We first heard of an ultra-portable MacBook back in January when some leaked sketches made it to the web. Back then the rumor was Apple was struggling to reduce the size and weight of such laptop without sacrificing the built-in optical drive.

Apple Insider is now reporting that we may see a lightweight model debuting next January during the annual Macworld Expo. The few specs they mention include a 13" inch screen and a design that could be "50 percent lighter and strikingly slimmer" than the current MacBook Pro. Now the problem with such statement is that the MacBook Pro is not a small model as it's meant to target the high-end portable market and be used as a desktop replacement.

Apple fans will rejoice with an additional model to choose from nonetheless. The current Mac portable line up is limited to the standard MacBook and the aluminum Pros, both of which weight in at 5+ pounds, so a lighter model should be joining the leagues of the Thinkpad X series, the highly regarded Toshiba Portege R500 and the smaller Sony Vaios. High-end features such as LED backlit displays and solid state drives are in order for a potential early 2008 launch, but from what are hearing, no built-in optical drive.