see that's the problem. if you can't see the details in the text at "100%" but you can see it at "150%", then why can you see the detail in a picture at "100%"?
this is why the retina displays never advertise more working space. it's just better quality with the same working space.
Because those details aren't important generally. Like I said, if you need to see them, as in for work or productivity, then you zoom in and the point is moot, but 99% of the time, you don't need to zoom in to see them and you're not missing out, hence giving you more real estate.
This doesn't really have to do with the concept of "retina" at all as Apple uses the term, as the magnitudes aren't the same. Retina ppi's are anywhere from 2-3x greater than the ranges we're talking about. We're considering ppi's from 100-130 and screen sizes from 27-29, so they are pretty similar in both density and physical size, which for most people gives sizeable advantage in real estate. You can open a picture at 100% on both screens and may not need to zoom (in general use case scenario, that is), so the higher resolution let's you see more pictures / content at the same time. With the tiny (relatively) retina screens ranging from 3.5-15.4 and at anywhere from 200-300+ ppi, that's not really a good comparison as they are well past these thresholds, and you do have to zoom in many times over just to have a viewable physical size for an object.
Well, aside from movies and such, some folks actually use their computers to do real paying work on them. A wider screen is similar to having a bigger desk, which (up to a point) lets you get more work done. This is particularly true for people that work with large spreadsheets (like accountants) or people that have to work with multiple different programs/windows at the same time (most manager/professional/artistic types)
Really, in real world doing more than browsing a single web page use, square monitors just don't work well. They're best used as 2nd and 3rd monitors to the side of a rectangular main screen.
You can get a 10" tablet with more pixels too. But good luck using it as a desktop screen with your face three feet away from it.
Your 27" with more pixels will also probably cost more money. It might be worth it, if you sit close enough that you can actually see them. But not if you sit further away, and can't.
Pixel count is meaningless as a standalone number. This screen has 2,764,800. Regular 1920x1080 screens have 2,073,600. So it gives you 1/3 (33.33%) [marshu.com] more workspace than a regular screen. A 27" 2560x1440 has 3,686,400, giving you 78% more than a regular screen, but with a PPI of 109 you'd need to sit closer to be able to see the extra detail. Might work for some folks, and might not work for others.
What I think you had in mind was PPI (Pixels Per Inch). But that's also a useless number by itself because having a higher PPI than you can see from a particular distance just slows the computer down for no reason. (A higher pixel count requires more computing power to draw on the screen.)
Apple's marketing term for the "maximum usable PPI" is "Retina Display". To qualify as a "Retina Display" the screen must have a pixels per inch count that is at or past the point at which you can't see more pixels from a normal viewing distance. A high pixel count or high PPI don't by themselves qualify, the viewing distance for a person with 20/20 vision must be taken into account.
Gizmodo has a nice breakdown of "retina display" viewing distances[gizmodo.com]. For example, a 60 inch 1020x1080 screen is a "retina display" when viewed from about 8 feet away, but a 40 inch one meets the "retina" threshold at only about 5 feet.
According to this retina display calculator[isthisretina.com], if the average persons eyes are more than 3 feet from this screen, it's a "retina display". 2560x1080 at 29" diagonal gives you a Pixels Per Inch of 95.81 which is "retina" for someone with 20/20 vision at an eyes to screen distance of 36 inches. For comparison, a 27" iMac is retina at 32" and an iPad 4 at 13".
Now, I, personally, have a big desk. When I'm sitting up straight my eyes are about 30" from the screen. But I like to work kicked back in my chair with my feet up, keyboard in lap. That puts my eyes 46" away. So if I'm working in a nice relaxed literally laid back position, I can't see the detail on the screen. It's invisible. If I'm sitting up AT the desk, and had 20/20 vision, I'd be able to see the individual pixels if I paid close attention. Even then, due to the complexities of human vision, I'd need to be looking at really thin solid lines on a solid background. That might matter for text heavy things or CAD drawings, but wouldn't be visible at with photos, gaming, or video. Yep, the use matters too.
Different people have different sized desks used from different viewing distances with differences in how well they see and what they will use a screen for .... Claiming that "more pixels is better" without taking that into account is, at best, misleading.
Here's another article[extremetech.com] that discusses it at length Basically, all the "moar peeexels!! moooooaaarrr!" you see from people in the SD forums is BS. They just don't know what the numbers mean, when they are useful, and what to look for. Bigger isn't always better, and some numbers are more important than others.
PPI is meaning less to me. I care about pixel count.
more pixels to me means more desktop real estate - smaller icons, text, etc. but I can fit more on the screen.
i have good enough vision where I can view a 30" 2560 x 1600 at arms length without having to adjust font size, and squeeze enough windows onto the screen to view all that I need to "at a glance."
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