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Sexy new renders show the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air side-by-side

Photo: Martin Hajek

Photo: Martin Hajek

The Apple Watch might be Cupertino’s most hotly anticipated product, but for my money, the two releases I’m most excited about this year are the 12-inch MacBook Air and the 12-inch iPad Pro. Outside of a few leaked images, though, we still have not seen either of these rumored devices in the flash.

Conceptual designer Martin Hajek is no stranger to turning rumors of upcoming Apple products into blisteringly sexy 3-D renders, and now he’s done it again with a series of renders showing the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air going head to head. Call it the battle of the 12-inchers, if you will!

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12-inch MacBook Air appears tantalizingly close in leaked pictures

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Your next Retina MacBook Air? Photo: iFanr

New photos leaked online apparently show the display portion of the forthcoming, eagerly-anticipated 12-inch MacBook Air: a device rumored to be Apple’s first Retina MacBook Air model.

In the photos, the display is compared in size to various current Apple devices, including existing MacBook models and the iPad Air 2.

Personally, I can’t wait for it! Feast your eyes on some of the other photos after the jump:

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Want a job? Quanta needs 30K people to build new 12-inch MacBook Airs

Photo: Apple

The 12-inch Retina MacBook Air is coming in early 2015. Photo: Apple

Are you ready for the thinner, radically-redesigned, 12-inch MacBook Air?

Apple certainly hopes so, because it’s reportedly piling on the pressure on to get Quanta Computer, its Taiwan-based manufacturer, to ramp up volume production of the notebook. The MacBook Air is set to be unveiled by Apple in the first quarter of this year, and to meet that kind of schedule Quanta is recruiting more workers for its production line.

And it’s not just a few workers it’s looking for, either!

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Sony’s new Walkman will cost you more than a MacBook Air

This thing is straight-up drool-worthy. Photo: Sony

This thing is straight-up drool-worthy. Photo: Sony

This new Android-powered ZX2 Walkman is for serious audiophiles only. Sony’s pushing the device as a high-resolution sound machine, and it’s set a price to match.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015$1,119.99 seems a bit much for a portable music player, but I really can’t seem to stop wanting one. The design is gorgeous, with a black matte finish and glorious actual buttons that just beg me to touch it.

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Xiaomi’s reputed MacBook Air ripoff turns out to be a hoax

Xiaomi plans to ripoff the MacBook Air next. Photo: Gizmochina

Don’t worry: Xiaomi isn’t being this brazen with its Apple-inspired designs. Yet. Photo: Gizmochina

The Apple blogosphere was ablaze yesterday with reports that the ripoff artists at Xiaomi had come up with the Chinese company’s most brazen copycat product yet. A supposedly leaked image showed a MacBook Air lookalike that was virtually indistinguishable from Cupertino’s offering with the exception of a Xiaomi logo.

Well, the picture is a fake, according to a Xiaomi representative.

While it’s great to hear that Apple’s intellectual property is upheld in this instance, however, it’s still less than ideal for Xiaomi for one very simple reason: just how believable the rumor was.

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Leaked Xiaomi laptop looks eerily similar to MacBook Air

Xiaomi plans to ripoff the MacBook Air next. Photo: Gizmochina

Xiaomi plans to ripoff the MacBook Air next. Photo: Gizmochina

Xiaomi just rode Apple’s coattails to the biggest startup valuation in world, but it appears the Chinese smartphone maker is ready to take its copying to new heights by getting into the laptop game with, you guessed it, a MacBook Air knockoff.

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12-inch Retina MacBook Air is coming in early 2015

Photo: Apple

The 12-inch Retina MacBook Air is coming in early 2015. Photo: Apple

Apple’s new 12-inch Retina MacBook Air is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter of 2015, manufactured by Quanta Computer, according to a new report released today.

The new notebook is expected to boast Intel’s Broadwell processors, and a chassis redesign which will further reduce the device’s already-slimline thickness and weight.

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HP’s new ultralight laptop is yet another MacBook Air doppelgänger

HP's new ultra-light laptop definitely isn't a MacBook. Photo: HP

HP’s new ultra-light laptop definitely isn’t a MacBook. Photo: HP

HP just announced its newest business laptops today – the HP EliteBook Folio 1020 – and even though the company is touting them as the thinnest and lightest ‘business-class’ notebooks ever made, they certainly look a hell of lot like the MacBook Air.

This isn’t the first time HP’s design team ripped off Apple’s work, but the copycats have fine-tuned the design of their previous MacBook Air rip-off, the 1040, by removing the unsightly ventilation fan on the side, so it looks even more Apple-esque.

Here’s another look:

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Microsoft’s latest ad goes hard on the MacBook Air

Microsoft’s latest ad goes hard on the MacBook Air

Microsoft has been taking so many shots at Apple as of late that you could be forgiven for thinking we’ve slipped back through a wormhole to 1996. This tendency doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either, if you go on Microsoft’s latest ad.

Called “Let’s dance,” the ad compares Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro convertible laptop to Apple’s MacBook Air, showing them side-by-side and comparing them on size and features. And, wouldn’t you know it, Microsoft’s preferred option comes out on top.

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Sorry, there won’t be a Retina MacBook Air this Thursday

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Last week we reported on how new, slimmer 12-inch Retina MacBook Airs have supposedly entered production, set to arrive in iPhone-inspired silver, gold and space gray color options.

With that being the case, some people have been asking whether we’re going to see the MacBook refresh at this Thursday’s Apple event.

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