Rumor: 12'' Retina MacBook, 4K Mac desktop coming

The gossip machine is running in overdrive with talk of Apple's next-gen iPhones—but those may not be the only new Apple products this fall. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is also cooking up a 12" Retina MacBook and a new desktop Mac with a 4K display.

9to5Mac's story is somewhat light on specifics, but it does say the smaller Retina MacBook will feature a "much thinner and slightly lighter aluminum body." (I'm not sure how much thinner Apple can go from the current 11.6" MacBook Air, but I guess we'll see.) As for the desktop system, 9to5Mac adds that it could be either a standalone machine with a separate monitor or an iMac with a 4K screen built in.

Those systems could come on the heels of OS X Yosemite, the next major version of the operating system, which 9to5Mac's sources expect around October 10. Those sources anticipate a "late Q3 or early Q4" launch for the new Mac hardware. Then again, they also reckon the launch might slip into "early 2015" because of "constraints to Intel chipsets as well as resources placed on developing other products for the 2014 pipeline."

Either way, I'm curious to see what the 12" Retina MacBook winds up like. I remain unimpressed with the build quality and ergonomics of PC laptops in that size range, and the 13" Retina MacBook Pro is a little too pricey for my taste. A thinner version of the system with a slightly smaller screen and a lower price tag—now that could be the ticket.

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