Mac Retina Display Resolution Possibilities
If Macs get a retina display, what would the resolutions be? 3200×2000 like the default Lion wallpaper suggests? There is no definitive answer, but the above chart shows what may be the best guesses yet.
The resolutions are based on a simple idea from a great post on The Elaborated (via DaringFireball), double the existing screen resolutions, just like Apple did when they introduced the retina iPhone 4 and doubled the iPhone 3GS. Why double? The problem with a Mac (or any) retina display is that it would cause all UI elements to shrink dramatically, making everything tiny and causing a pain for developers to adapt. The solution is to take the same approach Apple chose with the iPhone 4, which as you may recall went over practically seamlessly in terms of apps and UI elements in iOS. Why wouldn’t they take the exact same approach to the Mac?
What gives further support to the doubling of existing resolutions is that TheElaborated’s hypothesized retina iPad display in the above chart is identical to what an analyst claims about iPad 3 resolution: 2048×1536. And the MacBook Pro 15″ resolution of 1650×1080? It doubles to 3300×1620, which is remarkably close to the 3200×2000 resolution of the Lion Fuji mountain wallpaper that started this whole string of retina Mac speculation.
There are some other clues too, such as the infinitely scalable Helvetica font appearing in Final Cut X as John Siracusa noticed, plus there’s a (rumored) presence of stronger resolution independent elements in Mac OS X Lion. Clues and speculation or not, doesn’t it make sense to bring retina to the Mac eventually? I think when costs allow for Apple to produce ultra high resolution Mac displays, they will come, and they’ll look amazing.