Apple reportedly planning a Retina MacBook Air for Q3 2013

The Tiawanese Economic Times is reporting that Apple is preparing their supplies for a redesigned MacBook Air later in Q3. The updated MacBook will not only get internal upgrades - a beefier Intel CPU; better GPU; more RAM; increased SSD space - but could potentially receive a "facelift", which could include a new Retina Display.

Apple currently has two laptop variants: the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air. The Pro includes both a Retina and non-Retina version, while the Air only comes in a non-Retina guise. The 13-inch Retina Pro was criticised for being slow, which has lead some to be skeptical of a Retina Air, as it could suffer from the same problems. The problems were down to a slower GPU which couldn't handle the extra pixels. This problem could be especially prominent in the Air, as there is no space for dedicated GPUs. 

Pricing could also be another issue. Apple does not offer a low-end "traditional" laptop, as the 64GB Air starts at $999. The iPad starts at a lower price, but does not come with the power, or ports, of the MacBook Air. Adding a Retina display increases Apple's laptop pricing by around $200, which could lead to a problem for the low-end Air, as it would start at $1,299, a decidedly non-low-end price. However, the pricing issue could be avoided by introducing a Retina Air alongside the current non-Retina versions, possibly only on the 13-inch models - this would also be in keeping with the current Retina MacBook Pro line. 

Apple recently introduced a 128GB iPad, which has lead some to believe that Apple will do away with the 64GB MacBook Air and replace it with a cheaper 128GB model. That would mean that there would then be a 128GB 11-inch model, a 256GB 11-inch model (both non-Retina), a 256GB 13-inch model and a 512GB 13-inch model (both Retina). There is also the possibility of a 768GB 13-inch model, but that is still unconfirmed. The MacBook Pro comes in those sizes, except for the 11-inch display. RAM is also expected to be increased from a minimum of 4GB to 8GB, with the higher-end models coming with 16GB as standard. 

Source: Economic Times (Google Translate), MacRumors

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So that's all Apple has in its sleeve, retina displays? I guess the new iPod Nanos are next in line to get those screens.. I think I'll pass

So wait no one else has retina displays or come up with anything remotely good looking with the speed to boot at the same price point and you want them to drastically change more. Mega SIGH to you!

Why would it be slow, I have a 11", C2D with 2GB of RAM and it runs pretty damn quickly still. Saying that my MBPr 15" is a billion times faster but I've tried the new Airs and they are awesomely quick.

I don't think they'll have much issue with speed to be honest.

offroadaaron said,
Why would it be slow, I have a 11", C2D with 2GB of RAM and it runs pretty damn quickly still. Saying that my MBPr 15" is a billion times faster but I've tried the new Airs and they are awesomely quick.

I don't think they'll have much issue with speed to be honest.

Untill we find out its all guessing, Like the post said the MBPr 13" models have had issues with speed. MBAr would need a upgrade on CPU power to support the HighRes. Looking forward to seeing this happen and hope it does.

If they match the retina display of their "Pro" lineup, wouldn't that pretty much negate the difference between the two product lines (well, the significant difference).

They could bump up the resolution without going to full "retina".... Unlike iOS, Mac OS X is largely resolution-independent.

I'd agree - if this is true then it's starting to get messy. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple he had a clear vision of consumer/pro and a laptop/desktop for each. Normal consumers are now buying the pro's and the line between everything is getting blurred.

I guess the Pro's will always pack more of a punch in the processor and graphics department which is why they'd be more suited to intense video editing, music production etc and the Air's will always fill the consumer market of browsing the net, photo viewing.

Brian Miller said,
Needs more ram, 8GB is not enough for some people.

Those people, who want more RAM, can simply choose to have more. Not sure why the entry-level MBA needs more than a minimum of 8GB RAM.

Brian Miller said,
Needs more ram, 8GB is not enough for some people.

No one buying a Macbook Air needs more than 8GB Ram. If you need a more powerful system, you buy a Macbook Pro. The Air is not intended as a power system. Plus, the vast majority of laptops on the market still come with 4GB Ram, so I think 8GB is huge amounts for 99% of Air owners.

Spirit Dave said,

No one buying a Macbook Air needs more than 8GB Ram. If you need a more powerful system, you buy a Macbook Pro. The Air is not intended as a power system. Plus, the vast majority of laptops on the market still come with 4GB Ram, so I think 8GB is huge amounts for 99% of Air owners.

You're obviously not a MBA owner.
And please don't pretend to know my use case.

Brian Miller said,

You're obviously not a MBA owner.
And please don't pretend to know my use case.

Well seeing that the Air isn't as powerful as the Pro, 8GB on the Air would do what for it? Here is why its lames.

If you needed that much power in the first place, why not get the Pro. Spending more cash on an already expensive low end model to make it do what a high end one does is insane.

Someone does nee to tell you about your usage, because you are using it wrong.
I cant think of any Apple application that would require more than 4GB of RAM. If you do audio or video editing and you buy an Air, then it shows you are clueless about what you really need. Also shows you have way to much money to waste. Windows has over 1M applications and I cant think of any that need more than 4GB of RAM.

Now to be fair, when I bought my Envy 17 I did need 8GB of RAM...why? Because in addition to Windows 7, I ran a VM that had OSX and a virtual Windows 2003 server with Exchange. As I didn't want a desktop or hardware based server.

Even if you dual boot Windows on the Air, I cant see a reason for more than 4GB.
No I wont claim to know what you use your PC for, what I will claim is you have no idea how to use one properly. 8GB in an Air is a waste of money and is better spent on a pro. Its not my fault Apple limited consumer options for a smaller laptop to only the Air. Yet Steve jobs claims they believe in choice.

Yes they believe in one choice...u get one laptop at 13", one at 15" none at 17". With Windows you get choice from 10" all the way up to 18".

Brian Miller said,

You're obviously not a MBA owner.
And please don't pretend to know my use case.

Your use case FORCES you to have an Air ? Interesting. You know, you can buy more powerful 13 inch Macbook Pro with retina and 8gb .... so.... I mean ... you grasping why I said it yet? The Air does not cater for people who need more than a certain power level. If you do, and I don't give a damn what your 'use case' is ... you can't have it. Now go and get the MBP and stop whining.

still less than 2% of the world wide market. why do we care about macs in the post PC world. windows phone probably has more users and that is saying a lot.

benalvino said,
to run apps

Um... I can assure everyone here, you just made that crap up. My MacBook Pro Retina runs everything beautifully. You Sir, are a troll.

go an watch armado's video mac book pro vs the series 9 quad core vs duo core i7... 16 gig vs 8 gig and you will learn how people waste money buying apple mac books

Go and use one in real world. And stop trolling on threads that you're just there to talk crap about. Some of the members here have spent hard earned money on the systems they really love. You are being nasty coming in here trying to make them feel bad about what they use and paid for. And, you're actually wrong too. Since I expect you have no real experience with a Macbook Pro with Retina beyond your stupid Youtube links.

Hopefully they figure out the pricing. The Macbook Air doesn't sell itself as well as the non-retina Macbook Pros from what I've seen, and I don't blame people either as I'd make that same choice too.

I still don't see it being worth extra money just for the retina screens, to be honest. Am I missing something to this? Not a Mac user.

The 11-inch Air is good because of the portability combined with a proper, support desktop OS (you could run Photoshop or Final Cut on it if you wanted). The MacBook Pro is quite heavy, especially when you have to carry it a long way (e.g. to school).

Sounds cliched, but you have to witness the Retina MacBook's 15-inch display to understand the benefit (it is there).

I'd agree with using the retina macbook to get a feel for it.

When your editing 1080p video in iMovie, at the native resolution and it's only taken up a corner of the screen on a laptop - mind blowing moment. Also when you view pictures on it there's a world of difference. The good thing is in the Apple store they have all the same photos etc so you can literally compare the screens while you're there

Thanks for the heads up. I guess I need to play with them more at work. And yeah, I realize the Macbook Air is lighter, but I dunno. I'm used to lugging around a 15.6 inch Windows laptop as it is, so the Macbook Pro non-retina is already a big improvement.

Mac OS is outdated, without full touchscreen support the air is kinda pointless to those that dual boot windows8- which is a high percentage of mac purchasers. OSX simply is not touch optimized and is behind the times, there are better laptops out there like the zenbook prime that offer real touch support and better hardware. Pixel doubling is a nice gimmick but nothing more.

I hate touch optimized laptop and really like Mac OS X and have future plans to get it once got financially stable more.
So it is more opinion limited to you then other people.

No proof that consumers give a **** about laptops with touchscreens, because they sure aren't selling like hot cakes.

pgxl said,
Mac OS is outdated, without full touchscreen support the air is kinda pointless to those that dual boot windows8- which is a high percentage of mac purchasers. OSX simply is not touch optimized and is behind the times, there are better laptops out there like the zenbook prime that offer real touch support and better hardware. Pixel doubling is a nice gimmick but nothing more.

Pfffft.. Touchscreen support? Really? Unless it is a convertible into a tablet-like form factor, touchscreen is next to useless in the vast majority of applications. Reach out and poke at your screen a bit and see how quickly that becomes old and impractical.

The only practical use for a touch screen is interaction while "on-your-feet". Like in the kitchen or something along those lines. In that case, an iMac with a touchscreen makes far more sense than a laptop.

As far as "Windows 8" support, not sure why Apple needs to do anything to make the Windows 8 start screen useful. According to MS, the start screen works fine w/o a touchscreen....so...yeah...

Even if Apple tried to "lead the way" with touchscreen laptops, people still won't care. Touchscreen is only convenient on a phone and tablet. Maybe they will make an iPad/Air hybrid someday, but until then, touchscreen won't happen on their PC lines.

pgxl said,
Pixel doubling is a nice gimmick but nothing more.

Gimmick.

Same could be said about adding touch support. Also, doing so wouldn't somehow make it un-outdated. Shoot, if that's all it takes...

maxslaterrobins said,
Figures to back up the dual booting claim?
Sure...according to this report 85% (http://gigaom.com/2009/10/07/s...-mac-owners-also-have-a-pc/) of Mac users also owned a Windows PC back in 2009. Since Mac's are now Intel and can run Windows either using Bootcamp or Parallels, what Mac owner would won 2 different computers vs just one?

Since Mac users claim to be smarter, then it only makes sense to use Windows on your Mac.
Now having said the above I know for a fact that 50% of Mac users dualboot Windows because there is only one way to make a Mac 100% compatible with Windows applications and that is to run Windows.

The way I see it, since Mac users think Windows suck so much, why would you even boot Windows on it?