacBook Pro with Retina display will set customers back $2,199.

Now, it should be noted that the differences between the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4S, for example, are quite stark. Not only do users get the better design, but they also add Siri and better internal components in addition to the Retina Display. So, the $200 discrepancy can’t be entirely dedicated to the better screen.

A somewhat similar scenario plays out with the MacBook Pro. The cheapest options among Retina and non-Retina devices come with the same processor, but the more-expensive version boasts double the memory and flash storage. Beyond that, though, the additional cost can be directly tied to the Retina display.

So, I have to ask: how important is the Retina display?

Look, I understand that the Retina display can deliver some really high-quality visuals, and Apple is keen on making consumers see the value in it, but it’s costly. And in the Apple world, that’s saying something.

[aquote]In far too many cases, apps don't support the high-res display[/aquote]

I’m not so sure that I’d be so willing to buy a Retina display-equipped device given the heftier price tag. In the Mac world, especially, the Retina display is new. And in far too many cases, applications don’t support the high-resolution display. That will change eventually, of course, but why not wait for that to happen and take advantage of the lower price Apple will offer on its computers at that time?

There is simply nothing wrong with iPhone 3GS. And on the Mac side, I’m a firm believer that the 15-inch MacBook Pro is still a top-notch offering, despite its lack of Retina display support. Better yet, you can save $400 by going with the older model.

I’m as guilty as any other tech lover of buying a higher-end version of a gadget, rather than save cash and get the lower-end model. But when it comes to the Retina display, I’ve yet to see enough value. Sorry, but I’d rather save that cash and save up for that Apple television we’ve been hearing so much about. Now, that product I’ll spend some extra cash on.


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