Friday, October 23, 2009

The iMac 27: missing resolution independent OS X

Resolution independence means pixel counts wouldn't matter; very high pixel density screens needn't create itty-bitty text problems.

Once upon a time OS X 10.4 was going to have a scalable UI like this. Didn't happen. Then it was to be 10.5.

Now nobody mentions it.

On the other shore Microsoft has had some RI since Windows 95, but it's never worked quite well enough to be truly useful. Windows 7 takes RI further, but it's still not quite ready to go all the way.

It looks like the iMac 27 inch may remind aging Americans why RI is important ...
Apple iMac Review: 27 Inches and Less Chin - Apple imac 27 inch - Gizmodo

... at this pixel density, which is sharper than my notebook, it's almost too sharp, requiring me to sit closer than I would ordinarily do with a 27 inch display. I like the feeling of crispness — 16% crisper than the last generation. But my eyes feel like the pictures are being delivered by a land shark holding a laser pointer straight into my corneas, and I can feel the strain within minutes. I would have to jack up as many font sizes as possible or sit as close as I do to my MacBook to make it work for long long periods of time.
I'm as presbyopic as the next GOMER, so this matters. I'm going to have to work with this screen in the store for a while before I decide it's manageable at home. Lack of RI might save me a few hundred bucks.

1 comment:

Chris Grayson - Art Director said...

The Safari browser has true resolution independence within the browser window. The OS interface isn't, but you can change the point size of the interface font, and the icons are vector-base and therefore can scale, so in most cases the resolution independence you speak of just isn't as needed as it once was.