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Predictions about a Thunderbolt Retina Display

Marco Arment was the developer of Instapaper until this service was purchased by Betaworks. Now Marco is doing other things, but he hasn’t left the apple world. He keeps posting his thoughts on everything around Apple on his blog, and more concretely lately with more interest in the Mac Pro, as it seems to be a must for him. The question on his blog today is: How and when will we get an iMac and a Mac Pro Retina?

As always these kinds of calculations and assumptions are interesting to read. According to him there are three factors why we still don’t have a Retina version of the 27 inch iMac or a Thunderbolt Display, which would have to be 5120×2880 pixels . Here’s why:

Predictions about a Thunderbolt Retina Display
Predictions about a Thunderbolt Retina Display

With this logical reasoning the Retina for the 27-inch panels is, according to Marco, about 2-3 years old . In spite of that, Apple could do it differently, and it’s a trap, as Arment explains.

In the same way that it does in the current MacBook with Retina display, you could simulate high resolution with different scaling modes. For example the 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina comes with a native resolution of 1280×800 logical pixels but with 2560×1600 physical pixels, with the high resolutions simulated.

With this formula we could see this iMac and the Thunderbolt Display this very 2014. Relatively cheap 4K monitors are already showing up, so a monitor Designed in California for 999 dollars and a 27″ iMac for about 1300 dollars would not be at all unreasonable. Only an OS X update is needed to enable these scaling modes, Macs with Thunderbolt 2 and we already have what they call 4K. It will be a matter of waiting to see if we have to agree with Marco Arment. You can see the calculations in his blog in case you are interested.

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