Apple 2880 x 1800 MacBook Pro tipped for Q2 2012

Apple is readying a super-high resolution MacBook Pro update for Q2 2012, supply chain sources claim, with displays running at a whopping 2880 x 1800. The new notebooks – the screens of which would well exceed Full HD resolution – would be the first of a fresh breed of highly pixel-dense portables, DigiTimes sources say, and clock in higher than the current 1920 x 1200 maximum on the existing 17-inch MacBook Pro.

The decision to throw in extra pixels is part of Apple's strategy to better differentiate the MacBook Pro line-up from Windows-based notebooks, the insiders reckon. Apple has for some time now used the same Intel processors and AMD/NVIDIA GPUs as its PC rivals, relying on OS X and its distinctive industrial design to hold the MacBook Pro apart.

However, a more comprehensive refresh of the notebook is believed to be in the pipeline, with aesthetics said to be borrowed from the MacBook Air turning the existing Pro into a slimmed-down powerhouse for mobile professionals. A switch to all-SSD storage is also rumored, bringing fast boot-up and resume times, as well as having a significant impact on in-app performance.

2880 x 1800 resolution would bring the 13-inch MBP to a crazy 261ppi, while the 15-inch would be 226ppi and the 17-inch would be 200ppi.

Apple is also expected to remove the integrated optical drive from the new MacBook Pro, a casualty of the pared-down chassis design and the rise of digital distribution for music, video and software. The higher-spec MacBook Pro could also shift further up the notebook range, with Apple using a new 15-inch MacBook Air to cater for the entry-level and mid-range mainstream markets instead.