Thinner, lighter 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros due as soon as April, sources say

“Apple is expected to launch new MacBook Pro notebooks with an even thinner and lighter design than existing models in April, at the soonest,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

“When paired with the company’s upcoming Mountain Lion operating system as well as Apple’s MacBook Air models, the product lines are expected to create a significant threat against notebook players’ ultrabooks, according to sources from the upstream supply chain,” Lee and Tsai report.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

22 Comments

  1. While I’m hopeful they didn’t say anything about doing this, I am sill concerned that thinner means we’re all going to have to go to SSD drives and sacrifice the number of GB to do so. I feel like a broken record on this subject, but hopefully if enough noise is generated on this, Apple will notice and take this into consideration. Storage space is king. I got a 750GB hard drive with my latest MacBook Pro, and I don’t want to have to have my next one drop to only 512GB and have to pay $1,300 more for the privilege. I don’t care what the advantages of SSD are over hard drives. I want more GB, not less.

      1. Ha, ha, very funny, RL Seriouisly, I’m talking about professional grade programs that actually use internal storage space while you’re creating files. I tried making a video in iMovie while storing the project on a USB hard drive. Froze the program. When I moved it back to the internal, it worked again. Now if that happens in iMovie, what would happen with Logic, Digital Performer, Final Cut Pro, etc? There’s a reason we get MacBook Pros and not the MacBook Air. Again, storage space is king.

          1. Now you are talking about hauling an external hard drive and potentially an external optical drive for many professionals workflow.
            As much as I like SSDs and dislike optical disks, this is a pain for many.

            It will be interesting to see what happens. Perhaps Apple would be better off with a 15″ Air, while leaving the Pro line as is.

            1. Agreed, Bill. Besides, you’re not just talking about the hassle of carrying external peripherals. You’re talking about the cost of acquiring those peripherals. I mean, I personally can see the removal of the optical drive the same way as the removal of the floppy drive about ten years ago. CD-Rs gave you bigger storage than floppies, and emailing files became easier and easier anyway. But this is something different. Here, we’re literally talking about paying more to get fewer gigabytes of storage. This isn’t like the debate about removing the floppy drive, this is like the debate about what’s going on over in the iPad thread about them jacking up the prices on the new iPad 3 models. When has Apple made an upgrade that made you pay more for less?

        1. The key to the equation is thunderbolt, Eric. You use your internal for your programs, and an external thunderbolt drive for your big data. Depending on the drive, every bit as fast as your internal.

  2. Maybe we’re going to go full circle with laptops. In the bad old days, laptops weighed 30 lbs or so. If the MBP goes MBA-style, the worker bees will be carrying a 3-lb laptop and 27 lbs of add-ons to get any work done on the road.

  3. Eric et al,

    This will happen, and we may have to sacrifice a few GB to make it happen. It is a huge speed gain, though. I put a 256GB SSD in my late-2008 MBP and it is as fast as a brand new MBP with spinning HDD in the everyday tasks that 99% of the market complete. It is also way faster at importing, exporting and cutting video and photos than it was with a HDD. With SSD standard and the newest Intel processors the new MBPs will be far superior to previous models.

    And you may be surprised that with the increased volume Apple will do by making SSDs standard, the prices will also drop. Those who do pro-grade video work already have redundant RAID storage solutions anyway.

    And I’ve used my optical drive 10 times in the 3 years I’ve owned my machine. Won’t miss that one. Have an iMac I can access for optical drive support if I need to. And I use my optical drive 10x more than 95% of the people I know.

    –mAc

    1. While speed is valuable, no doubt, I have a 750GB hard drive in my MBP, and to drop down to 256GB is way too much to sacrifice, IMO. I still want the hard drive option (or maybe a dual SSD/HDD option) until they can get the same storage capacity in SSD as is currently available in HDD.

      1. It is a valid point that you make, however I feel that Apple will move the opposite direction because your position is the one of a very small number of computer users.

        I consider myself to be somewhat of a “prosumer” and I don’t even have 256GB filled. And I have a video camera that I use to capture family events. I just don’t see 99% of the total market having a need for greater than 500GB, and 95% of the market having a need for greater than 250GB. And like I said, the people who do probably already have hard-wired external drives in place already.

        Apple typically tailors their products for the majority of the market and they don’t often cater to niche needs anymore. This is good and bad, but it is definitely their style as of late. Yes, they have always had the pro markets cornered, but I think they probably realized that they can make much more money off 2% of the consumer market than they can off 90% of the pro market. And the pros aren’t going to move to Windows anyway. Like it or not, it is a savvy business decision.

        –mAc

        1. My position may be that of a small number of users, but I would argue that the number of Mac Pro users is a small percentage of overall Mac users as well, and yet the Mac Pro line still lives. In fact, I’d venture to say there are more MBP users than Mac Pro users, and those of us who are MBP users probably value the MBP for the simple reason that it does offer that high volume of internal storage space instead of the MacBook Air. I definitely see the Air taking over the vast majority of the consumer, and yes, perhaps even more of the prosumer market, but I hope they don’t neglect the things that we love about our MacBook Pros, which is, the high storage space. (I’m sure the Mac Pro users would likewise balk to hear someone say, “Oh, we can make a Mac Pro be more like the iMac or the Mac Mini!”)

  4. I think this article will help me make my case on why the MBP still needs full hard drives instead of just dropping internal GB storage in favor of SSDs.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2011/02/22/ipad-versus-macbook-air-which-is-right-for-you/

    I know it’s about the MBA vs. the iPad, but it shows that if you want a computer that is a work machine but with light storage needs, the computer for you is the MBA. If they drop the storage capacity of the MBP, then there’s nothing to distinguish it from the MBA. The draw of the MBP is the storage capacity, and as I’ve said a million times before (and I’ll keep repeating myself for as long as the rumors about dropping HDDs persist), storage space is king.

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