I am a Photoshop newbie working on graphics for an iPad 3 (2048 x 1536) 264 ppi application. Would someone please suggest whether I should buy an iMac 27" (2560 x 1400) 102 ppi or a Macbook Pro 15" Retina (2880 x 1800) 220 ppi computer? My hope is to minimize the need to scroll or zoom the image while drawing. I'm aware that Photoshop doesn't currently support Retina resolution. Thank you.
Welcome to the board! Funnily enough I've just got an iPad3 myself, and one of its main uses is as a "digital portfolio" for my photography, which is quite different to what you're doing I know.
However, my system monitor is a 24" HP ZR2440w, which is 1920 x 1200, obviously quite a bit smaller than the iPad. So yes, once I process, or reprocess my files for the iPad, and view them at 100%, I have to scroll around, but for me that's no big deal as I start with Raw files that are 5184 x 3456, and am used to scrolling!
As spectacular as the Retina display on the MacBook Pro is, you're still only working on a 15" screen, and that's something I personally could not do; if I were in your position I'd buy the iMac and put up with a little scrolling. Of course you might want to wait 'til later in the year as the Apple Rumor Mill is winding itself up into a foaming mouthed frenzy over the idea of an iMac with a Retina display!!!
What gets me to drooling is what the penultimate evolution of these 200+ ppi displays could become... Image a 30 incher with enough pixels to show your 18 megapixel images in their entirety at 100% zoom.
Just so as not to be completely unhelpful, I agree with Paul above... I don't think there's a substitute for square inches, since you can only make things so small before they become unusable. I have Photoshop plastered across a 3200 x 1200 pixel desktop that runs across a pair of 20" monitors myself, and I don't have spare space.
Thank you for your very helpful note regarding my interest in picking
the better computer/resolution combination.
The project artist found your advice most helpful when she visited the
Apple store today in New Orleans. We're both grateful your kind help.
Thank you for your note regarding my interest in picking the better
computer/resolution combination. I'm a programmer. Like you, I use
every square inch of the monitor daily. I passed your thoughts along
to the project artist. Both she and I are most appreciative of your
Paul makes a good point. To have the extra pixel resolution it is better to have a larger monitor, as the higher the resolution is the smaller the objects on the monitor are. If its too high and you have a small screen, then you will have a hard time seeing what your looking at.
But I see Noel's point as well, it would be nice to look at a full screen image in all its glory that it was meant to be.