The Elusive Retina Display

I fell in love when I was in New York.

Her name? iMac. Apple’s 27″ iMac to be more precise.

I used to be a Mac guy back in the days when they were called Macintoshes.  The last time one of those creatures sat on my desk, Apple had just released OS X version 7.2. The big innovation then:  Color built right into the operating system.  It can’t get sweeter than that, can it?

At the time I found myself coveting the newly released Windows 95 machines with all the bells and whistles. Windows 95 had texture. Windows 95 had dimension. Windows 95 seemed to rise out of the monitor, where the Mac OS was flat and lifeless. And then there was all the Windows 95 software that I wanted but couldn’t get for my Mac. And the games!

At the time, Steve Jobs had left Apple to start NeXT and Apple, without him, had dropped the ball.  Six months after Windows 95 came out I made the switch and never looked back. Not until now.

In the intervening years Apple loyalists picked up the name “fan boys.”  I used to see their comments at the bottom of articles, slamming the latest Windows offering as if they were personally offended by them, like a guy with a short man’s complex spoiling for a fight.

Then two things happened. First, Apple got back on its game. The iPhone was born. Then the iPad. The way humankind interactive with technology suddenly changed.

Second, Microsoft developed the cluster f#@% that is Windows 8, with its crappy, awkward design and its flat windows, like the old Apple OS circa 1996. And suddenly I’m finding myself coveting software on the Mac, trying to make my PC more like a Mac, and recoiling at the thought of where Microsoft is trying to take it’s users, kicking and screaming, toward crappy Windows 8 Tablet Land.

It only took about twenty minutes standing in front of that 27″ iMac in Grand Central Station to be convinced. As I played with the software, I felt a little of the old Mac magic from back in the day. It was like saying hello to an old friend.

Now that I know what I want, here’s my question: When do I pull the trigger? The current iMac’s haven’t been refreshed in well over a year. Internet rumors have pegged an iMac refresh for September. I feel like I have to wait for the new Ivy Bridge processor at the very least.

Then there’s talk of a retina display iMac in 2013.  Rumors, of course. But what if they’re true?  It seems inconceivable now to wait another year+ for a retina display that might never happen. Yet I’d also hate to buy one and drool next year should they suddenly appear.

I think the current display is stunning, but I did notice a little pixilation around the text.  Who knew that a few months with the retina display iPad would make me such a snob? But it seems like a 27″ retina display would likely be hugely expensive. And the processing power to update such a huge display…  It would have to be monstrous. Try playing games on such a beast. Forgetta ’bout it!

So, I’m thinking September, if the iMac is refreshed with new hardware. But I’m still wavering. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice? I’d love to hear it.


Author Photo 2 Square - Copy copy

Brian Mercer is the author of the supernatural YA novel, Aftersight (Astraea Press, 2013). He is also co-author with Robert Bruce of Mastering Astral Projection: 90-Day Guide to Out-of-body (Llewellyn, 2004) and The Mastering Astral Projection CD Companion (Llewellyn, 2007). A board member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and senior editor at Author Magazine, he lives in Seattle with his wife, Sara, and their three cats.




One thought on “The Elusive Retina Display

  1. I’ve been a Macintosh girl since 2004 — have never regretted it. I can’t imagine why you are even wondering about it. I’m no geek, I needed the mac as I was doing video editing, graphics, etc. I was able to create my first print-on-demand book using the mac and everything worked together seamlessly. Also, what I remember about windows — the darn thing crashed all the time. Anyhoo, nice post Brian. Good to see you in blog land.

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