MacBook Air Retina Release: 5 Reasons to Wait

It’s very possible that the MacBook Air Retina release date is just weeks away as we approach an event where Apple will undoubtedly announce the OS X Yosemite release date and other hardware for the holiday push.

Shoppers continue to wait for a MacBook Air release dat to deliver a new MacBook Air with a high-resolution display, similar to that on the MacBook Pro Retina that shot to popularity last October with more affordable configurations and better battery life.

Over the last year rumors of a MacBook Air Retina circulated and as we move within two weeks of the rumored Apple event it looks like this could finally be where we see the new MacBook Air Retina design and learn about important details like the MacBook Air Retina release date and price.

Five reasons you should wait for the Macbook Air Retina release, or at least to see if it arrives in October.
Five reasons you should wait for the Macbook Air Retina release, or at least to see if it arrives in October.

If you’re in the market for a new MacBook Air, it’s time to wait and hold off on any purchases until after the rumored Apple October 2014 event. Apple will reportedly announced the iPad Air 2 at this event and we should finally learn the OS X Yosemite release date. This is also a prime venue for a MacBook Air Retina announcement, assuming everything is lined up right and the production is ready.

Here are five reasons you should wait for the MacBook Air Retina release before buying a new MacBook Air in fall 2014. These are based on rumors and some speculation, so not everything we share may make it into the final product.

It’s also possible that Apple will not be ready to announce a MacBook Air Retina release date and device at this event. If that’s the case you waited two weeks for nothing, but at least you won’t buy an older MacBook Air only to find out something much newer and with key upgrades arrived weeks later.

Retina Display

The biggest reason to wait for the MacBook Air Retina release date is for the Retina display on the new MacBook Air. A higher resolution display is at the top of many consumer wish lists, especially after seeing the wonderful screens on the MacBook Pro Retina that exploded in popularity over the last year.

A new and improved Retina display is the biggest reason to wait.
A new and improved Retina display is the biggest reason to wait.

A higher resolution Macbook Air with Retina Display should deliver similar benefits to the MacBook Pro Retina. These include text that is easier to read at smaller points and incredibly clear and detailed images.

Reports focus on a 12-inch MacBook Air Retina, with a resolution between 2,304 x 1,440 according to David Hsieh of NPD DisplaySearch and 2,732 x 1,536 resolution according to Daniel Matte of Forward Progress.

It’s not clear what the MacBook Air Retina resolution may be, but either of these high-resolutions on a 12-inch display should deliver a pixel-packed viewing experience similar to other Retina displays.

Portability and Design

Rumors point to as more portable MacBook Air Retina design. Early in the year Ming-Chi Kuo identified the new MacBook Air Retina with a 12-inch screen that could fit inside a frame about the same size as the current 11-inch MacBook Air. Kuo’s report claims this is a thinner and lighter MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air Retina is reportedly thinner and more portable.
The MacBook Air Retina is reportedly thinner and more portable.

We’ve also heard the new MacBook Air Retina design will not use fans and will feature a new trackpad that doesn’t click. These changes maybe due to a thinner design. Fanless computers are not unheard of, but this would be a first for Apple’s MacBook Air line of devices.

A thinner and lighter notebook with a Retina Display would fill a gap in the lineup for users who feel the MacBook Pro Retina is too heavy or large compared to the MacBook Air.

Connectivity

The MacBook Air Retina may also include a new USB Type C cable that utilizes a new reversible design. Similar to the Lightning cable this new connection allows for a thinner design and allows users to plug the cable in either direction.

A reversible USB Type C cable rendering.
A reversible USB Type C cable rendering.

According to Jack March’s source, “the thinner design may sacrifice the standard USB port and Apple will move to the reversible USB Type C with this product, It is assumed Apple will include an adapter in the box for backwards compatibility.”

You may want to invest in some new cables if you buy the MacBook Air Retina, but with an adapter you’ll at least be good to go for a while.  

Battery Life & MagSafe

Battery life is one big challenge to delivering a MacBook Air Retina release, and Intel’s new processors may help the portable notebook sip power while still delivering good battery life.

The current MacBook Air notebooks offer 9-12 hours of battery life while the current MacBook Pro with Retina display notebooks offer 8-9 hours of battery life.

A thinner MacBook Air Retina will need an efficient display and processor to deliver good battery life.
A thinner MacBook Air Retina will need an efficient display and processor to deliver good battery life.

In the NPD DisplaySearch report Hsieh outlines the potential display as low power and the new Intel Broadwell processors should be capable of delivering better battery life while still powering a Retina display. Although it is unclear what battery life benchmark Apple will hit there is hope that the MacBook Air Retina battery life will beat the nine hours of the MacBook Pro Retina.

The same source that tells March to expect a new USB connection claims Apple is investigating a new MagSafe connection of some type, but details are slim.

Processor Upgrades, Possible 4K Support

In August Intel announced new processors that could potentially power the MacBook Air Retina, and told investors that the first systems will be on store shelves for the fall holiday selling season.

This could be the driving force inside the MacBook Air Retina.
This could be the driving force inside the MacBook Air Retina.

A power efficient Intel processor with better graphics performance looks like a key part of the MacBook Air Retina release and if intel is ready that is good news for potential buyers.

Although not announced, there is hope that we will finally see a MacBook Air that supports connections to a 4K display. Apple added support for 4k to the OS X Mavericks release last year, but Apple only officially supports a limited range of monitors and not when connected to a MacBook Air.

One Comment

  1. Dipesh Timilsina

    10/08/2014 at 7:28 pm

    I am so waiting for the Retina MacBook Air. All I can ask for! Hope it will hit the shelves this holiday season.

    Reply

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