A MacBook Air Retina could arrive this year to finally bring the thin-and-light notebook’s screen up to par with the MacBook Pro Retina. The latest MacBook Air Retina rumor points to a release in 2014, lining up with multiple early reports of a new MacBook Air in 2014.
Last week a rumor pointed to a new MacBook Air release date coming soon, and a new MacBook Pro later this year. The previous report claimed Apple is working on a 12-inch MacBook that may be a new product completely or could be part of the MacBook Air line.
Companies that make parts for the Macbook Air tell DigiTimes that Apple plans to launch a new MacBook Air in the second half of 2014. This could boost the overall shipments of MacBook models in 2014. The report specifically calls out a new MacBook Air Retina writing, “Apple will reportedly launch a MacBook Air with Retina display, the makers said.”
This is not the first report of a MacBook Air Retina release in 2014, but combined with a report from last week, there is more support for a summer launch. Four of the last five MacBook Air updates, refreshes or new models arrived during the June or July. With this update cycle and other rumors it is possible that Apple will deliver a new MacBook Air Retina at WWDC 2014. The annual Apple developer conference normally takes place in June, and while it focuses on software, the company routinely shows off an updated MacBook Air.
If Apple chooses WWDC 2014 as the place to show off this new notebook, the new MacBook Air Retina release could come the same day online and in retail stores. Apple normally spaces an announcement and a release of mobile products out by 10 days, but new MacBook Air models often go on sale right after the announcement.
This new report does not go into the details about what size the MacBook Air Retina will come in, but previous reports suggest Apple will deliver a 12-inch MacBook Air Retina that is in the same size body as the 11-inch MacBook Air currently on the market. The smallest MacBook Air features large bezels, in part due to the need for a large area for a keyboard.
In October 2013, a NPD DisplaySearch report outlined a MacBook Air Retina release for 2014. This report pointed to a 13-inch MacBook Air Retina with a 2304 x 1440 resolution and a low power display. There is no specific timing in the report, that also shared iPhone 6 screen sizes, but the Report correctly predicted the iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina release dates last year. NPD DisplaySearch also predicted the first iPad Retina display 3 months before the Apple announcement.
MingChi Kuo, an analyst with a solid track record of knowing Apple’s moves before a public announcement also expects to see a 12-inch MacBook Air Retina release in 2014. His report also backs up the 2304 x 1440 resolution that NPD DisplaySearch believes will come with a new MacBook Air.
The Macbook Pro Retina models use a slightly higher resolution of 2560 x 1600 on the 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina and 2880 x 1800 on the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina. Apple is not as tied to resolutions that match existing products on the notebook side as they are on the iPhone and iPad products so a new resolution is to be expected on the smaller screen.
Like on the iPhone and iPad, the higher resolution packs more pixels onto the screen, creating a better looking image while using the computer. The Retina display resolution is high, but the actual usable on-screen space is closer to that of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, unless the users increases it.
There is no news on a MacBook Air Retina price, but a $100 premium is very likely over the current 11-inch MacBook Air, or even over the 13-inch Macbook Air, depending where Apple places this new MacBook Air in the lineup. The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $999 and the next size up at $1,099. These are the cheapest MacBooks Apple sells at this time.