MacRumors has reported that Apple is finishing up work on a brand new 15″ Mac notebook in a form factor similar to the current generation of Macbook Airs. TUAW reports that this new laptop, along with a 17 inch version, will hold the Macbook Pro branding.
Apple has made some significant changes in its laptop line in the past couple years. First came the original MacBook Air, which changed how we thought a laptop could look. With the most recent update, the Air has replaced the old White MacBook that was the long standing low end Mac laptop.
A large number of us in the industry now expect the standard features of the MacBook Air to make their way to the high-end MacBook Pros. The key items that are mentioned are the integrated SSDs and the lack of optical drives. Those two changes make it possible to take a large amount of the size from body of the computers.
These changes would mark a dynamic shift in Apple’s attitude towards physical media. While it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Apple to completely ditch a format (floppy disk), that would mean skipping the BluRay altogether. However, due to the popularity or the thin machines, it would make sense for Apple to slim down the MacBook Pros.
The timing for the supposed ultra-thin notebook is still unknown. Apple did just release new versions of the MacBook Air a few weeks ago. The MacBook Pro line was just refreshed in February, so any release for that product would have to be at least towards the end of the year.