back to article Sharp whispers its vital statistics: 15.6in 3840 × 2160 IGZO screen for next MacLap Pro?

Will the next MacBook Pro refresh sport a 4K display, one 4,000-ish pixels wide? If Apple wants to ensure that its flagship laptop does indeed feature such a massive resolution screen, Sharp has just the LCD it needs. The panel pusher today said it is sending out samples of a 15.6-inch display with a 3840 × 2160 pixel …


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  1. Callam McMillan

    Sod the Macbook Pro

    When will they be making some desktop monitors with small (<24") 4K panels?

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Sod the Macbook Pro

      Theres already 4k (real 4k, not UHD which this is, uhd != 4k) 10 inch panels used as field monitors so it's not a technical limitation, probably just a marketing one. Theres a higher price and higher margin on larger screens (perhaps mitigated by lower volumes). Over the next two years we should see them creeping into the $1-$2k US region for 24-30" screens. I wouldn't be shocked to see UHD 10-12 inch tablets in 3 years. Prices for UHD screens have been falling massively recently, as soon as they think they can hit a price point that will attract enough volume they will. They've gone from $40-$60k US down to $3-$7k US in 2 years. This is officially a Very Good Thing (tm) although they have seemed to have gone from true 4k to UHD. Whilst some folks will bemoan it as they claim they can't see the difference it will help a lot with post processing. Hell 8k can't come quickly enough!

    2. Levente Szileszky

      Re: Sod the Macbook Pro

      Considering my 27" 2560x1440 Dell Ultrasharp has a $600-700 street price I don't see much profit margin left for a 24" 4K one (forget going even smaller)... supply and demand, y'know.

  2. Paul 135

    That's 16:9

    A crappy 16:9 ratio will not be used by Apple. As much as I dislike Apple this is one area where they always get things right.

    No matter how many pixels you cram into a 16:9 display it will always be cramped vertically at this size (you are going to have to increase your OS's DPI setting anyway). Why can we not have 16:10 back Sharp?

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Sod the Macbook Pro

      I agree, perhaps though it is a limit within either the gfx chip (not the amount of grunt but just an internal maximum per screen) or the connector between the screen and mb? Just a guess.

      1. Levente Szileszky

        Re: Sod the Macbook Pro

        @Rampant: neither. It's just the stupid side effect of HD panel commoditization, thanks to the dumb HT/CE industry, that's all.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Sod the Macbook Pro

          The 2013 Nexus 7 replaces the 16:9 screen of the original with a 16:10. So it's not just Apple and not just expensive devices.

          Personally I'm a fan of 3:2, as on the old titanium Powerbooks, amongst others. But I don't think that's likely to make a comeback any time soon.

          1. YARR

            Re: Sod the Macbook Pro


            The 2012 Nexus 7 was 16:10 not 16:9 (1280 x 800 pixels)

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: That's 16:9

      Yes, it is getting harder and harder to get hold of a real monitor, as opposed to a glorified TV with the tuner ripped out.

    3. Z80

      " area where they always* get things right."

      * except when they don't. 11" MBA, 21.5" iMac, 27" Display - all 16:9.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's 16:9

      You keep your 4:3 screen, I'll keep my 16:9

      Me, I prefer a nice wide screen, which means a nice wide laptop, which means there's lots of room for a decent sized keyboard and separate numeric keypad.

      It's called personal choice.

      Live with it.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: That's 16:9

        Taller. 1920x1080 isn't a "proper" resolution for a PC, it should be at least 16:10 (1920x1200), the same goes for this new retina 3840 screen, it should be 3840x2400. The scrrens today are wide enough, but they are lacking in vertical resolution if you are reading documents, working on spreadsheets or doing just about anything other than watching films.

        For YouTube, it is looking like you need a 2400x3840 judging by the numpties that hold their Jesus Phones vertically when making videos!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      16:9 may be the only option

      I'm not aware of any mobile graphics options that could handle 3840x2400 on a single screen. Can anyone point to one? I think they all max out at 4096x2160.

  3. LaSombra

    Which kind of graphics card would power this puppy without considerable lag? I don't own a "retina" MBP because the lag while scrolling is ridiculously high.

    1. Steve Todd

      Don't be silly. Any GFX chip with any pretensions at all can handle 3840x2160 at better than 30fps updates. Scrolling is trivial, it's only high texture and polygon gaming that stretches them at all at these kind of resolutions.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A crappy"

    Unless you get the Macbook AIr with its also 'crappy TFT' screen

  5. 1Rafayal

    I stopped reading at "4000 ish pixels wide"...

  6. phil dude


    1/2 my desktop has a 30" HP LP3065 which is 4K (4096000 pixels) that requires Dual-link DVI to work, or some incantation of Displayport. What are the data cables going to be?

    It would be lovely to have a 5120x3200 version, in OLED....;-)



  7. Adam T

    Oh the irony.

    Not so long ago I was getting major negging here for wanting higher res 15" monitors, and now people are getting upset if they *don't* get them. And I didn't even have anything near 4k on my mind :p

  8. poopypants

    I would love to have a UHD or 4K monitor

    but I think I'll wait until the prices stop falling. The improvement, though nice, is in fact far less noticeable than when resolutions grew from 640x480 to 1920x1080.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: I would love to have a UHD or 4K monitor

      Actually monitors grew to 1920x1200, and then technological convergence with TVs took away 120 of our pixels :-( :-( :-(

      1. Random Handle

        Re: I would love to have a UHD or 4K monitor

        >Actually monitors grew to 1920x1200

        ...the power of marketing.

        QXGA (2048×1536) was typical on bog standard workstations when I started out a couple of decades ago - and the gamut was better too....

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: I would love to have a UHD or 4K monitor @RandomHandle

          But you couldn't resolve your pixels, because it was a cathode-ray shadow-mask colour tube. Say 0.25mm phosphor-dot spacing, 20 inches across a good one, 20 x 25 x 4 / 2 pixels = 1000 pixels. That divide by two is there because one pixel was a triangle of R,G,B dots. Yes, you got some degree of super-resolution on information encoded as luminance (a good match to your retina), so QXGA wasn't completely wasted. You can argue for /1.5 or even /1, but the display was no way as spatially clear as a 1920x1080 TFT. Analogue, not digital.

          OTOH colour quality, for reproducing photographs, peaked with the last of the IIyama/ Sony/ Philips 25 inch vacuum-tube monitors and has declined since. On the plus side it no longer takes three people to manhandle a high-end monitor into place, or a meter-deep desk to support it and a keyboard.

          And good big tube monitors cost a fortune back then, so a fair comparison is probably one of the newest 2560 or even 4K ones. These days you get 1920x1080 for well under £200.

  9. Dazed and Confused


    Every other bloody laptop make is engaged in a match to the death to see who can be first to make a screen with just one (wide) pixel. The average screen res of phone these says far exceeds the average res of laptop.

    I might hate Apple, but at least they realise that some people would actually like to have some pixels on their screens.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Meanwhile

      Completely agree. 15" Laptop screens should be 1680 for bog-standard-cheap, 1920 for executive / professional. Think how little a (larger) monitor or TV costs. There's no excuse.

  10. James 100

    Too little, too small

    It's been irritating me for a few years now that laptop monitors suddenly leapt backwards. After two decades of progress, from crummy VGA (and lower, sometimes mono) up to 1920x1200 17" or larger becoming a standard option at the top - now, Apple drop 17" entirely, the other manufacturers downgrade to 1920x1080 and brag about this being "full HD" as if that somehow makes it OK to be a step down.

    Retina does sound nice, but I want more screen area on my laptop dammit! Start by giving the 2" or 120 pixels back, then try making some progress again...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes...

    Retina display, or in to translate for normal consumers: Great when first introduced, but now a lower pixel density than other high resolution screens. A recognisable name that doesn't live up to it's former reputation.

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