Apple's rumored MacBook Air Retina may not be coming soon as fans originally thought as some insiders are speculating that we'll see it some time in the middle of 2015.
After recent Apple events that revealed the iPhone 6 and a host of other anticipated Apple products, fans were left a bit confused about the lack of information about a Retina-based MacBook Air. After all, the MacBook Pro and the iMac both have the feature standard, so why not the ultraportable Air? Not only have competitors already released their own versions of the 5k resolution screens oin their own laptops, but the Air is Apple's last computer to lack Retina technology.
According to Engadget, it's a matter of battery life. "Stuffing more pixels into an LCD typically requires not just stronger backlights (since there's less light reaching each pixel), but also graphics processing powerful enough to draw all that extra content," the tech site explains. "You only need to look to one of Apple's own products, the third-generation iPad, for an example of the challenges involved. Apple had no choice but to give the tablet a bulky battery and a graphics boost (the A5X chip) if it wanted a Retina display using 2012-era backlighting and computing power; it wasn't until the iPad Air that you saw a no-compromise design. Yes, the MacBook Pro line has had Retina tech since 2012, but it had a thicker chassis to accommodate both a bigger battery and a faster, costlier processor."
The whole reason that the MacBook Air is so popular is because of its lighter weight and improved battery life, so tacking on a Retina display might just change that, essentially making it a regular old MacBook but with lower specs.
"We've already seen the troubles that emerge when PC builders put Retina-level screens in their Ultrabooks before the technology is truly mature," Engadget remarks. "Remember the mediocre 5-hour battery life of Toshiba's original Kirabook, or the so-so 6.5-hour lifespan of the Yoga 2 Pro? Apple likely doesn't want to take a big step backward in longevity just for the sake of a Retina display."
Retina Display is Apple's own trademarked name for 5K resolution on the screen. Its pixels-per-inch vary for each device, according to screen size and viewing distace. So far, Retina Display is standard on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPod Touch, iPad, MacBook Pro, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iMac.
The Retina name has already been challenged by several skeptics, including DisplayMate Technoligies' president, Raymond Soneira, who says that the physiology of the human retina would be translated to at least 447 pixels per inch, and not all of the Retina Display products can achieve that type of resolution.
Regardless, Retina Display has been popular for Apple fans (and fans of 5K on other brands), so the exclusion of the MacBook Air has consumers worried.
The MacBook Air Retina is rumored to feature a 12-inch screen and a fanless Intel-M processor that could allow for an even thinner design. A click-less touchpad is also rumored to be included, as is a wider variety of color choices similar to that of the iPhone 6.
While most tech sites are pretty much in agreement over the mid-2015 release date rumors, Apple has yet to confirm an actual date.