Apple has often been seen as the leader of innovative technology, with devices such as the iPhone and iPad creating a new canvas for communication. However Microsoft are beginning to diversify their product range, and as a result are catching up, very quickly.
Only a decade ago, viewing websites on mobile devices was clunky and not particularly user-friendly for consumers. Now, websites are designed ‘responsively’ and built with mobile device application in mind. Mobile devices aren’t the only things creating changes in the way websites are designed and built. Both Apple and Microsoft laptops have also changed significantly over the last few years. The most radical new technology that we’re seeing are touch screens and super high resolution displays – they’re better, more affordable and lightweight.
Apple Retina Macbook Pro
Apple has had a fantastic screen in their ‘Retina Macbook Pro’ models for the last few years, with the 13” version having a formidable resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. As a comparison, most ‘HD’ screens are a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. You can see that the ‘Retina’ from Apple blows most HD screens out of the water providing super crisp images. The ‘Retina’ display is also available on other Mac products such as the latest iPhone and iPad, and it’s looking like non-retina models will be soon phased out completely.
The screen is such good quality that it actually makes certain web elements such as icons look pixilated. The truth of the matter is that the icons were always pixilated, they just aren’t as noticeable on the standard HD displays that most of us are used to. Thanks Apple, another thing us web designers need to consider! Thankfully, there are a number of tools that we can use to make graphics look sharp on these new screens. If a website contains icons, we are able to use ‘retina’ icons which are of a much higher quality and look super crisp.
Size and Price Guide
The Retina Macbook Pro is available in both 13 inch and 15 inch forms and are available to purchase starting from AU$1,999.
Microsoft Surface Book
Microsoft on the other hand have been focussing on bringing touchscreen technology to their laptops. The most advertised and hyped range being the Microsoft ‘Surface’ models. These are a mix between a laptop and a tablet offering the benefits of both, but unfortunately the overall experience isn’t always as efficient as the devices produced by Apple.
In early October 2015, Microsoft made a huge announcement that they would be releasing a new model in the Surface lineup called the ‘Surface Book’. This is a 13” touchscreen with a resolution greater (yes, you read correctly) than the Apple ‘Retina’ display. Somehow Microsoft have crammed 3000 x 2000 pixels into their new device, which again will make life interesting for us Web Designers to see how our creations display on these amazingly high quality new displays.
Size and Price Guide
The Surface Book is only available in a 13.5 inch form and can be pre-ordered through the Microsoft website from AU$2,299.
The fact that the new offering from Microsoft has a touchscreen as well, will create some good competition and give Apple a run for their money. It’s always reassuring to see this sort of rivalry between the big tech players, as it inspires innovation and some great product development. The flow on effect, however, is that website designs need to be updated to ensure they look their best; and that’s where we come in. If you’re not satisfied your website is giving your customers the best user experience on modern devices we’ll be happy to offer long-term guidance.