What are the chances we'll see a Haswell Retina MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by EmmaBeth, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. EmmaBeth macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Here's my situation: I'm currently using a MacBook Pro mid-2010 13", which has been a great system for my (light) uses, and honestly I could limp along with it until it dies...but I do have a relative who offered to buy it, so I'm tentatively looking for a new system.

    I visited the store to check out the latest generation and fell hard for the MacBook Air 11.6". I could see being a lot more productive with it just because of the incredible portability, and I don't have a need for extreme power--mostly I'd use it for word processing, blogging, web surfing, some very casual editing of personal photos. I use Garageband now and again, but not for anything pro level. And honestly, the screen looked pretty good to me: way better than the 13" Air sitting next to it. On the rare occasion I need more real estate, I have an external monitor.

    But I admit, Retina is gorgeous, even in scaled resolutions. I covet it. But I don't think I covet it enough to override my love for the Air form factor. An Air with Retina would be SWEET.

    So my question is...do you think there's any likelihood Apple will release a Haswell Macbook Air with Retina, or there pretty much no chance we'll see such a thing until Broadwell comes out?

    And a tag-on: do you think the 12" will have about the same footprint as the current 11 when they do release it, or will it be noticeably bigger?
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Of course, nobody really knows the answer to your question, but have you seen the MacRumors roundup article below? I had a 13" MBA for two years and switched down to an 11" last summer. Best thing I ever did. Personally I wouldn't want a retina screen, the dot pitch is already quite high on the 11" MBA. I would have concerns that adding retina would increase the price, slow the machine down or reduce battery life. Of course, we won't know about any of this until it becomes a real product. I use a big external screen when I need more room.


  3. Kurso macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    Pretty close to zero I would guess.

    I don't think we are going to see new designs without Broadwell. In fact, if Intel keeps slipping Broadwell we might only see refreshes of the existing designs with Broadwell and any redesign will wait for Skylake. I think that scenario is unlikely.

    What I expect to happen is MBA will get a redesign with Broadwell and the Macbook Pro line gets a redesign with Skylake.

    The real question is with the gap between Broadwell and Skylake narrowing to 6 months would you buy a redesigned MBA in Q1 2015 (Soonest a Broadwell MBA would ship).
  4. leonw macrumors member


    Mar 20, 2011
    at home
    What makes you think Skylake won't be delayed? Even if they don't have production troubles there as well, they might just postpone it a bit to sell enough Broadwells?

    I don't expect a Haswell 12" retina mba either. It would drain the battery in no time.

    But a 12"could fit in todays model. There's plenty of space to take from the 11,6" bezel!
  5. Kurso macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    Intel is a machine that works on a regular schedule. And the whole point of the tick-tock paradigm they employee is to keep the machine moving even if there are delays in a generation.

    The Broadwell slippage is a great example of why tick-tock is so important for them. The 14nm process (tied to Broadwell) is significantly delayed but the Skylake architecture is not. Keeping Skylake on time gets them back on track.

    It's important to realize that if Intel just slipped everything it gives competitors a chance to catch up and it irritates Intels partners (all future products have to be pushed). By keeping Skylake on track Intel keeps the competitors at bay and partners confident in their own long term roadmaps.

    Broadwell is delayed but the band needs to keep marching on.

    The Intel CEO has made it clear that Broadwell will not impact Skylake's schedule and the recently leaked roadmap showing Broadwell in Q1 2015 shows Skylake in Q3/Q4 of 2015. Broadwell will be short lived.
  6. yosemit macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2013
    I think it is definitely possible. Samsung has a Haswell-based retina ultrabook (ATIV Book Plus 9), and so does Lenovo (Yoga 2 Pro). Both have a screen resolution of 3200x1800. Their Haswell processors are actually slightly inferior to the ones used in Macbook Air, so CPU/GPU performance is not the concern. Apple has the pressure to match, so motivation is also there.

    However, the weight may increase by about 0.3 lbs (my best guess). The concern with Haswell-based retina MBA is battery life. The Samsung ATIV BP9 has a battery life of about 7.5 hours. Apple wants to maintain a 9-hour battery life, I believe. So the battery weight has to increase, plus some weight increase from the retina screen.
  7. Rileyx2 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    I believe that a Haswell-based MacBook Air with Retina display is unlikely. Broadwell should bring the power savings required to offset the Retina display without having to shave off the "all-day" battery life in the MacBook Airs using the same chassis we have now. (This all day battery is a large selling point of the Air and I don't think Apple would sacrifice it.) If Apple redesigns the chassis soon, I doubt they would put all that time/research into a new design and carry over an older microarchitecture with a newer/better one coming in a few months.
  8. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I'd say slim to none. They just refreshed the Air's in April and as well as they currently sell, I just don't see them spending more to manufacturer a retina displayed model right now. They have been using virtually the same panel in the Air for years so I am sure they have a huge stock of them and want to sell as many as possible.

    I'd say Broadwell would be the soonest we could see a retina MBA and even then that's not guaranteed. I'd recommend going ahead and getting the 11.6 MBA. It's a great machine and if you are coming from a 2010 MBP, the lack of retina shouldn't bother you at all.
  9. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Thanks for the input, all! Sounds like I may as well pull the trigger on a current generation as soon as I sell my old MBP.
  10. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    United States
    So are you saying the soonest we could expect a Retina MBA would be Q1 2015 as in as late as March 2015 or April 2015 at the earliest?

    I have a 2010 13" MBA maxed out and miss the backlight keyboard and better display that I have on all my other Macs and really want to upgrade. I don't HAVE to upgrade, but want to, but if something much better is right around the corner (less than 6 months) should I wait?
  11. Kurso macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    Personally I'm going to wait for Skylake. Right now I have a 13" Late 2011 MBP and a 15" 2013 rMBP from work.

    I sold my 2010 MBA over a year ago and have regretted it ever since. Since I have two laptops at the moment I can wait for Skylake without any impact.

    I'm really looking forward to a 14-15" rMBA. I hope Apple delivers sometime in the next 18 months.


    Yep. Note happening on Haswell IMO and Broadwell laptops won't hit the street until March most likely.

    The good news is if you are looking for a Windows tablet there will be some awesome Broadwell based tablets in Dec/Jan!

    Apple could always open up preorders in Dec.
  12. n1tut macrumors regular


    Nov 20, 2010
    Glen of Newmill, Keith, Scotland
    No matter what other changes there are, the next MBA will have a retina display.

    No brainer, full stop.

  13. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I believe that would go against Apple's positioning in the PC market. Every other maker is a generic manifestation of whatever Intel/ Microsoft puts out and are dependent on those companies for their refresh cycles.

    Apple does not even mention Intel on its computers and goes as far as it can to push the processor supplier back away from its products.

    So why would Apple delay its own hardware releases because of Intel? Apple strives to drive home the point that what's inside does not matter and people should look away from specifications and suppliers. The hardware and software should be capable of running on current Intel hardware and that is what Apple rides the most on any new product.

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