Retina MacBook Air hits roadblocks as Intel’s Broadwell chips face new delays

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2014

It’s hardly a secret that Apple is looking to phase out non-Retina models from its MacBook Pro lineup.

Furthermore, the expected switch to all-Retina notebooks should over time affect Apple’s ultra-portable MacBook Air model, too.

I mean, even Apple’s Taiwan-based suppliers have been adamant that a long-expected version of the MacBook Air with Apple’s Retina display is due in the second half of 2014.

Unfortunately, it’s now almost certain that a Retina MacBook Air won’t see the light of day this year because the crucial components – Intel’s next-generation, extremely low-power Broadwell chips – reportedly won’t be available in volume until mid-2015… Read More

 

Evidence of Retina iMac found in OS X Yosemite beta

By Cody Lee on Jun 4, 2014

Folks wanting an iMac with Retina display will be happy to hear that some evidence has surfaced in favor of the mythical machine. The recently-released OS X Yosemite developer preview includes a new file that defines display scaling resolution options for an iMac.

The native resolution of the computer is not mentioned, but the file includes a series of scaling resolution options that max out at 6400 x 3600 pixels, or 3200 x 1800 as a Retina display. It’s likely the display will scale down to a lower resolution like the MacBook Pro… Read More

 

Apple said to phase out non-Retina model from MacBook Pro lineup

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2014

After reportedly making the decision to axe the iPad 2 “in the near future”, now comes word that Apple’s non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro model is next on the chopping block. If true, this would streamline the company’s notebook offering after the non-Retina production winds down in the second half of 2014, in time for a refresh around Intel’s forthcoming Broadwell processors.

The move would reduce the Mac notebook lineup to non-Retina MacBook Airs (which may or may not get a Retina treatment later this year) and all-Retina MacBook Pros, potentially leaving future MacBook Pro buyers without a built-in CD/DVD optical drive… Read More

 

Rumor: the next iPhones have sharper 4.7″ and 5.5″ Retina screens with sapphire protection

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2014

According to a new report by the South China Morning Post, Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch two new iPhones with bigger screens sporting sapphire crystal protection. The handsets are reportedly scheduled to launch in September 2014.

In corroborating previous rumors by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, sources claim the upcoming iPhones have 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens coated in sapphire, the expensive gemstone Apple uses to protect its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s and iSight camera lenses on iOS devices. And, the screens will be flat, not curved… Read More

 

Poll: will Apple launch Retina MacBook Air in 2014?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2014

After transitioning its MacBook Pros to high-resolution Retina screens, the ultra-portable MacBook Air – my favorite Apple notebook of all time – has remained hopelessly stuck in the past with that normal-resolution display. I don’t want to trade portability for power, but non-Retina computing just doesn’t cut it for me anymore, simple as that.

I guess you could say I’m ready to upgrade to a Retina MacBook Pro, unless – unless Apple brings out a Retina Air at some point this year. Of course, it’s always easy to argue that a Retina-fied MacBook Air is going to remain wishful thinking until all the technological pieces have fallen in place. After all, aren’t Retina screens known as power and GPU hogs?

Yes, but fourth-generation Intel Core processors have made some great strides in power efficiency and graphics performances, as evidenced by the mid-2013 MacBook Air refresh: these systems now rock up to twelve-hour battery on the 13.3-inch model, or nine hours for the 11.6-inch version.

The bigger problem: Retina needs a powerful backlighting to push more light between those densely-packed pixels, in turn requiring a larger battery inside the Air’s already ultra-thin enclosure.

Me, I’m willing to sacrifice battery performance and be back at six hours of runtime in exchange for that ultra-sharp Retina screen. Which brings me to my question of the day: is Apple going to give the MacBook Air a Retina treatment this year, do you think? Read More

 

Skype gains push notifications for chats, two-way video calling in HD on A7 devices

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2014

Skype for iPhone rolled out the ability to conduct two-way video chatting back in December 2010, but the quality of these video calls left a lot to be desired. Back then, the iPhone 4′s back camera could only capture video in 720p and the front-facing camera was good only for VGA-grade video chatting.

Besides, the handset lacked the processing power to make two-way video calling in high-definition a reality.

Today’s update to Skype’s free iPhone and iPad client brings HD video calling to the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, along with an improved chatting experience and more… Read More

 

Dell’s new and affordable 4K displays suggest Retina iMac is edging closer

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2013

Three and a half years ago, Apple released the iPhone 4 which introduced the world to the then-new Retina display.

In Apple’s parlance, Retina is basically a cleverly-coined marketing moniker which stands for a screen with pixels so densely packed that the average eyesight (20/20 vision) is unable to discern the individual ones at normal distance.

Apple has since Retina-fied its iOS device lineup, including some Mac notebooks. With the exception of the MacBook Air which stayed at 1,366-by-768 and 1,440-by-900 pixels for 11 and 13-inch models, respectively, we’ve been kinda keeping our fingers crossed for a Retina iMac this Fall.

Apple instead gave us a radically different Mac Pro as its first desktop so powerful it’s capable of driving three 4K displays simultaneously.

One would also expect Apple would by now have released a Retina Thunderbolt Display because the product’s been unchanged for almost two years. Instead, the firm opted for the waiting tactics until Retina-grade desktop screens become available at consumer prices.

That day is now looming as Dell on Monday released two 4K desktop monitors starting at just 50 percent more than the $899 Apple Thunderbolt Display. Just a year ago, you couldn’t find a decent 4K monitor under $5,000. But Dell’s only warming up: by early-2014, the computer maker plans to release a 28-inch 4K monitor priced at under $1000… Read More

 

Some early adopters complaining about screen burn-in on their Retina iPad mini

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 15, 2013

An unknown portion of the first batch of Retina iPad minis coming out of assembly line is apparently plagued with the screen retention problem, reports from disgruntled users claim. Every Apple product launch is marred with teething issues, though this one is more than skin-deep. As we reported, Korea’s ETNews blamed the issues last week on production woes with Sharp-made IGZO Retina panels.

Manufacturing issues have apparently prompted Apple to negotiate with Samsung Display for the supply of 7.9-inch Retina screens starting next year, as Samsung’s display-making unit “was the first to solve the technological problem”. At the heart of the issue is malfunctioning of Sharp’s thin-film transistor screen technology… Read More

 

Retina iPad mini teardown: LG Display Retina panel, larger battery, A7 and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Yesterday, I wondered on Twitter what was taking the repair magicians over at iFixit so long to do their ritual teardown of Apple’s stealthily-released iPad mini with Retina display. My prayers have been listened to as iFixit has torn apart the device, revealing its guts and components for the whole world to see. As you could imagine, they found an Apple-designed A7 chip inside, slightly underclocked versus the iPad Air.

On top of that, there are usual suspects in terms of wireless and supporting chips. As for the titular update to this iPad mini – the Retina display – the teardown analysis has identified an LG Display-supplied 7.9-inch in-plane switching LCD with a 2,048-by-1,536 screen resolution.

While the resolution is the same as the iPad 3/4/Air, the images are crisper at 326 pixels per inch (264 ppi on the iPad Air) due to a shrunken form factor, as noted MacStories editor Federico Viticci noted in his hands-on article.

Other tidbits follow… Read More

 

iPad rumors: redesigned Smart Covers, Retina iPad mini could bulk up slightly

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2013

In today’s roundup of the somewhat obvious Apple rumors, a new report has suggested that the upcoming iPad mini 2 will be a tad thicker than its predecessor, presumably in order to accommodate a bigger battery needed to drive Apple’s power-hungry Retina display. This is newsworthy as none of the leaks to date has pointed to added bulk.

The thicker iPad mini meme isn’t unexpected: watchful readers will remember that Apple’s third-generation iPad with Retina display turned out to be slightly thicker than the previous iPads, due to the larger battery inside… Read More

 

Why Retina display is more than twice as responsive as the competition

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2013

Say what you will, but Apple owns the most responsive mobile OS and has the smoothest multitouch implementation by leaps and bounds.

Unsurprisingly, the Retina display hardware is a major part of that accomplishment – and I’m not talking about pixel density or image quality.

No, the key contributing factor to the iPhone’s multitouch immediacy is the short response time of the device’s touch panel on the hardware level. In fact, Apple’s capacitive touchscreen implementation runs circles around competition, a recent barrage of tests have proven.

The iPhone 5′s four-inch Retina screen is significantly faster than any of its rivals – up to twice as fast as its nearest competitor. Jump past the fold for detailed findings… Read More

 

HDMI 2.0 launches in time for next-gen Retina TVs

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2013

The upcoming Mac Pro is the first Mac to make possible ultra high-definition images and video, also known as Ultra HD or simply 4K. We’re talking native video at a minimum of 3,840-by-2,160 pixel resolution. That’s four times the pixels of your regular full HD 1,920-by-1,080 movies on Blu-ray discs and iTunes – and consequentially four times the clarity.

Just in time for the new generation of Ultra HDTVs – and possibly that rumored full-on Apple television set – the HDMI Licensing group has now taken the wraps off the updated HDMI standard, version 2.0… Read More

 

IHS iSuppli: production of iPad mini Retina display on track for fall launch

By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2013

While it seems all but certain that Apple is going to launch a redesigned fifth gen iPad this fall, the fate of the iPad mini isn’t quite so clear. Reports thus far have been split between the tablet having and not having a Retina display.

Well this morning we’re adding another one to the ‘having’ pile. Well-known market research firm IHS iSuppli reports that the new mini will indeed have a high resolution screen, and that production volumes are on par with 2012… Read More

 

Apple ordering Retina displays for new iPad mini, contemplating colored backs: WSJ

By Cody Lee on Aug 1, 2013

And the back and forth continues. Hot on the heels of a report this afternoon that iOS 7 contains references to an A6 iPad mini with a non-Retina display, comes a story from The Wall Street Journal that Apple has begun ordering hi-res screens from Samsung for the tablet.

Today’s clash is just the latest in a long line of conflicting reports regarding Apple’s next-gen 8-inch slate, which is set to debut this fall. Previous speculation has suggested that a Retina iPad mini would be nearly technically impossible, but tonight’s story says the contrary… Read More

 

Apple testing non-Retina iPad mini with A6 chip, iOS 7 SDK references suggest

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2013

Despite Google’s recently refreshed Nexus 7 now boasting a Retina-class 1,920-by-1,200 pixel resolution screen (check out Jeff’s awesome Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini video showdown), Apple’s seven-inch iPad mini by contrast remains stuck with the rather pedestrian 1,024-by-768 pixel screen.

And now, seemingly corroborating a flurry of rumors pointing to a Retina iPad mini upgrade in 2014, references a developer discovered in the iOS 7 SDK suggest Apple has been testing a new iPad mini with a faster A6 chip, but without a Retina display… Read More

 

As Apple misses a beat, Amazon is Retina-fying Kindle lineup

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2013

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Google event which saw, among other goodies, introduction of the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet with an improved 1,920-by-1,200 screen, the Kindle maker Amazon is now said to be refreshing its Fire tablet family around higher-resolution displays, too.

And as Apple and its Asian suppliers scramble to solve manufacturing challenges that continue to plague a second-generation iPad mini, Amazon’s top-of-the-line Kindle reportedly features a significantly overhauled display that packs 30 percent more pixels than the Retina iPad, into a smaller 8.9-inch screen compared to Apple’s 9.7-inch device. Ouch! Read More

 

Ongoing challenges forcing Apple to buy Retina iPad mini screens from Samsung?

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2013

Run for years by the then op-chief Tim Cook, Apple’s supply chain has become the stuff of the legend. Would-be watchers naively believe deciphering Apple’s next move is as easy as keeping tabs on the chatter coming out of Asia’s supply chain. Tim Cook, of course, begs to differ: on one of conference calls, Apple’s boss cautioned investors against drawing conclusion from any one data point as the company’s supply chain is a very complex beast.

So here’s something for investors and fans to chew on: ET News reported Tuesday that Apple is considering tapping Samsung Display to produce low-power Retina screens for the upcoming second-generation iPad mini because AU Optronics (AUO) was unable to deliver. Samsung would presumably make the screens alongside LG Display, Sharp and perhaps Japan Display, according to a previous February 2013 reportRead More

 

Alleged Retina panel shortages could push back iPad mini 2 into early-2014

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2013

While supply chain sources appear to agree that a fifth-generation iPad is launching this Fall, pointing to Apple’s procurement of components ahead of trial production, there is no definite consensus on a successor to the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

A new report out from Taiwan on Friday asserted that Retina panel shortages may have forced Apple’s leadership to push back the device into early-2014.

Tim Cook & Co. have reportedly scrapped the original plan which called for launching the iPad mini 2 during the fourth quarter of 2013, in time for the holiday shopping season… Read More

 

iOS 7 smooths out iPhone apps on non-Retina iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2013

With each passing day we learn more about the subtleties and under-the-hood tweaks that have made their way into the third beta of iOS 7. Today, I want to talk about the iPad’s 2x compatibility mode. Hasn’t it always bothered you how iPhone apps run pixel-doubled on your iPad mini and other non-Retina iPad devices, resulting in jagged corners and edges and just all-around pixelated appearance?

You can tick that issue off as iOS 7 Beta 3 added a new feature that makes every iPhone app look very clear running on an iPad 2 or iPad mini, in a manner reminiscent of a tweak for jailbroken devices by Ryan Petrich, called RetinaPad… Read More

 

Apple rumored to double iPhone 5S Retina resolution

By Christian Zibreg on May 28, 2013

Apple’s Retina display may still be the best mobile display on the market, but not so much anymore in terms of the sheer pixel count and clearness.

Case in point: Samsung’s five-inch Galaxy S4 with its full HD 1,920-by-1,080 resolution screen at a whopping 441 pixels per inch easily outperforms the iPhone 5′s four-inch 640-by-1,136 Retina display at 326 pixels per inch. Another example: HTC’s flagship One smartphone and its 468 pixels per inch display.

Now, a new rumor out of China alleges that Apple’s next iPhone will have an upgraded Retina display with twice as much pixels as the current-generation… Read More

 
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