Thursday, June 7, 2012

WWDC 2012 coming up: A new MacBook Pro in the works?

The first banners for WWDC 2012 have gone up at the Moscone Center. The banner reads "WWDC 2012: Where great ideas go on to do great things." The banner sports many popular iOS apps, such as Facebook (very interesting to me, as Apple hasn't been on good terms with Facebook), Evernote, and Netflix. A high-res image is available here, thanks to MacRumors.
WWDC is only 4 days away. I am really excited to see what is unveiled at the keynote on Monday. I can't wait for the event, so I decided I'd write up a blog post about the rumors surrounding the supposed next generation MacBook Pro...
Earlier this week, Weiphone disclosed the alleged specs for the next generation 13 inch MacBook Pro. Here's the picture (click for bigger size):
If you look under the display size, you notice that the resolution is only 1280 by 800. This resolution is not even close to what Apple would consider a retina display. However, an anonymous person sent in the alleged specs for the 15 inch MacBook Pro to 9to5Mac. Here's the picture (again, click for bigger size):
Looking under the display specs, you can see that the resolution is said to be 2560 by 1600 pixels. That resolution is high enough to be retina grade. (More information about what is a retina quality display)
Another pointer to the possibility of a high-res display for Apple's laptops is the report that HiDPI retina images have been found in OS X. Several different websites have posted articles about their findings. Here's a picture from MacRumors showing the retina graphics:
Left: Retina graphics loading
Right: Non-retina graphics
This pictures are from the Messages Beta, released on February 16th, with the developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion. 
I am really hoping for a retina display. However, websites that don't have retina images look really bad on a retina display, as seen when the iPad 3 was released. I would only get a retina display MacBook Pro on the condition that I can set the resolution lower so that websites don't look so bad. There are a number of articles covering this. Unfortunately, web standards haven't caught up to the retina display. You can use CSS media queries to serve high res images to devices with retina display, but it's not the most efficient way. There is a proposal to add support for loading different images to HTML, but that could take a long time to implement.
More rumors about the MacBook Pro...
Cnet posted an article two days ago about the "leaked" spec sheets for the MacBook Pro. According to the source, the next generation MacBook Pro will have two USB 3.0 ports. I sure hope so, as various Thunderbolt drives range from $300 - $400 to well over $2K, whereas a 2TB USB 3.0 hard drive costs only about $200. Since I do a fair amount of video editing, I can't use a standard USB 2.0 drive for storing video files. I currently use a Firewire 800 drive, but I'd like to get something a little faster. Although USB 3.0 isn't as fast as Thunderbolt, it is quite a bit faster than Firewire 800 (picture from Apple's Thunderbolt page):
In addition, according to the Cnet article, Apple plans to refresh at least four out of its five computer lines, the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, the iMac, and either the Mac mini or the Mac Pro. The MacBook Pro could also be thinner according to MacRumors. This will require taking out the optical drive, the Ethernet port, and the Firewire 800 port. This was talked about on MacBreak Weekly episode 299. I don't really have an opinion on this rumor. I do use the Ethernet port quite often, but there are adapters available, so the thinner form factor would be an okay tradeoff.
I hope this article has been useful and informative for you as a reader. If you have a comment, by all means, leave it! 

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