13-Inch Apple MacBook Pros Compared: Is Retina Display Worth It?
We expected a lot of things from Apple's event today, but we didn't expect everything. There may have been a lot of stuff announced, but what really got us salivating was the new MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display.
Like the 15-inch Retina-equipped model announced during the summer, the new Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (Retina display) does more than just ramp up the resolution on the previous Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2012) —instead, the whole system gets an overhaul, and the result is a leaner, more refined MacBook Pro.
For those looking into buying an Apple laptop, the decision just got a lot harder. Apple's marketing materials will gush all over this new laptop, and it is hands down the laptop to get, if you need what it offers. There is, however, the downside of price and that's where most buyers will make their decision. Before we talk price, however, let's take a look at what each laptop offers, and what sets one apart from the other.
Report: Apple’s Fall Lineup Includes 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro
A slew of new Apple products may be on their way to retailers this fall, if KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's forecasts are correct.
According to MacRumors, Kuo predicted in a note to investors that a new iPod touch and iPod nano, a tweaked iPad and new iPad Mini, as well as a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and two updated iMacs will hit shelves around the upcoming iPhone 5 release.
Kuo, who did not respond to PCMag's request for comment, predicted the release a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro this fall.
"We think consumers who initially planned to purchase the 13" MacBook Pro and Air will turn to the 13" Retina MacBook Pro instead because it has an attractive panel, its price is similar to MacBook Pro and it has a better balance between power consumption and form factor," Kuo wrote, according to MacRumors.
The laptop's shipments won't be able to satisfy demand, though, because of panel and assembly yield rate issues. Instead, consumers may turn to other iOS products, leaving MacBook sales a little limp by the end of the year.
The chances, Kuo said, of a new iMac debuting in September are slim, but a new model or two may be rolled out later in the month, or in October.
Analysts: 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro on Tap
Love Apple's new MacBook Pro with Retina display, but want a screen smaller than 15 inches? Right now you're out of luck, but you might get your wish in a few months time.
Several analysts this week predicted that Apple will bring a high-resolution Retina display to its 13-inch MacBook Pro this year. In a note obtained by AppleInsider, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI said he expects Apple to ramp up production of the new 13-inch Retina display laptop in September. The laptop will likely hit stores in early October, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
Kuo reportedly indicated that the 13-inch, high-resolution laptop was originally intended to be released this week at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) alongside its 15-inch counterpart, but was delayed due to assembly challenges.
Kuo's predictions echo a Wednesday note from NPD DisplaySearch analysts Richard Shim and Jeff Lin. The duo, citing supply chain sources, said that production on a 13.3-inch, 2,560-by-1,600 resolution Retina display will begin in the third quarter.
"ODM [original design manufacturer] supply chain sources indicate that Apple will use this panel in a MacBook Pro unit to be launched in the fourth quarter," Shim and Lin wrote.
Pricing for the 15-inch model starts at $2,199.
Evidence Points to Retina Display on the iPad 3
Want more proof that the iPad 3 will have a super-slick, high-resolution "Retina" display that blows the screen on Apple's current-generation tablet out of the water? MacRumors reported Friday that it's got an iPad 3 display and published microscope-enlarged images that purportedly show a screen with precisely double the linear resolution of the iPad 2's.
The iPad 3, which other reports suggest could be released in early March, may also be thicker than its predecessor, sport the first quad-core processor in an Apple tablet, and finally add 4G LTE connectivity to an iOS device.
Apple was supposedly struggling with technical issues with its Retina Display last fall, but the MacRumors report offers pretty convincing evidence that any such troubles are now in the rear view mirror.
"Since we only had a raw iPad 3 display with no method to power it, taking high quality photos of the pixels was difficult," MacRumors writer Eric Slivka wrote. "Still, even with the relatively poor lighting, you can easily make out the pixels on each display (made up of red, green and blue elements). We highlighted a cluster of 4 pixels (2x2) from the iPad 2 to compare it to the same area on the iPad 3. On the iPad 3, the same cluster was occupied by 16 pixels (4x4) —exactly twice the resolution in each direction.
Samsung Announces 10-Inch “Retina” Display for Tablets
The next generation of tablets could have ultra-sharp "retina" displays if Samsung has anything to say about it. The Korean electronics giant plans to demonstrate a high-resolution LCD screen with a pixel density of 300 dpi and with a 40 percent power savings over current models.
The screen is based on a display technology called PenTile, which adds a fourth "color" to the traditional trio of colors in LCD screens, red, green, and blue (not to be confused with Sharp's QuadPixel tech, which adds yellow). The fourth color is white, which makes the panel much more efficient. Typical LCDs use a combination of the colored pixels to produce white light, but the PenTile panel primarily uses the white pixels for this. Since a large chunk of image content is white or light colors, less energy is needed overall.
The other advantage to PenTile tech is that it needs fewer pixels to produce images at the same resolution. Or, put another way, a panel with the same number of pixels as a traditional screen will have higher resolution. The screen, which Samsung will demo next week at a trade show in Los Angeles, has a resolution of 2560x1600 and measures 10.1 inches diagonal, giving it a pixel density of 300 dpi. That would appear to qualify it as a "retina" display, though the term itself, popularized by the Apple iPhone 4, has no scientific definition.