Chances of higher res MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mjmar, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'm very interested in buying a current rev. MacBook air, but I'm worried that apple may come out with a MacBook air that has a retina-like display in the near future. Its obviously going to happen one day, but when it will happen makes all the difference to me. If it's not going to be the next revision then I don't have the time to wait since my 2006 mbp is becoming too slow for the design work that I do. Can anybody on here who has more knowledge about the latest LCD screen resolutions give me a suggestion? Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    No one knows. It's possible that something like that will be in the next version, but my guess would be no. You just really have no idea whatsoever with Apple stuff until it's announced. When the new Macbook Pros came out last spring, I was following the hype/rumormill very closely leading up to the release. Everyone had their ideas about what we'd see, but VERY few people expected to see thunderbolt (lightpeak at the time). It was kind of a curveball, even though everyone knew it was in the pipe for future implementation.

    It's possible that Apple will get in early on this forthcoming display revolution, but it's basically a crap shoot. I hate to repeat the old adage that "if you need it, buy it now - if you don't, wait, but that's the most logical advice out there.

    It's unlikely that the airs will be out before Summer (IMO), so the worst case scenario is you buy one now, use it for 6 months and sell it at a modest loss to get a new one if the retina screens drop.

    best of luck
     
  3. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    #3
    I think that the MBP will get a Retina Display before the MBA does. Apple's plan right now is to make the MBA affordable and make it take the place of the previous white MacBook. Right now the "affordable" model is the 11"/2GB/64GB MBA and I think a better priority than upgrading the screen would be to offer more RAM and storage at a reasonable price. The high-end stuff would be better suited for the MBP for now. I'd expect a MBA with Retina display at least in two revisions from now (2013-2014).
     
  4. illini71 macrumors member

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    #4
    I think Apple is going reinvent the MBP with a new size and shape. The retna display must be super expensive because its taken this long and the iPad has yet to get the display.
     
  5. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #5
    There's always a possibility, with Ivy Bridge supporting 4K resolutions, it'll at least be able to do it, though, it's probably likely that Apple will choose to make it a premium feature and save it for the MacBook Pro.
     
  6. Mjmar thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Thanks guys, I have decided to just go for it since it makes sense that retina notebooks probably won't be feasible or reasonably priced until a couple of years from now. And at that point I may be in the market for another notebook anyway. The 13" MBA does have a higher resolution screen than the 13" pro too, so that's a plus.
     
  7. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #7
    The Airs already have a higher screen resolution than the Pros (unless you get the hi-res 15"). But still, I want more! The iPad will be the first to get a retina display, followed by the smaller notebooks. Two reasons for this - smaller is cheaper; and the Air is supposed to be the future of laptops, so give us stuff that doesn't exist yet already! I'm tired of waiting! :D

    When it does happen though, the whole range will be updated within a year or two.
     
  8. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #8
    You know what a "retina" display is right????? An 11" Retina Display would be 3337x1875 resolution!!!

    A 17" MBP would be 4759x2973!!

    I don't see this much of a dramatic leap happening anytime soon.
     
  9. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

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    #9
    I can see it happening within a couple years. It would probably be pretty power hungry though.
     
  10. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #10
    "Retina" is marketing term that doesn't mean that much really.
     
  11. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #11
    No, Retina is the name of the panel that is used in the iPhone 4. It is a 330 ppi LCD panel. It is the highest resolution panel available on any device. The numbers I quoted are what would happen if you made a large scale Retina display.

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    Thats the biggest problem, the display adapter needed to push that many pixels would require a new type of battery....or get 1 hour of life.
     
  12. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #12
    It's 330ppi because somebody with 20-20 vision can't distinguish the pixels when they hold an iPhone 12" from their face. How close are you to your computer? A far lower pixel density is required to render the individual pixels invisible to a normal eye, and you could still call it "retina".
     
  13. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #13
    What are you talking about? It has nothing to do with perception! The iPhone 4 Retina Display is 960x640 resolution, with a viewable screen size of 2.91" × 1.94"...that is 330 pixels per inch. It's not about where you hold the screen or how you view it...it is about simple math. Cut that panel to 10.11" × 5.68" and you have a 3337x1875 11" Macbook Air. It's really simple here...no magic, illusion, or marketing gimmicks involved!
     
  14. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #14
    From the horse's mouth:

    The sharpest, most vibrant, highest-resolution phone screen ever.
    Thanks to the Retina display, everything you see and do on iPhone 4S looks amazing. That’s because the Retina display’s pixel density is so high, your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. Which means text in books, web pages, and email is crisp at any size. Images in games, movies, and photos pop off the screen. And everything is sharper.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/retina-display.html
     
  15. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #15
    Ummm, yes, its not saying anything about it tricking you into thinking its a higher resolution!!!!! It has a 960x640 display on a 2.91" × 1.94" display!!! DO THE MATH!!! ITS 330 PPI, end of story!!! NO TRICKERY! YOU ARE WRONG!
     
  16. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #16
    Nor was I saying anything about trickery. The PPI is irrelevant - it just has to be high enough that you can't see the pixels. The apparent size of an object varies with the distance to the observer - have you ever noticed how tiny the people look when you look out of an aeroplane? I can't be bothered to do the maths to find out what pixel density would be required at a given distance from the display, but I do know that "retina" is not a specific resolution, just a resolution high enough that there's really no point going higher, because you simply can't see it.
     
  17. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #17
    OK, you obviously have no idea how LCD production works. An LCD panel is produced and cut to size. In the case of the "retina" display it is cut to 2.91" × 1.94". The panel has an active PPI 330 regardless of how large you cut the panel! You could cut it to the size of a 60" television and with a ppi of 330 you would end up with a resolution of 17,259 x 9,702...this television would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, because of how expensive it is to produce. There is a reason this particular panel is only used on a 3.5" device. It would be WAY too expensive to produce and the power consumption would be crazy since it would require a much better graphics card to display those resolutions.

    It is pixels per inch. So to determine the resolution of a "retina" display with an active pixel depth of 330 you would multiply the ppi by the dimensions. So 2.91" x 330 = 960 and 1.94" x 330 = 640.

    So for an 11" it would be 10.11" x 330 = 3336 and 5.68" x 330 = 1874..again, simple math.
     
  18. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #18
    You keep banging on about 330 PPI. It only has to be 326 (according to Apple) PPI when it's 12" from your face. When it's 3m away, like a TV, it only has to be about 35 PPI for the pixels to be invisible. They're further away, so they appear smaller. The way the panel is made is irrelevant - "retina" just means pixels so small you can't see them, which is predicated on the viewing distance.
     
  19. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    gentlefury...

    whether a display can be deemed 'retina' or not depends on how far your eyes are from the display.
    for things like laptops, desktops, even tablets, you wouldn't need as high PPI, because you're further away from the display.
    so the numbers you quoted earlier are much higher resolutions than you'd actually need for it to be 'retina'.

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    well said, completely depends on viewing distance.
     
  20. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Where have you seen that the term retina is completely arbitrary? As I see it, it is the panel they are using on the iPhone...nothing more or less. They have even bragged about being 330ppi.

    From apples tech specs:

    Retina display
    3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
    960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
    800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
    500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)
    Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front and back
    Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

    They very specifically identify the ppi! They seem to be calculating it based on the unit size and not the useable screen size, so they are actually coming in lower than they really are....which is odd from a marketing standpoint.

    No other display has ever been called Retina display. That is the only one. They have used IPS which is a light switching technology that results in much better color output....but since the iPhone is the only Retina display than that says to me that they are classifying that panel as "retina" therefore their 330ppi display is retina. If they release a larger version with a lower ppi than they would have to re-classify it, since it would technically be a different panel!!

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    Can you please provide a writeup from someone other than you that specifies that? A technical white paper from a company using the technology would be great. Samsung, LG or Apple would do.

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    Again, From Apple:

    By developing pixels a mere 78 micrometers wide, Apple engineers were able to pack four times the number of pixels into the 3.5-inch (diagonal) screen found on iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The resulting pixel density — 326 pixels per inch — makes text and graphics look smooth and continuous at any size.

    Hmmm, looks like it is all about ppi, not perception.

    If they determined that that is the resolution needed to not be able to perceive pixels than why would it matter if the screen is 3.5" or 100".......I can look at my iPhone 4s so close that I can't focus anymore and not see any edge. The icons are no smaller or larger than the icons on my MBA....so why would the ppi change on the MBA version?? It wouldn't. You are speculating based on what you think...not based on facts.
     
  21. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Doing a little digging I found that Samsung developed the Retina display technology...and they are developing a Retina tablet with a resolution of 2560x1600....which would be....oh shock! 330 ppi!!!

    Again, you are wrong.
     
  22. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I'd love to see a 1440x900 on the 11" and a 1650x1050 on the 13". That would be AWESOME!
     
  23. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    #23
    This again.

    The iPhone's Retina display is 326 ppi.

    According to Apple's iPhone 4 announcement conference, you need at least 300 ppi to be unable two distinguish two pixels on a 3.5" inch screen you hold 12" from your face. The extra 26 ppi are a "safe margin", and resulted by the fact that they doubled the resolution on each axis from the previous iPhones. That's for a 20/20 eye and depends on your eyes' resolution (optical resolution, has nothing to do with a screen resolution). Visual acuity is usually measured in arcminutes (or degrees) from your eye and two points relatively to the distance of the two points.

    The magic ppi number to surpass a 20/20 eye's visual acuity at typical viewing distance is around:

    300 ppi for a 3.5" smartphone
    250 ppi for a 9.7" tablet
    140 ppi for a 13" laptop
    70 ppi for a 32" HDTV

    That would mean that a 1600 x 900 display in the 11" MBA and a 1920x1200 display in the 13" MBA should do the trick.

    However, like somebody pointed out, Retina Display is just a marketing term used by Apple and they could still use it even if a product didn't actually surpass human visual acuity at typical viewing distance.
     
  24. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Technically it is 330....again (Display size: 2.91" × 1.94" (7.4cm × 4.93cm) = 329.65 PPI, 0.0771mm dot pitch, 108669 PPI² <<-- hard math....not ******** marketing). Regardless of what is printed.

    Also, again, can you please provide a white paper that reports this to be true....if not, it is just garbage that has been speculated by internet people...and has no bearing with reality.
     
  25. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    if you watch the iPhone 4 keynote, it's quite clear that calling it a retina display was based on the fact that your eye cannot distinguish between pixels at an average viewing distance.
    Steve Jobs spoke specifically about the viewing distance, and that when using an iPhone, the PPI number needed is around 300. he then went on to say that 326 is safely over this number.

    you say how the iPhone is the only screen with this 'retina' display, and therefore the term is specific to the device, but it isn't.
    Apple, when referring to a display being retina, clearly mean that at average viewing distance you can't differentiate pixels.
    lets say they double the pixel count horizontally and vertically for the next 13" MBP. that'd be a resolution of 2880x1800.
    that resolution on a display 13.3" in size gives a PPI of 227.
    Because of the distance from the screen though, its highly likely that 227 PPI is more than enough to make it impossible to distinguish individual pixels from where you normally view your macbook from.
    'Retina' can apply to any display, but the PPI needed to achieve it changes.

    ----------

    why don't you provide a 'white paper', seeing as you're clearly wrong?
     

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