Apple rumored to be bringing Retina display to 15-inch MacBook Pro

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From iPhone to iPod touch to iPad, Apple has slowly but surely rolled Retina displays across their iOS device lineup, and according to the latest rumors, they may be ready to start bringing it to the Mac. 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman has the scoop:

Apple will also introduce the Mac Retina Display in this new MacBook Pro, according to these sources in the far-east. The display is quoted as “jaw-dropping” and “definitely the most important Mac innovation in years,” by sources familiar with the quality of the screens in test-production.

Sources familiar with software strings left behind in OS X Lion 10.7.4 and Mountain Lion betas say that this Retina Display MacBook Pro features multiple Retina resolution modes, so users are able to adjust the sharpness and image sizes to their liking.

Reportedly also in the pipeline is a new, thinner design that may ditch the chunky ethernet port, but add a fast USB 3 port to the mix, as well as the MacBook Air-style keyboard.

Retina Display on iOS uses a "point" that contains four pixels for each single pixel on old, non-Retina displays, resulting in text and images that are four times sharper. At that size, the individual pixels are typically too small for the human eye to see, and the results are more like digital paper than traditional dot displays.

Since Apple only had two screen sizes to handle in iOS -- iPhone/iPod touch and iPad -- it was a fairly straightforward transition for developers and designers, and transparent to end users. How they'll handle it with OS X, which goes from the 11 inch MacBook Air to the 27-inch iMac will be interesting.

Talk of Retina display Macs (or HiDPI or resolution independent) has been around for a while, as have signs that Apple has been preparing for it. After the new iPad in March, after using it for long periods of time, going back to the Mac made the text look pixelated.

Hopefully we'll learn -- and maybe even see -- more of these next generation Macs at WWDC 2012 this June.

If you're waiting on new MacBook Pros, jump into our Apple Forum and tell us just exactly what features you'll need to hit the buy button. And for more on Retina display in general, check out our Iterate podcast roun

Source: 9to5Mac

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple rumored to be bringing Retina display to 15-inch MacBook Pro


Wow! What will the resolution need to be on the 27" iMac for a Retina display. Also, what will the new cost for such a high resolution screen be on this big a machine? This is going to need a really powerful graphics card to support as well.
I have been wanting a double vertical resolution screen (1920x2160 vs 1920x1080) for a big screen TV to get full resolution passive 3D. Maybe this will help to make that economically possible.

You can enable HiDPI mode (Retina, essentially) on most OSX machines running Lion if you have Xcode.Since it cannot actually add more pixels to your screen, it effectively doubles the size of every item in both dimensions, making everything too big for any real use, but it does show how sharp text and standard UI widgets would be. The curious can take a look at how to enable it on this YouTube video.

Ok, is it retina or retina-ish, like the iPad? If its the same resolution as the new iPad, 2048 x 1536, pixels will be easily visible on 15" screen.
I know people will be breaking out the trigonometry books to try to explain why its retina, but the truth is that even on the 9.7" new iPad screen the pixels are indeed visible. The iPhone is truly retina, the new iPad is not, and a 15" MacBook won't be either. It will be a nice resolution, but not resolution independent or retina.

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