Apple to Launch 2880x1800 Resolution 'Retina Display' MacBook Pro in Q2 2012?

In a report sure to excite our readers, DigiTimes is saying that Apple may be readying an ultra high-resolution MacBook Pro for as early as second quarter (Q2) 2012:

Apple is likely to launch its new MacBook Pro lineup with a display resolution of 2880 by 1800 in the second quarter of 2012, setting a new round of competition for panel specifications in the notebook industry, according to sources in the upstream supply chain.

The publication cites supply chain partners as the source for the information which would double the resolution of the MacBook Pro to 2880x1800 pixels.

This new high resolution MacBook Pro would presumably be a 15" model which currently carries a native resolution of 1440x900 pixels. By doubling the resolution in each dimension, Apple would achieve four times the number of pixels and provide developers an easy way to scale existing artwork.

textedit hidpi
TextEdit running in HiDPI mode, via Arstechnica

We've known about Apple's work to support these ultra high resolution screens, but we didn't necessarily expect them to arrive so soon. That said, support seems to be building for exactly such a thing.

Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors are known to support resolutions as high as 4096x4096. Meanwhile, Apple has already added new "HiDPI" modes in Lion that support this resolution-doubling mode. Apple has even added ultra-high resolution artwork in Lion with desktop images at 3200x2000 pixels and icons at 1024x1024 pixels.

And Apple's not the only company preparing for the possibility. Microsoft is also building in support for high dpi monitors in Windows 8.

A Q2 2012 launch would place it near what has been expected to be the arrival of a 15" MacBook Air. Based on the expected timing of that product (Q1 2012), it seems this MacBook Pro may be a different product altogether.

Top Rated Comments

fox10078 Avatar
122 months ago
Oh just take my money now :apple:
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
122 months ago
Seems a little soon I guess. But I suppose the same advances with the iPad retina display would carry over to 15" screens?

arn
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andalusia Avatar
122 months ago
I am very much looking forward to a 'retina' display laptop. I am not looking forward to it's price. I imagine it won't be pretty.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talkingfuture Avatar
122 months ago
Yes please, that sounds great.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
122 months ago
I'm just wondering if current laptop GPU solutions would be able to push this kind of resolution. And if they could, how would this affect performance; I imagine the resolution would need to be dropped when playing games.

Oh no not this again.

Yes, the laptop GPUs would be fine. Performance would be great. We're talking desktop framebuffers here people, not gaming. In 1996, GPUs could push out desktops at 1600x1200 without sweating. I think 15 years later, we're covered for way more pixels. ;)

As for gaming, just drop back to a lower res for 3D graphics.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hildegunst Avatar
122 months ago
?
I personally would prefer to just have 2880x1880 of desktop space at the current DPI.

This would require you to have a 30" laptop. And if you mean you'd prefer to have the 2880x1880 resolution at the current screensize with the current UI dimensions, than that would make small text and UI elements completely unreadable.

This is not to say that increasing resolution without scaling the UI can't be good – the current MacBook Air models show that – but that wouldn't work for such a drastic resolution increase.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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