Apple Could Ship Air-Like MacBook Pros Starting This Spring [Report]

Apple Could Ship Air-Like MacBook Pros Starting This Spring [Report]

Ever since the redesigned MacBook Air first debuted back in late 2010, the rumor mill has strongly indicated that Apple would redesign its MacBook Pro line of laptops to suit, ditching their bulkier chassises, optical drives and slow, spinning hard drives for Air-like slimness and ubiquitous SSDs. But when is it actually going to happen?

It looks like it might finally happen in 2012, with a report now claiming that Apple “plans to exit 2012 having completed a top-to bottom revamp of its notebooks lineup that will see new MacBook Pros adopt the same design traits [as the] MacBook Air.”

In an extremely vaguely sourced report rife with open speculation, AppleInsider says that new MacBook Pros in 2012 will feature “new, ultra-thin unibody enclosures that jettison yesteryear technologies like optical disk drives and traditional hard drives in favor of models with lightweight chassis that employ flash-memory based solid-state drives, instant-on capabilities, extended battery life, and rely on digital distribution for software and media.”

Like the current MacBook Pros, these newer, Air-like Pros will come in 15-inch and 17-inch varieties. AppleInsider says that they will be built around Intel’s forthcoming Ivy Bridge architecture, rely heavily on Thunderbolt and could start shipping as early as late April or early May.

Nothing in this report stands out to us as implausible. In fact, it all seems like a pretty safe bet. It’s been three years since the MacBook Pro lineup has seen a major overhaul, and at this point, it’s pretty clear that a lot of the technology of the Pro line-up is behind-the-times: mainly, the use of HDDs and optical drives instead of SSDs and Thunderbolt.

My guess is that in the new MacBook Pros, we’ll see the total abandoning of optical drives, but HDDs will still stick around. The new MacBook Pros will boot off of smaller SSD drives, but feature secondary backup spinning hard drives for storing media. Slim the overall design down, add Thunderbolt and (wishfully) a Retina Quality HiDPI display panel and you’ve got a laptop that handily beats any other pro-level notebook on the market.

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  • FriarNurgle

    Anyone want to buy an early 2011 MBP?

  • alexheath

    I’m most excited about this refresh for 2012. I’ve been waiting to abandon my two-year-old Pro, and it looks like I’ll be getting a sweet upgrade in the next couple months. :)

  • Gary Chenoweth

    it;s not going to happen
     

  • Brandon Jeffers

    ooh please let this happen i would really enjoy a lighter thinner macBook Pro

  • Boris Terekidi

    Now that’s something i am definitely looking forward to.

  • BuckyThreadkiller

    A 17 inch retina display would be amazing. How about a built-in 4G wireless modem as well and then we can do away with physical media all together. 

  • sn0wball

    off the topic. one of the reasons why i bought an iphone 4S. I like to think of it as 4Steve. This may be the last product that has Steve Jobs’ perfection. Sure the iphone 5 and maybe even the iphone 6 will have Steve Jobs written all over them, but who’s to say that by the time they’re released, Tim Cook(great guy, but we’ve yet to see) wont change something. Maybe some of you also consider iPhone4Steve?:)

  • babdoc

    The current MBP line is already leaps and bounds above many bulky PCs. They’re honestly already very light and sleek. This would definitely be a huge step forward. I can imagine a 17″ MBP that’s as thin as a MBA. I’d be lying of I said I dont have goosebumps thinking about it. :-)

  • TechTeich

    I’m sorry but using things like “Retina Display” for computers just shows the move away from OS X and more towards iOS, this this really the future of computing? 

  • bankerrahul

    I need to get a new macbook very soon! I really hope they release it very soon and I get it before I leave Paris. Can’t wait to get my hands on to this device!

  • Richard

    yes

  • Richard

    I’m hoping they will have an optional 2GB GPU or 4GB, that would make it worth it to me!! oh yeah and touch screen too…

  • Dante Fiero

    How does a high resolution display “show the move the move… towards iOS” exactly?

  • Len Williams

    I think these Air-like MBPs are inevitable.

  • TechTeich

    By not using terms like “high resolution” and using iOS marketing catch phrases like “Retina Display.” To me is shows an “iOSification” and over simplification of OS X. I mean hiding the library folder..really?

  • Barton Lynch

    I can’t wait! This will be my first Mac for when I go to college!! :D

  • kenci59

    Hybrid SSD and conventional Hard drive seems a logical way to go.

  • howie_isaacks

    They will get announced the moment my new MacBook Pro arrives this week!  Seriously…  If they can’t make these with a minimum of 500GB SSD without the price being sky high, I wouldn’t buy one.  I was tempted to buy a MacBook Air this time around but two things held me back:  storage and RAM.  I need more than 256GB of storage, and I need at least 8GB of RAM.  Adding a 500GB SSD to my new MacBook Pro would have cost $1200 more.

  • BelievetheHype

    Will they still make a 13″ MBP with the new design? I personally think it’s the perfect size for a laptop :)

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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