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It appears Apple plans to expand its line of Retina-toting Macbooks, fortifying its line-up with a more portable 13.3-inch Macbook Pro model. Currently, the only Macbook to sport a Retina display is a 15.4-inch Pro model with a steep starting price of $2200.
Apple uses the term "Retina" to denote its own IPS displays with an unusually high pixel density. Retina screens contain double to triple the amount of pixels of ordinary panels, making it difficult for human eyes to discern the individual elements which comprise its output. As an example, Apple's current 15.4-inch Retina display has a resolution of 2880x1800 as opposed to the 1366x786 screens which are standard-issue on most similarly-sized, entry-level laptops.
NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told Cnet that a 2560x1600 13.3-inch display is currently being manufactured by Apple's supply chain partners. Due to the involvement of certain facilities, Shim believes the information is indicative of a Macbook Pro screen and not the Macbook Air.
Shim also says that Apple is also on track to produce 1 to 2 million 13.3-inch units. This is considerably more than the "few hundred thousand" screens produced for the 15.4-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display, suggesting Apple expects to move far more 13-inchers. By implication, this also suggests the new Macbook Pros will be priced considerably lower, but pricing will likely remain a mystery until the new laptop is officially announced.
As a side note, Samsung is the manufacturer for these Retina panels. Interestingly, Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in an enormous lawsuit regarding their phone and tablet designs. It was announced this weekend that Samsung lost the case, leaving the company reeling from more than $1 billion in damages.
Given the timing of production, Cnet believes these new Macbook Pros could hit shelves this fall.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
The MacBook Air sports a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor that Turbo Boosts up to 2.8GHz, 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 128GB of flash storage and integrated Intel graphics. It is still extremely thin and lightweight at only 0.68-inches at the thickest part and 2.96 pounds. The MacBook Air carries a 13.3-inch diagonal LED backlit display, operating at 1440 x 900 with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
Read expert reviews, pros & cons, and product information about Apple MacBook Air 11.6 inch Summer 2011 - Core i5/i7. There are 60 reviews available so far.
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