I agree with SimonForsman - "retina" display is just Apple's brandname, so no other phone or PC manufacturer will have "retina" displays, because it's an Apple trademark. In terms of resolution, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a higher resolution than Apple's Iphone 4S with "retina" display. Though to be honest, I feel anything above 640x360 is good enough on a phone - whilst in theory a larger resolution means you can view a whole webpage, I find I still have to zoom in to actually read the text, or click links - the bigger problem is the very low resolutions still available on some low end Android phones, or the older Iphones still on sale. "Retina" reeks of "let's pick a useless statistic that we can slap a brandname on, and use it for marketing".
On a laptop/desktop, I find 1680x1050 okay - with the ever-increasing wide-screen trend, that now means 1920x1080 to get the same kind of vertical depth. When I went from 1680x1050 to my current 1920x1080 Clevo laptop, I didn't notice much of a benefit. Even on my 1024x600 Samsung netbook, I never find myself saying "Oh I can see the pixels, how low quality", the problem is more a lack of vertical space to fit the GUIs of applications in, but 1920x1080 is more than adequate. At larger resolutions, you just end up increasing the size of icons and text etc, so it ends up pointless. I'd only want that extra resolution when you're talking about massive monitors or multi-monitor displays, but then PCs/laptops already do that. I don't need that resolution on a built-in laptop screen.
Apple seem to have got stuck on this fallacy that pixel density is the only thing that matters, and that it should scale perfectly linearly, which isn't at all true.
As well as the problem of scaling HD content, there's also the question of how well the GPU can drive these resolutions - do they come with GPUs with four times the fill rate?
There's also the issue of matte versus glossy on screens. Glossy is okay for indoor use (I didn't bother with the Matte option on my Clevo), but Matte is superior if you're worried about reflections (and hence also a benefit for outdoor use). I would certainly opt for Matte for any laptop intended to be portable, and even more so for graphics work - so I find it odd that many of the Apple PCs have Glossy (do the laptops have Matte?)
I'm not convinced it's better than the 1080p screen I had on my XPS or Clevo, but the size / weight / battery life under light load are all much better. Just a matter of whether that's worth the extra $1000 to you or not.
Clevos aren't intended to be portable, so it's not a question of cost, and doesn't make sense to compare like that (Clevos are also more powerful). There are plenty of other manufacturers producing portable laptops.
Oh, and the touchpad is simply amazing. It's one of those things that PC laptop manufacturers simply cannot get right.
Apple are a PC laptop manufacturer. You might like Apple more than other PC manufacturers when it comes to touchpads, but unless you've tried them all, we can't say that no other PC manufacturer gets them right. I've had no trouble with the touchpads I've used, e.g., from Samsung. What problem does your Clevo touchpad have, out of interest?
Edited by mdwh, 09 July 2012 - 06:40 AM.