Apple Planning to Launch Ultra Thin 15-inch MacBook Pros in Q1 2012

Submitted by lalit on July 26, 2011 - 7:58pm.

Today, MacRumors reported that Apple is working on a 15-inch ultra thin Mac notebook, which is already in late testing stages at Apple. Following this news TUAW also chimed in to reveal that these notebook will not be oversized Airs, but will be the next 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models. And added “we might see them under Christmas trees, with a few weeks to spare.”

It has been rumored for quite sometime that Apple would bring MacBook Air like design to the Pro models by dumping the optical drive and the hard drive. Also the recently launch Mac minis show that Apple has no inhibition when it comes to dropping an aging technology like optical drive. Our sources agree that Apple will introduce ultra thin MacBook Pro models, but they don’t agree with before Christmas launch and complete removal of hard drive.

Many MacBook Pro users need at least 500GB storage and putting a 500GB SSD in a laptop can increase the cost by almost $1,000. Apple could combine small onboard SSD (64GB or 128GB) for OS and applications along with high capacity hard drive for large files to offer best of both the worlds. Apple could have the tapered MacBook Air like design by using the freed up optical drive space for the hard drive.

As for the launch date, our sources say that TUAW is wrong and the ultra thin MacBook Pro won’t come to the market till Q1 2012. Apple will wait for the next generation 22nm Intel Ivy Bridge processors. These new processors will not only offer improved performance, but also better battery life.

One of our most reliable source says that there will be some unique design elements to the next generation MacBook Pros. The next MacBook Pro update will be the biggest since introduction of the Titanium PowerBooks in 2001.