The Argument for an 11.88-Inch Retina MacBook Air

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In October 2013, DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh first revealed that Apple would be introducing a 12" Retina MacBook Air in 2014. The report was quickly corroborated by the reliable Ming-Chi Kuo.

    It wasn't entirely clear at the time why Apple would choose to introduce a new 12" screen model, when their current lineup of MacBook Airs and Pros come in 11", 13", and 15" screen sizes.

    Analyst Daniel Matte, however, lays out a convincing argument at his new blog on why Apple would choose that size. Matte believes that the new Retina MacBook Air will be exactly 11.88" in diagonal screen size, as that would allow Apple to offer a Retina Display (2732 x 1536, twice 1366x768) with the exact same PPI as the iPad Air (264 PPI). The full analysis is worth reading.
    Apple is quite deliberate in choosing screen sizes for their new products.

    The earliest supply chain rumors of the iPad mini included the specific screen size of 7.9 inches. The reason for that particular size later became apparent as it similarly allowed Apple to use the exact same PPI displays that were used in original iPhone and iPod touch.

    The main discrepancy in Matte's argument is that the original DisplaySearch report predicted a lower resolution (2304 x 1440). Also, in the past, we'd heard very specific display sizes from Apple's supply chain, such as the 7.9" iPad mini display rather than 8" iPad mini display. In this case, the early reports (so far) have been at 12-inches.

    Still, the new Retina MacBook Air is not expected until mid-2014, so we should start hearing more as production starts ramping up.

    Article Link: The Argument for an 11.88-Inch Retina MacBook Air
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2011
    But then what would happen with the 11- and 13-inch models currently available? Apple's been slowly phasing out the non-retina MBP models (only 1 left now, I believe), but they had the same screen-sizes.
  3. pmz
    macrumors 68000

    Nov 18, 2009
    Seems like a One-size fits all to me....IF they can make the price reasonable.

    Make this bad boy $999 and call it a day.

    Above this model should exist nothing but 13 & 15" Retina MBP
  4. MacSince1990, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    Unless they intend to replace it with an 11" iPad, this is just silly.

    Actually it's a bit silly either way. How do you decide between an 12" and 13" MBA?
  5. pmz
    macrumors 68000

    Nov 18, 2009
    Hardly. I would say its almost a definite.


    What? Isn't that the whole point? They have an 11" and 13" non retina now.

    Ditch them both, and introduce one 12" Retina model...price it at $999, and be done. How does that not work for everyone looking for a MBA?
  6. macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2012
    So maybe those rumors of a bigger iPad are actually for this instead?
  7. macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I don't get the logic here. Why would it matter for a laptop what the exact PPI are? Isn't the whole point of a retina display that you can't distinguish pixels and they scale screen elements to whatever you want?

    Also, I don't think apple would make a small technical detail the main point in what screen size they offer. They would clearly base this decision on customer demand and user experience. Only then they would choose the technology they need to produce the laptops.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2007
    Yes, i agree. 12" Air, 13" retina Pro. Just 3 models
  9. macrumors 601


    Mar 2, 2012
    What a coincidence, I was just thinking about this today. If they released a 13 inch retina air, I would definitely get one.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2011
    Speculation? More like some guy talking out of his ass.

    The current 13-inch and 15-inch rMBPs don't have displays with identical PPI. I cite this as an example of Apple making screen size a greater priority than PPI standardization.
  11. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Because they are already producing massive quantities of sheets of this DPI screen. They get the benefits of scale by using the same production lines. That means a more affordable Retina MacBook Air.

  12. macrumors 65816


    Nov 29, 2009
    If that is the case glad I got my MBA 13" when I did.. the battery life on that thing is incredible and no matter what Apple does, adding a battery hogging retina display will no doubt reduce it significantly, this is the reason that I decided against a macbook pro.
  13. macrumors member

    May 24, 2006
    How about a 15" MB Air so ppl can actually use the thing? Every time I pick an 11" model in the Apple Store, I simply can't imagine attempting to use it as anything more than a portable movie player. I know a lot of users - myself included - for whom the only drawback of the 13" MBA is a dearth of screen real estate. You can design on a 15" screen if you really want to, but losing those last two inches make it challenging to fit in all the tool palates. (I rock a 17" now and sometimes even that's not enough.) Of course we don't need MB's in every size and configuration, but I'm nearly positive that 15" MBA would find a greater market that an 11" or 12", even with a retina display. Hear my prayers, Apple. Hear them and be benevolent!
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2011
    Apple brags about the small technical details. "It's 7.9! The big one is 9.7, just so it's easy to remember!"
  15. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I'd buy it. My only complaint about the 13" rMBP is the weight.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2011
    My logical guess, and it's just a guess, no scientific or imperical evidence here.... Just pure opinion... Is that those will be discontinued.
  17. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I'm going to be very sad if 11.8" is the only MBA size. I have a 13" now and it's a bit small for what I like to do with it. But I don't want the weight, expense, and decreased battery life of a larger MacBook pro either. A 14"-ish retina MacBook Air would be fantastic. Even if the PPI is slightly lower.
  18. macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    You really think that would drive the product strategy? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this size of an MBA an likely buy one anyway. However I'm not sure if they might not lose a lot of customers who want the 13 inch MBA. I see ton's of them out there and the users are usually pretty clear that they want this size, not the 11.6" MBA.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2011
    I don't see what is so silly. They will be making one model instead of two, cutting down manufacturing and providing a better screen.

    How do you decide between a 11 and 13? Ask the millions that have bought the MBA.
  20. macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    Pfff, bring back the 17" MBP!!!!! :D
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2011
    No. There will be an iPad Pro and the new MacBook Air retina.
  22. macrumors G3


    The 13" MBP lasts about 9 hours on a charge through normal usage. On a guess, I'd say a retina Air would probably get around 11 or so.

    No, it's not as good as the 12-14 hours you get on the current Air, but I think the tradeoff for having a higher resolution screen would be worth it.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2010
    Regardless of whether it is technically feasible to add a higher resolution display, it doesn't make sense from a business perspective. Let's not forget that the Retina display is one of the main USPs of the MacBook Pro, so why would Apple let it go to a cheaper product?

    The current resolution of the MacBook Airs are certainly not a problem. These are consumer notebooks, afterall.
  24. solipsism, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2008
    1) If they use either panel in the 13" or 15" MBPs they could also benefit from economics of scale. Wouldn't it also be less expensive to use, say, the 15" MBPs 220 PPI sheets for a 12" MBA instead of the 264 PPI of the iPad, which seems to already sell in such high quantities that economics of scale has likely plateaued.

    2) Using 264 PPI is closer to doubling the resolution of the 11" and 13" MBAs but is that really necessary for a windowed OS once you get past 200 PPI? For UI elements I'd say so, even as we move into Retina where you could place the display closer to your eyes.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    Dear Apple,
    I need to buy a Macbook Air this year because my 2009 Macbook needs to be replaced. PLEASE do not screw up the 2014 Air between now and my date of purchase.
    Thank you,
    ~Concerned Buyer

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