Apple Working On a Mysterious, Ultra-Thin 15-inch MacBook [Rumor]

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mysterious super thin macbook

Hot on the heels of the new MacBook Air, Apple looks to already be working on a mysterious, “ultra-thin” 15-inch Macbook to add to the mix.

Not much is known about what this upcoming notebook from Apple will be like, but the MacBook Pro line hasn’t seen a refresh since February. Could it be an Air-style MBP?

MacRumors received word of a new notebook reaching the final testing stages at Apple:

“Apple is working on a 15” ultra-thin Mac notebook, MacRumors has learned. We aren’t certain if it will be called a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, but we do know that it is already in late testing stages at Apple. “

Apple’s new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have become the company’s entry-level notebooks, starting at $999. The white Macbook was phased out with the updated Air’s introduction, so Apple has consolidated its notebook line to just the Air and Pro.

As it is wont to do, Apple will eventually start unifying the Air and Pro notebooks. The most obvious feature lacking in the MacBook Pro at this point is the lack of a pre-installed SSD. Apple could also ditch the Pro’s optical drive as it did with the new Mac Mini, making room for a secondary SSD drive or even more battery.

MacRumors doesn’t have an expected release date on this upcoming MacBook, but it could hit the shelves before the holidays. Apple has been known to traditionally hold a Mac-centric event around October, so there’s a chance this ultra-thin notebook could be unveiled then.

Thoughts?

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  • TylerHoj

    Dream = come true. 

  • ZappCatt

    Hopefully once they finish this, they can put a higher resolution screen on the 13″ MBP

  • TylerHoj

    Actual thoughts…an 11 and 13 inch notebook do not offer enough screen real-estate. They’re more like dinky professional toys for coffee shop guru’s, college kids, and bloggers. This rumour makes me incredibly happy…now where’s the ultra-thin 17” MacBook Pro? 

  • Brandon Storck

    hmm, My guess it’s a Hybrid of some sort. A Macbook Air-Pro or Pro-Air if you will. My guess is it will cost a considerable amount more than either of the base 13″ Air and Macbook Pro. But for those with deep pockets it will surly be computing excellence if it goes down the Hybrid route.

  • Sydney Nichols

    Ugh, they need to keep the optical drive in at least one laptop they have. People still use CDs and DVDs! We’re not totally streaming yet!

  • 69Voltage

     I’ve been waiting for something like this. One reason I haven’t gone to the MBA is a 13″ screen is just too small for my tastes. And I don’t need an optical drive, as I do all of my burning needs via an external on the Mac Mini.

  • VacantPsalm

    All I want is my two storage slots in the 17″ model. Rather those are standard 2.5″ or Air style Flash I want two of them. My current 17″ MacBook Pro has two hard drives because I switched out the DVD drive and it works great. If there’s only one slot and no way to get a second one then I will be very sad face.

    Well, there are other things I want like a bigger trackpad. But in the HDD/Superdrive area that’s all I want.

  • techgeek01

    I don’t mind this IF the performance is kept the same.  So basically, Quad-core CPU, 8GB ram, 512MB/1GB graphics memory and 256/512GB SSD in the slimmer body.

  • John Branham

    I personally can’t see the MBP being as powerful as they are/need to be and being Air-Style at this time. I am still slightly shocked the Air took over the Macbook line. Agree, disagree? I’d love to hear your opinion. 

  • Anon

    Dream 15″ Macbook Air:
    Dual or Quad Core i7, pref quad
    8gb mem
    512 SSD
    No optical
    3G (I know, unrealistic)
    thin as 13″ Air
    Ultra high res display

    Prediction: 
    If this rumor is true, Apple is on a path to dramatically simplify its laptop offerings sooner than we think. It will drop the “pro” moniker and simply call the line “MacAir” or “AirBook” or some such and offer it 11, 13, 15 and 17 inch models. 

  • Tash Wahid

    Ive been waiting for this! Time to see the 11 inch if this is true.

  • Iliy Naidenoff

    …. WORD!

  • Techy8789

    I’ve been thinking for a while that the next Pro could have a redesign.  It would be thinner and would lack a CD drive.  Also, if it were released in October, that would be about time for a refresh. On the other hand, since the MacBook Pro is “pro”, it may keep the CD drive, thus ruling out a thinner MBP.  Also, if the Air is the new baseline model, a 15 inch model would make some sense, but a 17 inch model would be too big for the MBA’s thickness.

  • Techy8789

    I’ve been thinking for a while that the next Pro could have a redesign.  It would be thinner and would lack a CD drive.  Also, if it were released in October, that would be about time for a refresh. On the other hand, since the MacBook Pro is “pro”, it may keep the CD drive, thus ruling out a thinner MBP.  Also, if the Air is the new baseline model, a 15 inch model would make some sense, but a 17 inch model would be too big for the MBA’s thickness.

  • John Branham

    gotta start somewhere. apple is good at “forcing” us to move on

  • Mike Radie

    A 15 -inch MacBook Air/Pro would be great, I was getting ready to get a new MBP, but may just wait a few more months to see if this is real or not. It would also be great if the alleged new machine would have a num pad on it.

  • Josh Oldenburg

    Ooh, levitation!

  • Jdsonice

    True, but one can always buy an external drive for occasional use. 

  • Clayton Zimmerman

    I say it’s the MacBook.  They didn’t get rid of it, they were just redesigning/upgrading/shrinking it and added some screen real-estate.  Why not?  Something thin like the Air, but bigger with a FireWire port, a third USB port and a disc drive.

  • Clayton Zimmerman

    I say it’s the MacBook.  They didn’t get rid of it, they were just redesigning/upgrading/shrinking it and added some screen real-estate.  Why not?  Something thin like the Air, but bigger with a FireWire port, a third USB port and a disc drive.I say it’s the MacBook.  They didn’t get rid of it, they were just redesigning/upgrading/shrinking it and added some screen real-estate.  Why not?  Something thin like the Air, but bigger with a FireWire port, a third USB port and a disc drive.

  • TylerHoj

    If Apple doesn’t remove the optical drive and possibly the ethernet port from the MacBook Pro line there’s LITERALLY no room to make it slimmer. Ask anyone at iFixit and I’m sure they’ll agree. Perhaps an addition to the “Air” family or a possible “product shift” [for the MacBook Pro line] as announced in the earnings call. 

  • TylerHoj

    Buy an Apple superdrive or one of the thousands of cheaper external DVD drives…or cry about it. They’ve removed the optical drive from the Mac Mini, it’s almost a given for the MacBook Pro line, ESPECIALLY with the amazing benchmark results the 13” Air has been getting. 

  • Ryan Collins

    I disagree. I haven’t used an optical drive in three years. There hasn’t been a point. I have yet to find something I can’t stream or download. 

  • lwdesign1

    Don’t take away the Superdrive in the MacBook Pros! I can see a place for a 15″ MacBook Air without a Superdrive, BUT leave the MacBook Pros alone as I use my Superdrive for lots of stuff: burning CDs and DVDs for backup and for files I send to clients, loading music to iTunes from existing CDs, installing software not purchased online, etc. I don’t want to have to purchase a peripheral device to have to use the Superdrive.

  • Andreas Vandenberghe

    I use it all the time for watching Dvd’s. and lately for reinstalling SNOW LEOPARD !
    I can’t believe the fanbois love this :O

  • Michael Rygaard

    “mysterious” – soo.. it got super powers – or is it utilizing quantum computing ?
    -If not perhaps its just yet another rumor (true or not) about the evolution of apple products – there is nothing breaking news or “mysterious” about a product that in each iteration gets smaller and faster. – not even if they this time close the gap between MBA and MBP form facktor.

  • Michael Rygaard

    the last time i usede a dvd/cd… was…. 3 years ago… when i had to re install WOW…

  • Eddie Yu

    Look forward to see the end of optical drive…So all the Macbook can be ULTRA????

  • cleanenergy4nc

    I resisted the idea of removing optical drives from Apple products at first, but after nearly a year with my Macbook Air I can say that I don’t miss it. And with four Macs in the house, two desktop and two mobile, I get that I only need one optical drive (preferably connected via Thunderbolt and/or USB). Then when I need to use the drive I just plug into whichever computer needs it. Actually a pretty smart idea since I don’t have to pay for redundant devices when one will do.

  • cleanenergy4nc

    John, the only thing I can say about Macbook Air replacing the aging Macbook line is: Use a Macbook Air everyday for a few months and you will not doubt Apple’s choices any longer. It is even better to use everyday than the reviews are saying. I have had mine for nearly a year. I love it.

  • huyett

    This seems far fetched.

  • Samuraiartguy

    The page is turning, folks.

    Optical Drive’s days are numbered, my guess is that it’s going off the MacBook Pro next, then the iMac — probably on the next update cycle.  Eventually, it’ll drop off the Mac Pro, first it won’t be installed in standard models, but a BTO option. Then they’ll gone altogether and so will the bays. Even though audio and video pros still have need and use for DVDs and CDs, they are fading from general use.  But Optical drives will be cheap external add-on’s like floppy drives are now.

    But don’t get too worried about the Mac Pro–or too impatient, either. Apple’s update cycles for the MP are typically getting on a YEAR AND A HALF. The next one certainly won’t come before Intel releases the Sandy Bridge-E Xeon CPUs, not likely before 1Q2012, according to Intel-watchers. But Apple has surprised us in the past. If the Optical-free laptops and mini’s are successful, they’ll be that much more emboldened to EOL optical drives altogether.

    They certainly seem to be getting out of the “puttting discs in boxes” biz.

  • Samuraiartguy

    I have some thoughts here:
    http://www.fantastic-realities