Macbooks With Retina Displays Coming, At A Premium

Subject: Mobile | June 1, 2012 - 08:26 PM |
Tagged: retina display, resolution, notebook, macbook, apple

Late last year, we covered rumors releating to Apple’s Macbook Pro notebooks that hinted at future versions with high pixel density retina displays. Recent rumors suggest that DigiTime’s sources were not far from the truth, and retina displays may be coming to both the 15.4” and 13.3” notebooks.

According to, a senior display analyst, has been talking with Cnet on when such high resolution displays will be available. Allegedly, the display panels are already being supplied to Apple at an additional cost to Apple of $100 and $60 for the 15.4” and 13.3” notebooks respectively. The most likely source of these panels is Samsung (and possibly LG), as they have experience producing the retina displays for Apple’s iPad tablets.

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Reportedly, the 15.4” Macbook will have a display resolution of 2880x1800, which amounts to 220 pixels per inch. On the other hand, the 13.3” Macbook will have a display resolution of 2560x1600–a resolution normally reserved for ~30” desktop monitors. With 2560x1600 in a 13.3” display, that amounts to just under 227 PPI (268.98). For the 15.4” Macbook, the retina display has a PPI that is twice that of the current model’s display resolution of 1440x900 (110 PPI).

Fortunately for everyone without hawk-vision, Apple’s OS X operating system has been engineered to be resolution independent, and will keep icons and text on screen an appropriate size (rather than it becoming miniscule due to the much higher resolution display).

Lastly, the source indicated that the displays would use more power, which sounds resonable considering the GPU would have to drive more pixels, and the backlight would have more work to do as well. In our previous article, and in internal discussions, we have been eagerly waiting for Apple to come out with these displays. We hope that Apple jumping into it as a premium feature will help to nudge other PC manufacturers in the same direction of higher pixel densities. Its obvious that the technology is there, but I think that it will be up to Apple whether or not it will catch on (as other PC makers do not seem eager to reduce profit margins with higher resolution displays). Sure, we won’t be seeing retina displays in budget laptops running windows, but it would be nice to have the option in ultrabooks and other premium PC laptops running Windows at some point.

Source: Hexus

June 1, 2012 | 09:17 PM - Posted by zakattak80 (not verified)

it's frustrating that apple seems to be the only company trying to innovate on screen resolutions. yeah it's true that it's hard to tell the difference between non retina and a retina display, but isn't the point to reach a level of sharpness where you can't see anything but crisp and colorful images. apple is doing exactly what they should and are showing balls to do something different.

June 2, 2012 | 01:37 AM - Posted by Arb (not verified)

Apparently you Missed LG new panel announcement, its puts the "retina" display to shame.

June 2, 2012 | 06:21 PM - Posted by zakattak80 (not verified)

at what price and is it to a laptop monitor?

my point was simply that apple is the only company pushing high ppi at smaller sizes. 4k screens are not consumer grade yet, there at whar price 20,000, 30,000

June 2, 2012 | 07:21 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Sure, and Panasonic has a 145" 8K plasma which is totally badass but computer monitors have been fairly stagnant which a few 27 to 30" monitors with 2560x1600 resolution and the rest have actually gone backwards from 1920x1200 to 1920x1080. If anyone is going to get the trend of higher pixels per inch started on smaller laptop and even desktop displays its going to be Apple. Kind of unfortunate that it has to be them, but at this point it seems like it's going to be Apple or only 1080p (or less) for even longer.

June 2, 2012 | 09:56 PM - Posted by JSL

There's an offset of bat life, and power usage to drive these screens.. and a sacrifice of brightness. I also see these with intel's ivy bridge qm's that have HD4000 graphics just to drive the pixels needed for this.

I can probably see slcd II tech coming into laptops in the future... but not just yet.

Since Apple know's that their customers will purchase them regardless of price and since their margin's are already ~20% higher than other manufacturers, they can do this... otherwise, its still pretty cost prohibative from reaching the general masses.

And to 'zakattak80'... there is nothing here that Apple is 'Innovating' here.

June 1, 2012 | 10:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

you do understand "retina" is just a branding term correct?

its so normal consumers won't look at the details and just make a purchase based on a word.

go ahead and compare the "retina" phones with other androids..... hmmmmmm

June 2, 2012 | 06:24 PM - Posted by zakattak80 (not verified)

i have and iphone destroys every other phone in dpi comparison.

June 2, 2012 | 09:39 PM - Posted by JSL

compare it to an HTC One X/XL/S - Samsung, LG, and Sony manufacture the displays.

The SLCD II - Second Gen Super LCD (also IPS) is much better and true color than the 'retina' display's that the iPhone 4S uses (IPS-LCD Gen 1), and uses less power, and is brighter (not even factoring the screen size and resolution in this to keep it apples to apples). Even the SAMOLED screen that the new SGSIII has a much better screen. DPI is not the most important feature of a screen. With 316/306/327 - One X/SGSIII/4S, DPI is pretty much a non issue.

Check comparison reviews if you won't take my word for it.

Don't be a 'fanboy' ;)

June 4, 2012 | 07:14 PM - Posted by zakattak80 (not verified)

fanboy, the only apple products i've ever had was a ipod, and a iphone 4s that pepsi gives to it's employees. for a personal phone i use a windows phone. also have had a HTC incredible a blackberry bold, and a palm pre. own a self-built rig with windows 7. lastly you prove my point that in screen size vs resolution apple is first, while everyone else is trying to catch up. of course things well get better, but didn't the iphone 4(same as the 4s) have the best screen of any phone in the market of the time.

June 3, 2012 | 01:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you believe that, then anti-aliasing must be marketing too. I've had the iPhone 4, and the retina display is still to this day... amazing.

June 1, 2012 | 10:39 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Apple isn’t innovating anything here, it’s the companies that actually make the panels (Samsung or possibly LG for example) that are bringing something new to the market in the 15.4” and 13.3” formfactor. Effectively it’s a product that any manufacturer willing to adopt could but would be limited by availability and price. I could see a company like HP for example doing this provided they believed there was a market for it. In other words they have to believe there is a customer base willing to pay more for the feature. Apple basically already knows their customers will pay more,….for obvious reasons.

With the new iPad, prices remained the same regardless of the new higher resolution panel. Too bad it probably wont be the same for the MBP,….

June 2, 2012 | 11:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

dood.... spam alert.. spam alert.

June 2, 2012 | 12:52 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I took care of it.

June 2, 2012 | 02:22 PM - Posted by pdjblum

For a number of reasons Crapple benefits from unheard of margins. Other companies, for a number of reasons, have to get by on very thin margins, relatively at least. These other companies have very little room to maneuver. Some of them are downsizing or getting out of the the consumer pc and laptop business. Some people do not have the money to spend a grand or more on a laptop, and are happy to get a good machine, not the best, for much less. Too bad reviewers all over the internet compare everything to Crapple. Take your Crapple and shove it up where the sun don't shine. I love win 7 and the freedom pc's afford me.

June 4, 2012 | 03:14 PM - Posted by genomad (not verified)

Dude, why do you get upset when someone else spends their own money on a different brand computer than you did?

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