updated 06:00 am EST, Wed December 14, 2011
Super hi-res MacBook Pro due in 2012?
Digitimes is reporting that Apple's expected refresh, and possibly redesign, of its MacBook Pro line in 2012 will feature display resolutions up to 2880x1800 pixels. Currently, the highest resolution on the 15-inch MacBook Pro line is 1680x1050 pixels, while the 17-inch model tops out at 1920x1200 pixels. Apple is known to have incorporated HiDPI capabilities into Mac OS X Lion code in a strong sign that Apple plans to shift to much higher resolution displays beyond the iPhone 4 and 4S Retina Display and the rumored 2048x1536 display headed for the iPad 3.
According to Digitimes sources, the move has set off a new round of competition in the upstream supply chain as manufacturers look to demonstrate that they can produce such displays with sufficient yields. While it is not clear which model the display is headed for, a true HiDPI display would have to be capable of mimicking the fourfold increase in resolution equivalent to scaling an app for the iPhone to the iPad.
Assuming that the hurdle of cost has been overcome, a 13-inch MacBook Pro would need a display capable of supporting at least 2560x1600 pixels in order to avoid pitfalls for app developers in developing apps that can scale properly. The rumored resolution exceeds the minimum requirements to achieve a HiDPI display on the 13-inch model. Other technical issues that need to be overcome include slow response times, high performance GPUs and a large amount of RAM to properly handle image frame buffers.