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Retina Display MacBook Pro and Air on the way?

Andrew Williams



Apple may be working on a MacBook laptop with a Retina Display, if hints given out by Mac OS 10.8 X Mountain Lion are anything to go by. This will make Retina Displays the standard within the majority of Apple product ranges.

Retina Displays were introduced in the iPhone 4, as the "screen you can't see the pixels on". The new iPad has brought the screen style to Apple's tablet range, and the next MacBook may introduce the pixel-packed display to laptops. According to Ars Technica, there are suggestions within Mac OS X 10.8 that high pixel density screens in the MacBook will be Apple's next big move.

A developer has noticed that double resolution icons feature in the beta version of the Mac OS update, pointing toward devices with higher pixel-density screens than present. Although current MacBooks are known for their high-quality displays, the 17in big daddy MacBook Pro sports a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. It's good, but falls a way behind the 2,049 x 1,536 of the new iPad. Could a high-res MacBook eat further into the fortunes of high-end Windows laptops like the Samsung Series 9?

Apple has not yet revealed a release date for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, but it may launch at WWDC in June.

via Ars Technica


March 26, 2012, 2:10 pm

I'm holding off upgrading my macbook in the hope that the new ones come out in the next 6-8 weeks or so. Lots of rumours about, and looking at the iPhone4 and new iPad, it would seem the sensible way to go.

Any news on the convergence of Air and Macbook lines (Macbook losing optical drive, gaining SSD and getting slimmer)?


March 26, 2012, 7:08 pm

Laptops screens are viewed at a greater distance than phones and tablet screens, so the pixel density doesn't need to be as high to achieve the same effect. However, if the new icons are double the old size, that would suggest a doubling of screen resolution. At the top end, that would result in a slightly silly 3840 x 2400 in a 17in. That's 266ppi - in a laptop. By comparison, if you're reading this on a desktop monitor it's probably somewhere in the region of 95ppi, or 130ppi if you're using a high-end laptop.

I'm sure that a higher pixel density would dramatically improve the visuals, something that PCs in general have been crying out for. If only the OSs supported multiple densities, as iOS and Android do, it might have happened sooner. However, such a high density sounds a bit like overkill for the sake of marketing. Since Apple introduced these 'Retina' displays, I've noticed that ppi has become the new MHz or Megapixels.

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