Rumor: Ultrathin 15-inch MacBook nearing production

By on October 31, 2011, 1:00 PM

A few months ago we started hearing rumors that Apple was performing final tests on a 15-inch laptop that will come in slimmer than the existing 15-inch MacBook Pro model, presumably boasting flash storage and no optical drive. Now, another report from Japanese blog Macotakara says it won’t be long before we see the new MacBook model in shops.

The report cites an Asian source claiming Apple has already finished development of an LCD test component for the anticipated notebook. It's unclear if this new system will be a part of Apple's Air or Pro family, or if the company is planning to extend the ultrathin design all the way to 17-inch systems.

Apple's MacBook Pro line has not seen a significant redesign since the company switched to its unibody design in 2008. Trimming down the laptop's profile while maintaining Pro performance seems like the next logical step, though the move to flash memory would probably need to happen gradually as storage space and price is still a concern.

The other question that remains to be answered is timing. Apple quietly updated its MacBook Pro lineup last week, adding slightly faster Intel Sandy Bridge processors, as well as improved AMD Radeon graphics in preparation for the holiday buying season. It seems very unlikely that the company would bring out a completely revamped model before the end of the year, but it remains to be seen if the update will come early 2012 based on current Intel Sandy Bridge processors or if Apple will hold off until Ivy Bridge is ready by sometime around mid-2012.

Intel confirmed last week that it has begun volume production of its 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, with systems arriving in Spring 2012. Ivy Bridge will support USB 3.0 and OpenCL-capable built-in graphics.




User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

Can't wait to not buy it

RH00D RH00D said:

Guest said:

Can't wait to not buy it

It only took one comment! Somehow I'm not surprised.

If you don't like Apple why did you even click on this article? Ever heard of the "a real tech enthusiast likes *all* tech" phrase before? (Don't take that too literally, I'm not saying you have to be in love with every company, just understand the underlying meaning.)

Guest said:

Just consider the first comment as a dislike button and ignore it. You don't have a problem with people clicking the dislike button on youtube, right?

Nima304 said:

Guest said:

Can't wait to not buy it

Made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

Guest said:

I must admit I thought this was pretty funny, don't take it too seriously.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple: "Now introducing Super Ultra, Ultra MacBook Nano"

Buyer: "ohhh snaapp"

Guest said:

In all honesty, we don't really have thin 3.7-4.2 lbs 15 inch laptops. Right now the 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros aren't very appealing, esp. given their price. They don't come with SSDs. I'd take a 500-750GB hard drive for a 128GB SSD. I have a 2.5 inch USB 3.0 hard drive if I need more data.

But if Apple sells the lightest and thinnest 15 and 17 inch MacBooks similar to what the MacAir is today, with SSD standard, then I can start to see the premium a lot more justified.

Any company that continues to improve the portability aspect of laptops gets a + in my books. Even if I don't end buying an Apple, it will force competitors to make their 15 inch laptops that much better.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The thickness of a laptop is insignificant next to its performance to dollar value. I'd proudly take a thick high performing laptop with a good value than an under-preforming laptop with a high price-tag and thin edges.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Guest said:

In all honesty, we don't really have thin 3.7-4.2 lbs 15 inch laptops. Right now the 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros aren't very appealing, esp. given their price. They don't come with SSDs. I'd take a 500-750GB hard drive for a 128GB SSD. I have a 2.5 inch USB 3.0 hard drive if I need more data.

But if Apple sells the lightest and thinnest 15 and 17 inch MacBooks similar to what the MacAir is today, with SSD standard, then I can start to see the premium a lot more justified.

Any company that continues to improve the portability aspect of laptops gets a + in my books. Even if I don't end buying an Apple, it will force competitors to make their 15 inch laptops that much better.

A "Guest" with reasoning powers... I am pleased to have witnessed this before my death.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

9Nails said:

The thickness of a laptop is insignificant next to its performance to dollar value... TO ME.

There you go. I fixed that for you.

While performance at the cost of size is agreeable to you, for some people it is not. Ever hear the phrase, "Fast. Good. Cheap... Pick any two."?

In this case it is "Performance. Portability. Cheap... Pick any two.".

ihaveaname said:

9Nails said:

The thickness of a laptop is insignificant next to its performance to dollar value. I'd proudly take a thick high performing laptop with a good value than an under-preforming laptop with a high price-tag and thin edges.

Then you're not really the sort of person Macs are made for. Mac's selling point was, is, and probably will be the prettiness factor, and I don't think they've really pretended otherwise.

And anyway, if you were hell bent upon getting best performance for your money, you'd buy a desktop. Laptops are bought for their portability; wanting more portability in a portable machine is completely valid.

Mudvayne819 said:

there's no performance in laptops, when will people understand this. performance = power, you have no power on batteries... unless you plug the laptop in the wall. you want performance, buy a desktop, you want portable device, buy a lagtop. also laptop have a life cycle. 3-4 years and its done. and i know what im talking about, i work in an apple repair center, i repair apple stuff everyday, and we also fix PCs and lagtops. when u have a mac and dont have applecare, and something break, its usualy the end of your product life because replacing the logic board, lcd, casing or keyboard usually cost so much. its almost always cheaper just to buy a new one, with lastest techs, warranty,etc. i have 3 lagtops and 1 macbook pro and i bought them and repair them myself, ill never buy that new because they are none-reussable, they need to introduce lagtops with components just like desktop PCs, so when something break, you can use everything you have and switch some minor stuff. every company make their own stuff, and nothing is compatible whatsoever. logic boards should just be something you insert in your lagtop-box and here you go. that would be worth it. but nope this will never happen.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Cannot slice bread yet - not thin enough by me, like'em apple or not

aj_the_kidd said:

@mudvayne819: Allot of people are choosing laptops over PC's these days, knowing this, companies price the cost of a new unit around or less then the price as repairing them, which is why they pump out new models in such frequency.

A thin, powerful and very capable laptop is very appealing to me, even if it is Apple I hate having to carry a heavy laptop, personally would sacrifice weight over performance, mainly because I don't need it. My usage is not that resource intensive

Guest said:

"Can't wait to not buy it"

mwhahahah, enjoyed that +1

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