Is the new 12" MacBook future-ready for an external Retina Display?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Joshua Sortino, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Joshua Sortino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    #1
    I'm considering upgrading from my 2012 RMBP but what I *really* need most is an external retina display.

    Will the new Macbook Air be able to handle a retina external display when it's eventually released (potentially fall time)?
     
  2. ygys macrumors member

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    #2
    no it wont. The maximum output of that machine is 1080p
     
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #3
    I would be shocked if this were the case. At the event, they said specifically that DisplayPort connectivity is folded into USB-C. Why wouldn't they retain the same level of DisplayPort connectivity as before? Where are you getting your information from?
     
  4. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Quoth the Apple website:
    Dual display and video mirroring: simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840x2160 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colours

    And:

    Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output

    More information on USB-C and DisplayPort here:
    http://www.vesa.org/news/vesa-brings-displayport-to-new-usb-type-c-connector/

    ...sounds like you'll just need a passive USB-C to DisplayPort cable or adapter. However if I'm reading that article right, with DisplayPort 1.2 you won't be able to drive a 4K monitor and USB3 devices (disk drives etc.) at the same time.
     
  5. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #5
    This is why I don't get the 1-port only idea. I realize they are pushing all wireless (i'm thinking iPad and Chromebook), but you can't plug something in if it's charging!? That's a pain.
     
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Sure you can. But you'll need a hub. :/
     
  7. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #7
    It's what happens when you let an award-winning designer of phones and music players design a laptop: you're meant to charge it up at night and run off battery all day (Apple says it has "all day battery life" so if it ever runs down during the day, the world must be turning wrong.)

    Seriously, this is a computer for people who live in the cloud and never use it anywhere where there isn't WiFi or give a presentation where there isn't an Apple TV already wired up to the projector. I'm sure there are plenty of people for whom this will work fine. For the rest of us - move on, nothing to see (yet).

    Longer term - the ambition of USB-C seems to be one connector for everything, so in a perfect world you'll soon have generic USB-C displays that work like the Apple Thunderbolt Display but with one less wire, USB hubs that include video out, and any USB-C peripheral that has a mains connection will double as a charger for your computer.

    Still, the MB would have been a better computer with a second USB-C port, and any future MBPro better have multiple USB-Cs. Although, as I noted above, it doesn't look like you can drive a 4K display and USB3 peripherals at the same time until DisplayPort 1.3 comes out, so I'd still avoid this generation.

    Meanwhile, the original MacBook Air only had one USB, the 2011 MBPs only had one Thunderbolt... what was that (alleged) Einstein quote about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result?
     
  8. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #8
    At the end of the keynote I kept thinking "chrome book," though I know that's not accurate.

    I'm viewing this as a very interesting iPad replacement, but it's a bit too expensive right now.
     
  9. Sensamic macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Do you have proof? No?

    Then...
     
  10. ygys macrumors member

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    #10
  11. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    When are you people gonna realize once and for all that the lack of ports on rMB 12" is dictated by the design (side to side keyboard), and it's NOT something that Apple just choose to do just for the sake of it? :)

    It's absolutely impossible to implement more USB ports on the sides of that machine without redesigning the keyboard.
     
  12. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #12
    "I'm viewing this as a very interesting iPad replacement, but it's a bit too expensive right now. "

    Are you serious?

    Does an iPad have anywhere near the program functionality of this? No way!

    Of course if all a person does is watch video, YouTube and all the other "social media" stuff then why bother with a laptop at all?

    Will the new Macbook power a 4K? It looks like the answer is no.

    This is not a Chrome Book in any way. The chrome stuff is cheap, limited and basically just for those who want to browse the internet and don't want a tablet. Chromes are even purposely disabled to prevent people from loading a real functional OS onto them. The Macbook will run all the OSX stuff.

    "but you can't plug something in if it's charging!? That's a pain."

    Wrong, the adapter allows for both charging, video out and standard USB all at once.

    The new Macbook will be seen in all the coffee shops around you by summer.
     
  13. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    That seems like circular logic to me.

    The design was a choice by Apple. They could have chosen to make it ever so slightly less thin and had more ports instead.

    That's in reference to HDMI/VGA. According to the MacBook spec page on Apple's website:
    That will be possible via a displayport adapter.
     
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #14
    It was apples choice...

    but I think you mean wide, it is the edge to edge keyboard to keep it as small as possible that made the extra ports unavailable, not the thickness.
     
  15. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #15
    ...that may be a feature of the adapters rather than the MacBook, otherwise it contradicts http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs/ (see my previous post). We've seen arbitrary 1080p limits on HDMI Apple ports before...

    USB-C is meant to act like Thunderbolt in that you can wire it directly to a DisplayPort device and it will send native DisplayPort signals. Unlike Thunderbolt, it doesn't use MiniDP plugs so you'll need a (passive) adapter. Of course, that would leave a MB with no way to charge.

    And was that Design (for surely it deserves a capital letter) handed down on iPads from the holy mountain, leaving Apple to puzzle out where to squeeze in the ports? No: Apple decided to strip out ports in order to make the new MB a few mm thinner and a few grams lighter, and then designed it accordingly. Its perfectly valid to critique that decision.

    The real question, though, is how far down this road they're planning to go with the MBP range (I'm assuming the Air will die in a year or so when the MB has got established).
     
  16. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    You can frame it however you want, but people are talking about this as though the computer gods commanded Apple to design the form factor the way they did. Whether wider or thicker or heavier, it was Apple's CHOICE to design it the way they did.

    But let's not turn this into another thread about the size/lack of ports, unless it's directly related to the OP's question... which I think has been answered now.
     
  17. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #17
    I think this is aimed at the "slightly more powerful" iPad crowd. For me? I have a 15" rMBP that stays home docked as a desktop. I take my iPad 3 with a Logitech utlrathin keyboard cover to school. I use it to browse the web, takes notes in class, work on projects, etc. The iPad is a casual and on-the-go productivity device and I think that is exactly what the new MacBook is designed to do.

    I mentioned in another thread that this was a device for people who needed more power than the iPad, but not the full power of a "pro" machine. This is a nice middle ground device. More OS power than the iPad, but nearly as portable. I do think it's priced kind of high, but it will gradually come down. I could see this as their $999 notebook entry in a few years.

    I am very interested in this as a causal and on-the-go device. The one port, despite adaptors, is a deal breaker if it was your only machine (and you were a "power" user), but it isn't a massive deal for the kind of device it is. I still think it's annoying that you need an adaptor to use the port while charging the system, but the users who choose this model probably won't make a habit of plugging in peripherals.
     
  18. SmOgER, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #18

    It's not about the thickness, it's the width.
    Of course it was Apple who decided to to make it much narrower, but many people think the number of ports is simply Apple's idea of the future (which it isn't), not the compromise or design limitation. You can't just stick there 2 extra ports without making it bigger (again, thickness has nothing to do with it).

    And no, Air won't go anywhere. These 2 laptops are from 2 whole lot different segments. You can't replace Opel Corsa OPC with Opel Adam lol. Besides, if Apple had any intentions to replace the MBA, the new MB would have been called exactly that - rMBA. they want to extend their market, not piss customers off.
     
  19. Sensamic macrumors 68030

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    #19
    If this laptop can't power an external 4K display in 2015 then how in the world it's justify it's 1299$ price???? :eek::eek::confused::confused:
     
  20. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    #20
    I believe you are correct in your assumptions
     
  21. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #21
    It is similar to the "unbundling" idea that airlines have unleashed over the past 10 years. Apple will just push many desirable (essential?) features out of its laptop as possible, so that they can claim to be the thinnest/ lightest/ most innovative etc in front of the media and generate buzz.

    Real people will still have to carry around a tangle of dongles/ cables/ adaptors in the bag to get the job done.
     

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