iMac 5k Display : Has Apple’s vision become blurred?

Apple is a company that always intends to be the leader, mostly because Steve Jobs said so. Have they gone too far, too early, with the release of their new iMac boasting 5k resolution (7 times HD)? It’s seems to be a display first, a computing device second.


Apple 5K DisplayI can already see the movie boffins’ eyes popping out of their head. Hold your horses, as we explore what this really means. Firstly, the availability of 4k (4 times HD) is still sparse, with only a few studio houses able to produce this expensive content. If 4k is not yet mainstream, why the jump to 5k? Apple addresses this issue with deflecting its purpose to the graphic design market. What about the rest of us? Sure I filter a pic here and there, but my smartphone screen suffices for now.

Even if 4k was freely available, the method of attaining movies is quickly moving to online streaming. If we look at one of the first 4k options released for stream (TimeScapes), was available at 160GB, most South African’s might agree that this will be a mighty stretch of our average bandwidth capabilities. I shudder to think what 5k might entail, size wise. Unfortunately, the new iMac will not re-size 1080p movies, but rather stretch them out, of course jeopardising HD quality.

Then there is the biological factor. Our eyes have a finite capability. The best vision is 20/20. At best most people will have average quality of vision through their eyes, so everything starts looking the same at a point of distance away for the screen. Have a look at grains of sand that are near to you on the beach versus viewing them at a distance, it all starts to look the same (bearing in mind, reality is what HD aspires to). Sympathies to those with smaller TV rooms.

You have to admit, telling your friends you have a 5 times HD screen certainly has a wow factor. And this wow factor that drives the release of any latest and greatest gadget, even if not practical for the layman. As human nature is such, masses will flock to be first to own of these. R30 000 well spent, the jury is still out. Perhaps an overcompensation for the critique that has followed the new iPhone.

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Anesh Sukhnandan
Anesh Sukhnandan
I have travelled the full spectrum of what technology has to offer. The creature that is my career continued its evolution into the Project Management environment, managing major software development for some major players, right up to implementation, roll out and even training. Changing little, but changing often is my strategy for progress.