There is a new rumor that Apple are planning retina display level screens for MacBooks next year, or at least MacRumors reckon they might be because there are hints of it in the beta of the next update for Lion. The retina display is currently just used on the iPhone and iPod Touch and puts the screen resolution so high that it is impossible to tell the difference between individual pixels at a certain viewing distance. The new displays have been a huge success and helped to maintain Apple’s competitive advantage.
When rumors for the iPad 2 started circulating around this time last year one of the first things to crop up was the possibility of the iPad also having a retina display. Some people thought that the screen would change shape from its standard 4:3 ratio to a full HD screen at 16:9. Needless to say, it didn’t. Similar rumors have also been appearing regarding the iPad 3 however the common decision is now that the iPad works at 4:3 and there is no need to change it to 3:2 or 16:9 so any change would likely be to double the resolution.
The emerging rumor suggests that MacBooks could have their display resolutions doubled from 1440 by 900 on the 15″ model to 2880 by 1800. It seems perfectly reasonable that Apple might do this and the hardware could probably just about handle but the problem is that there isn’t much point. It would put the resolution on the 15″ screen (it is worth me pointing out now that I am using a 17″ screen at 1440 by 900 at the moment and there are absolutely no problems) higher than Apple’s 27″ Thunderbolt display which is only 2560 by 1440 pixels and it operates very well at that resolution.
Despite being quite cool there isn’t actually any useful purpose in producing a 15″ laptop with a higher resolution screen than a $999 27″ high-end monitor. The first major problem would be that it would hinder graphics performance unless AMD or Intel have some secret that they are launching in the New Year. The second is that there isn’t really any content designed for such high resolutions. I’ve never seen video higher than Full HD on the internet (I know that YouTube does go up to 4K though). Graphics intensive games generally don’t go beyond full HD. Designers don’t really need high resolutions either because a useful feature called zooming exists.
Perhaps I’m being pessimistic, but there really doesn’t seem to be anything useful in a 15″ laptop with a really, really high resolution screen.
Its beginning to become a bit depressing blogging about Apple all the time. I am fairly certain that aside from programming it is the most used tag on this blog. But there is always something to talk about with Apple and today’s new fun fact is that there are rumors of a new larger MacBook Air running AMD. Yes, AMD.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of cross-breed MacBook Pro/Air coming soon because it is probably needed to fill the gap once taken by the white MacBook. There are rumors of the new MacBook Air shipping at some point early next year though it seems unlikely as it would be the fourth generation of the Air and the third in the last year and a half so I would suggest it would be coming later on next year.
As for the AMD rumor – that seems preposterous. Intel and Apple have a very friendly relationship and I would suggest that it is definitely to Intel’s advantage due to the growing Mac market however I move to AMD seems unlikely because it would open up so many new Hackintosh opportunities and it would mean Apple would have a smaller excuse for over-pricing their computers.
I was in the Apple store and I’ve been meaning to film this for a while. I used iCal to set an event on each of the MacBook Airs to play a random song (incidentally it was the first song by the first artist I could find) at the same time. The video isn’t great quality and it is a little difficult to hear because it is so loud in the Apple store, however you can tell to a certain extent that they are playing the song in sync. These MacBook Airs were at 90% volume, however it is theoretically possible to set this up on all the Macs which might be a future project. Enjoy anyway…
Apple is honestly the most incredible company in existence. The only thing that has really gone wrong for them in the last few years is Ping – everything else has been a success. And they’ve just done something to change it all again: the new Macs. The first major release was one that we already knew about: Mac OS X Lion. This is nothing new and I’ve certainly blogged loads about it. But we had some more surprises instead: a new Mac Mini, new MacBook Airs and a new ThunderBolt display (basically a slightly updated version of the old, but still stunning – if not expensive, Cinema Displays).
The new Mac Mini looks pretty similar to the old one, but this one is clearly going to be a big upgrade, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for buying one – they’re expensive but they are incredibly good, and fast. According to the Apple website the graphics and CPU are about twice as fast (but there is some complicated reasoning behind this, so for the majority of people this probably isn’t true). It appears to be smaller, but it looks great.
Then there is the new MacBook Air, again this looks very similar to the last, though there is not as great a speed improvement, it is more just Apple making sure all the Macs support ThunderBolt technology properly. Having said that, it is a MacBook Air with Lion, which is cool. But there is a very, very big change. This MacBook Air hasn’t just killed the old model; it appears to have killed the legendary MacBook. Those beautiful white (and black, I hear you cry) creations that were there to replace the ancient iBooks. Sadly, this is the end for the classic MacBook.