Next-Gen iMacs to Feature Retina Display?

Next-Gen iMacs to Feature Retina Display?

Alongside mentions that the upcoming new MacBook Pro models would feature a Retina display, among other features, Apple’s next-gen iMac update is claimed to feature high resolution Retina displays as well

ABC News reports (via MacRumors):

ABC News has similarly heard from its own sources that both the next MacBook Pro and the iMac would be getting very, very high resolution displays. Apple refreshed its new iPad with a Retina Display in March.

While numerous rumors have suggested that the MacBook Pro will gain a high-resolution “Retina” display, little has been said of HiDPI displays for the iMac, or even Apple’s Cinema and Thunderbolt displays. If the MacBook Pro gains a Retina display, however, bringing such a display to the iMac would seem to be a very natural move.

It remains to be seen how Apple would make the move to higher resolutions for their larger displays, however, as these displays already support higher than average resolutions that aren’t far distant from “Retina” level when viewed from a normal distance.

Quadrupling the resolution of these displays would put a significant burden on graphics processing for next-gen Macs, however, raising questions as to how Apple might handle boosting the resolution of these displays to Retina levels. MacRumors provides some thoughts on some of the possibilities:

David Barnard has argued that Apple could still use the pixel doubling motif on larger Mac displays without necessarily having to quadruple the number of actual pixels if users would be willing to accept a smaller workspace than seen on current machines. In one example, Barnard describes how rather than moving the current 2560×1440 27-inch iMac all the way to 5120×2880, Apple could instead offer a display at 3840×2400 that would present itself with a Retina workspace of 1920×1200.

Would users really be willing to accept less overall visual space in their displays, however? I recently moved to a Thunderbolt Display for my MacBook Pro, and was instantly thrilled with the vast increase in screen real estate – I’m not sure I would be satisfied with anything lesser.

It seems inevitable that Apple will move to Retina displays on their entire Mac lineup at some point, whether or not that happens within the next few months. The real question is in exactly how they will proceed with making that change.

What are your thoughts?