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Monday, May 14, 2012

Will Apple go for the MacBook Air Pro or just slim down the existing model.doc

Will Apple go for the MacBook Air Pro or just slim down the existing model?

The 15 inch MacBook Pro is in short supply. J&R reports that the 2.2 Ghz model is “out of stock” and the 2.4 Ghz model is currently advertised as “on order.” BestBuy also reports running low (or out!) of the 15” MacBook Pro. This shortage of desirable models portends…wait for it…An Upgrade! Yea!

So what can you expect in the new MacBooks?

Well, they’ll feature the new “Ivy Bridge” microprocessor chips from Intel. These chips feature out-of-the-box USB 3.0 support. This could mean that Apple will finally incorporate support of the popular interface in its models. Up to now, Apple has stressed the very-high-performance (and high priced!) Thunderbolt interface.

Personally, my guide for emerging standards is the computer aisle at the Costco on Roscoe Boulevard in Canoga Park. If they have a peripheral with this standard , then it’s hit the big time. I’ve seen plenty of USB 3.0 stuff at Costco, but nary a hint of Thunderbolt.

9 to 5 Mac published mock-ups of the envisioned MacBook Pro (Figure 1). As you can see, the new MacBook Pro on the left lacks a Firewire 800 port and an Ethernet port. I can see some adverse reaction to Apple removing these two ports. (And lest I attract a take-down letter, thanks to 9 to 5 mac for the illustration)


I would note that the mockup keeps the same rectangular form factor. The front and the back are the same height. The MacBook Air famously features a tapered back to front profile.

To achieve this thinness, Apple would have to make the SuperDrive an external option. Would they also swap out the roomy hard drive for an ultra-speedy (and expensive) SSD? We’ll just have to wait and see.

The Retina Display!

9 to 5 Mac made a big deal over the introduction of the Retina Display for Macs. Sources familiar with software strings left behind in OS X Lion 10.7.4 and Mountain Lion betas say that this Retina Display MacBook Pro features multiple Retina resolution modes, so users are able to adjust the sharpness and image sizes to their liking. Unlike Mac display settings of today, these Retina Display settings will not be marked with numbers/resolution sizes, but with descriptions such as big, small, or optimal, according to these software-based findings. The long-awaited “resolution independence” is upon us.

9 to 5 Mac’s inside sources could not provide a specific time as to when these new MacBook Pros would hit the stores other than the general and vague “summer 2012.” But Apple did promise us new and exciting stuff for 2012, so check back here regularly.

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