Samsung’s big-screen Galaxy Note Pro met with mixed reviews, but apparently Apple is moving full steam ahead with a large-screen iPad. A new report says that the company will launch a 12-inch tablet during the second half of 2014 and that a MacBook Air with a sharper Retina Display is also on the way.
Not much is known about Apple’s bigger tablet, and we’ve seen contradicting reports about Apple moving forward with the project. Earlier in March, Digitimes reported that the purported iPad Pro was facing “development hurdles.” But now the site says Apple will be working with Quanta on production for the device.
Meanwhile, the same Digitimes report says that MacBook shipments could drop a whopping 15 percent in 2014, citing Taiwanese supply chain sources. However, a new MacBook Air with Retina Display could spur demand and prove that prediction wrong. Currently, the lowest cost 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro costs $1,299, while the 13-inch Air starts at $1,099. An affordable, higher-res Air could give Apple’s Mac lineup a shot in the arm.
Windows laptop makers have been producing Retina-like Ultrabooks for months, such as the Acer Aspire S7 (2560 x 1440 pixels), Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Pro (2560 x 1600) and Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus (3200 x 1800).
However, none of these systems come close to the current MacBook Air’s battery life, which lasted close to 12 hours in our tests. The Acer (6:06), Lenovo (6:06) and Samsung (8:06) were all several hours behind. If we know Apple, it won’t release a Retina Air until it can offer enough endurance to make all that extra eye candy worthwhile.