Ever since Apple announced the redesigned Mac Pro at its Worldwide Developer Conference last summer, the biggest question coming from Apple’s high-end users has been: “Where’s the 4K display to go with it?”
After all, the ability to work with video and photographs shot at insanely high resolutions is one of the key selling points for the new Mac Pro.
But for some reason, Apple put the Mac Pro on the market without selling an Apple-branded 4K display to go with it.
That isn’t to say that Apple didn’t offer any display options for its high-end users: on its site, you can still buy one of the company’s $999 Thunderbolt displays with a resolution somewhat higher than 1080p, or you can step it up to a 4K monitor with this 32-inch display from Sharp for the low, low price of $US3,595.
Apple’s highest-end customers were hoping for an actual Apple display with 4K resolution. Until recently, though, Mac OS X’s support for 4K displays simply wasn’t ready for primetime.
One of Apple’s biggest features when debuting high-resolution displays for its Macs was the use of “pixel-doubling.” Basically, Apple did the same thing as when it introduced the iPhone 4 with its Retina Display: doubled the resolution of the screen but kept it the same size.
That makes everything on the screen look the same size but sharper instead of simply making everything smaller, which is normally what happens when you increase your screen’s resolution.
While the MacBook Pros with Retina have all been able to do this on their built-in screens since their debut, Apple’s computers didn’t let you do the same with external 4K monitors. So when you plugged in one of those $US3,595 screens into your Mac Pro, you got an interface so small that some users complained that it would induce eye strain. It’s not a shock that Apple didn’t release its own $US999+ 4K screen with that bad of a drawback for some of its most influential customers.
According to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, the latest beta version of OS X 10.9 introduces pixel-doubling for 4K monitors. With external monitors offering the same “Retina” experience as Apple’s own laptops, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple finally release its own 4K Thunderbolt display sooner rather than later — and considering the fact that Dell now offers a $US699 4K display, Apple might even be able to hit that same $US999 price point as its current displays.
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