Retina display Macs coming soon?
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Retina display Macs coming soon?

John Gruber at "Daring Fireball" (http://www.daringfireball.net) points out that Safari’s "hovering-over-a-link pointing-finger" cursor looks a little different in Mac OS X 10.7.3 and could hint at "retina display" Macs in the near future. I'd love to see that happen, though I'm a bit dubious.

Noting that several icons and images have gotten the "high-DPI treatment in 10.7.3," Gruber says that "the simplest explanation is that Apple only just now got around to increasing the resolution of these elements for the benefit of users who use the cursor-zooming Universal Access feature."

True, but, as he notes, "combined with the fact that some people with Mac minis connected to TVs via HDMI are reporting that after upgrading to 10.7.3, their system rebooted in HiDPI mode, I can’t help but wonder whether we may be on the cusp of Apple releasing HiDPI Mac displays and/or HiDPI MacBooks. I.e.: retina display Macs."

Imagine a 27-inch iMac (my Mac model of choice) with 3840 x 2160 resolution. The current high-end model has "only" 2560 x 1440 resolution. Such a display requires quite a bit of processing power. But a top-of-the-line iMac with Sandy Bridge processors could certainly handle it.

Of course there are problems to be resolved. Consider this post (http://macte.ch/2oGeK) from Tim Ricchuiti at "The Elaborated": "If Apple were to do something like [retina displays on Macs], the biggest question I would have is whether or not they’d put something into place for users who genuinely do want much smaller UI elements and much more screen real estate. That is, if Apple were to double their UI, and then use the 2×1080p resolution for the 27-inch iMac, there’s a sense in which current 27-inch iMac users would feel like they were actually losing screen real estate from their current 2560 × 1440 displays. But that’s why Apple’s Apple and I’m a guy writing about them: if and when Retina Displays do come to the Mac, they will have thought that issue through and either solved it, or decided that the set of users who would be upset by it isn’t a large enough group to hold other users back."

Perhaps a high-end iMac with a retina display and other models without it for those who don't want it? No, that would complicate the product line too much. If/when Macs go retina display, they'll go all the way. That's just the way Apple rolls.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

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