Apple has reportedly begun development on a MacBook model integrating the company's high-resolution Retina display technology.
Taipei news site Digitimes cited sources within Apple's supply chain in reporting that the MacBook Pro systems will have resolutions of 2,880x1,800 pixels, and will ship sometime in the second quarter of 2012.
The laptops represent a similarly dramatic increase in screen resolution to the Retina display in the iPhone 4.
Digitimes reported that rival notebook vendors Asus and Acer are also planning to unveil ultrabooks with maximum resolutions of 1,920x1,080 in the second quarter.
Integrating such a technology could be costly in the short term, but analysts believe that high-resolution notebook displays could soon become affordable to produce and distribute in volume.
Sweta Dash, director of LCD research at IHS iSuppli, told V3 that Apple's strong supply chain and high margins make the company well suited to blazing a trail in the high-resolution hardware market.
"Knowing Apple and how good its profitability has been up to this point, I am sure it could find a way. When it went to the Retina display [in the iPhone] the hardware cost initially was higher, but it went down," she said.