Any signs of Retina display MacBook Air 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by RoboGeek, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie


    Nov 8, 2012
    Hi guys,

    New to this forum & I thought I would post this questions out to the veteran here.

    Been using MBA 13" for close to a year now & with the latest intro of MBP 13" Retina screen w/o optical drive, that made both MBA 13" & MBP 13" slightly redundant, don't you guys think so?

    Anyway, it would be interesting to see what Apple has got in store for the upcoming MBA 13" refresh.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    I haven't seen many talk about rMBA here lol or any news.

    This kind of deviates but,
    I've stated this many times in other threads, but personally I think there will be a rMBA in 2013 whether it be mid or late.
    Haswell will help out with battery life, and I'm sure a slight internal redesign will help out a bit to maintain the current 7 hours.

    Battery is the concern that many have used as doubt, GPU is obviously not a concern looking at the 13" rMBP for reference (with the added GPU in Haswell).
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I doubt they will do something like that for at least a few years. Maybe in the future there will only be one laptop line with all retina displays but for now, retina is a premium feature. If they put that in their "consumer" line of laptop now, there's less incentive for one to buy a "pro" one. Apple needs to have good reasons for one to pay up for the expensive laptops.

    There's still a market for the regular 13" MBP. It's faster, more expandable, has more ports and cheaper.

    Just Haswell.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    I would have thought they'll get retina IGZO displays before too long.
  5. GrandPhrase, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    Well remember this.. It is better for Apple to cannibalize their own products than to get cannibalized by others. Samsung showed off a prototype of 2560x1440 display earlier this year. Also, other netbooks along with the Samsung Series 9 are "a lot thinner and lighter" than the MBA (some are even 2.5 lbs. 13" netbooks being about 2-3 cm. thinner).

    I know consumers will purchase the better OS, but there will also be many who will prefer the thinner and lighter. And honestly retina is coming soon to other netbooks, evinced by the 13" rMBP. And there is still about 8 months to go until Haswell. By that time, display yields will be more prominent and Haswell will be a huge improvement, and by that time there will be slight improvements that will add up to meeting retina requirements (not GPU requirements, but battery).
  6. macrumors regular


    Nov 17, 2002
    London, England
    There won't be a Retina MacBook Air for the foreseeable future. The issue is having a GPU graphics card powerful enough to drive a Retina display generates far too much heat for a MacBook Air enclosure to dissipate.
  7. GrandPhrase, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    Retina IGZO displays may be incorporated for the mid to late 2013 MBA. Whatever the reason is, lack of yields or just holding out, I'm sure it will be soon (speculation). After all IGZO displays were showcased a while ago, and there were 7 inch tablets with that technology integrated. It may be more difficult and more expensive to use IGZO in a 13", but remember that Apple can always add a premium pricetag along with the average consumer priced MBA just like the rMBP line.


    This is just my personal opinion. The rMBP 13" has the same GPU as the MBA. With the addition of Haswell leading to a huge improvement in GPU with the Intel 5000 graphics up from the 4000, the MBA can handle it. After all they did put retina in the 13" rMBP.

    And as for the heat dissipation, it is true that the 13" rMBP has 2 fans as opposed to the 1 on the MBA. But, the current 2012 barely gets hot for average daily tasks (and after all, the MBA is not for the pros who use intense Photoshop and the like). The MBA remains relatively cool even with 1080P YouTube, movies, word processing, and the like at the same time. With retina it will get hot, but they will allow that just as they did with the iPad 3 where many complained of heat.

    And if something were to be a hindrance, it would probably be the GPU and battery rather than heat. Many devices in the past lineup have had a lot of heat production, and not to put heat down as a subject that is to be totally disregarded, but it is at least manageable. If heat is felt, it means the aluminum chassis is doing its job of heat dissipation, and the device just needs to be to the point of being manageable and 'comfortable' though subjective.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    However a rMBA will cannibalize the rMBP 13" (or vice versa), so nah - I don't expect retina in the Air. They need to separate the pro from consumer. How? By offering retina in the Pros
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    MBA needs IPS panel in 2013 to keep up with ASUS and Samsung lineups.
  10. macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    My personal preference aside, I do think you are correct. It's also a bit odd, to find Apple in a position of following others.

    Especially since they were the first with their self labeled retina. Yet by not making a sweeping change across all MacBook models, they've left the door open for other manufacturers to beat them to it.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2010
    San Diego
    There won't be a Macbook Air with Retina display for a few years at least.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    Yes. No. Yes. Yes. No.

    It is not cheaper, it is not faster (marginally on cpu intensive tasks, but much slower on IO intensive tasks). The only additional ports it has are firewire and ethernet.

    The classic mbp will be discontinued sooner, rather than later. How else can you explain them not bothering to change the magsafe to magsafe 2? They didn't do it because they didn't want to waste time on designing a soon to be discontinued product.

    I agree that they really are falling behind the competition in this department, however apple is rarely one to follow suit (look at the newest ipad mini's resolution and ppi vs the competition), and often release products with inferior specs banking on the software to drive sales (with that often working).
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 8, 2012
    Agree on that. Even Tim Cook has publicly announced that some of their product line has crossed the boundaries amongst themselves and their main focus is to create a line of products that can pull anyone into the Apple's ecosystem!
  14. macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2010
    Not gonna happen. Not only for technical issues, but apple is in a really odd place with their lineup right now. The transition from old school to new retina screens and ssds with no optical drive is...messy.

    I predict someday they'll have one of their kickass keynotes and show the slide of their entire laptop lines of the airs then pros then pros with retina with the prices above them. They'll say they want to "make the future accessible" to everyone and they'll make the old school pros disappear and the retina ones will slide into their place. Boom. $1200 retina 13 inch and $1800 15 inch
  15. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    Windows notebooks still went up to 1920x1080. A couple years ago we had some 17" 1920x1200 notebooks too. In that regard Apple was behind on maximum resolution. Apple obviously jumped ahead on this, but they left the older design untouched aside from the basic refresh. I've wanted to see IPS in more notebooks for years. New technology may surpass it, but even with the improvements in twisted nematic panels over the years,

    I could see this as their goal. They've often debuted things at their top pricing tiers with the goal of making them more accessible later. What it costs today is what you will pay if you want such features today. As things become more feasible at a mainstream level and the potential for disruptive problems decreases, it's likely we'll see this at the mainstream level. For the past few years gains have really come from the mobile end due to its growth and a few other factors (simpler power management on smaller displays). Seeing the changes on imac displays was one thing that surprised me. I didn't think Apple would invest much at the desktop level where they've used cheaper commoditized components for years.
  16. macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    The reason the MacBook Air won't have one is not about graphics card. The rMPB 13" has the same card and it works fine.

    The issue is battery life. There is no space in the air for more battery power, so a retina screen will chop the battery life in two, which apple won't do. Until they can bring down power consumption and improve battery performance, a retina screen will not be in the air.

    If the arm rumors are true, that is when it definitely will adopt one. Probably a few years out.
  17. macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    That is incorrect. If Intel 4000 can run a retina screen, the Intel 5000 definitely will with the Haswell.

    The future is not a few years out. When Haswell CPU hits, they will have the battery power.

    Btw, if we are saying a few years out, then Apple has lost the arms race and is in WORSE condition than we thought. Samsung already has the draw on them and will leave them in the dust if it will take Apple a few years to do the same. Samsung already has theirs.

    [​IMG] 9-WQHD-Ultrabook-matte-display/

    It is rubbish to think Apple can't put a retina screen in the MBA. They definitely could. If they can't do it and keep the same battery life as now, then they need to start using the $100 billion in cash and hire some new engineers and designers. Cause times are lagging and the market won't wait for Apple to catch up.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    It is faster. You might think it's only marginal but to some people, having 15%-ish more CPU means something. Slower on IO tasks? It's 2012. Anybody who cares about performance will install an SSD (most likely themselves to save a lot of money).

    It is cheaper if you're trying to compare apple to apples. The low-end MBP's CPU is comparable to the MBA i7 for a heck of a lot less money. Even installing your own SSD and upgrading the RAM yourself is still a lot less than a MBA i7, 8GB and 256GB SSD. Plus, the MBP can go up to 16GB RAM and to some that means huge performance increases.

    Having a built-in firewire and ethernet port, to some people, is huge. You might not care, but some do.

    I'm not saying the MBA is a bad machine. I'll be getting one soon. It's just that there are many really good reasons to choose the 13 MBP over it.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009

    Such as?
  20. macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    There will be improvements to the air screen but no retina.
    Pros and airs are different products.

    A 13" air with retina is better than a 13" pro. Same hardware but better form factor. They will never do it.
  21. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    No it's not the same hw
  22. macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    This will be easy. With Haswell Apple can take the rMBP 13" to Quad Core and the MBA will stay Dual Core ULV.

    Apple needs significant more quantity than PC makers who's high volume shipments are centered around the cheap stuff.
  23. macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I wouldn't put it past Apple to keep the 13" as a dual-core as an up-selling point to the quad 15". They are really gouging 13" rMBP owners at the moment.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    It's better to cannibalize your own products than to get cannibalized by others. There is tons of evidence evincing retina displays for netbooks by mid next year. And with Haswell, the rMBP 13" can go quad-core vs the ULV dual-core of the Air.
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 8, 2012

    I gotta admit that Samsung has really given Apple a run for their money even though they might have lost a huge sum of money to Apple recently.

    They seems to be gobbling up the entertainment + household electrical/electronics sector these days with all their latest innovations out there.

    Apple really needs to dig deep to come out with better innovations quick!

Share This Page