Why did the new MacBook Pro not introduce a retina display when the higher resolution has already found its way to the iPhone, the iPad and the top-end MacBook Pros? I suspect the main reason is not the the possibility of slightly greater thickness and a few extra grams. No, the sticking point is battery life. When the iPad got its retina screen it had to be made thicker and heavier because of the extra battery power needed. I have no doubt the same would currently apply to the 11in and 13in Airs.
Brooke Crothers writing in CNet explains just why the current update, which majors on day-long battery life, had to be done without the big advantage that a retina screen would have given. But technology, including battery technology, moves rapidly these days and a retina display for the Airs is only a matter of time. Crothers cites research by IHS which indicates that the Airs could be ready for an upgrade, with new Sharp screen wizardry, by the end of this year.
When I wrote last week about my current 11in Air I mistakenly said that I had had it six months. In fact, after checking, I saw that it is now twelve months old and I have just bought Apple Care to see it through the next two years. Of course it is now feeling slow compared with Ralf Meier’s new 13in model I tried in DC last week. On the other hand, it is still the same little laptop I was enthusing about last year and it can soldier on for a little longer.
Unless you have an older Air, when now could be a good time to upgrade, I think it is sensible to sit back and wait to see what comes at the end of 2013. I have decided to do this instead of succombing to temptation just now.