Report: New MacBook Pros Will Be Retina Display, USB 3.0 Monster Machines

Illustration for article titled Report: New MacBook Pros Will Be Retina Display, USB 3.0 Monster Machines

It's always best not to put too much stock in the old familiar "supply chain sources," but 9to5Mac knows a guy who knows a guy who has confirmed what we've always thought about Apple's next MacBook Pros: They're going to be thin, fast, and gorgeous.

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Oh, and Apple's ditching Ethernet.

According to the report, this summer's MacBook Pros are indeed going to be much thinner than the current iteration, but won't just be MacBook Air clones; they're going to be flat, not tapered, more of a pancake than a blade. No actual dimensions are available at this time, but given that ultrabooks are typically under an inch thick, expect something within that ballpark.

To achieve that, the MBP is going on a strict diet of no optical drives and no Ethernet port (which, hey, hope you went with the SuperBoost XXXtreme Wi-Fi bundle). It would also make sense for the new MBP to follow the MBA into SSD exclusivity, but 9to5Mac doesn't appear to have intel on storage. An SSD might also have too limited a capacity for Apple's pro-level users.

Other highlights that seem on surer footing? That retina display, which had been foretold by the ultra-high resolution app icons in the latest iteration of Mountain Lion. And USB 3.0 will make for speedy transfers. Wait, you're thinking, Why would Apple embrace USB 3.0 when it has Thunderbolt already? And that is a very appropriate question! Apparently the new MBP will offer both, which sounds like a decent hedge on Apple's part in case Thunderbolt doesn't take off for some time. Which, at this rate, fair assumption.

So again, the 9to5Mac report tells us much of what we'd already suspected. But between it and those highly appealing leaked benchmarks from earlier, it's at least comforting to know that we're at this point unlikely to end up disappointed. And any remaining questions should be answered at WWDC in June. [9to5Mac]

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DISCUSSION

willcapellaro
willcapellaro

"Now without lettuce"

Here, let me save the MBP line-up:

Ethernet, can we look into just making the port super tiny, and selling a little ethernet-to-microethernet adapter (not a dongle) for travel, otherwise for home just selling an apple ethernet-to-micro-ethernet cable. Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter could also work if we need to get rid of that port entirely.

Second on Optical - Look back at Powerbook G3 offerings, with their dual hot-swappable bays. I had the Powerbook Firewire model. For my bay pods, I had a zip drive, an optical drive, and a spacer (made for a lighter laptop). I swapped them occassionally with ease, it was nice.

Not saying that the bays needs to be hot swappable, but let people choose what they want (right now, many might want a SSD+HDD combo), allow them to change them later as needed, and not void Applecare for customizing their workstations.

A dock investigation could be nice to, as these are the pro models and desktop use case is assumed. Ports and drives when you're at home/at work is an acceptable compromise for me.

Alternate on Optical - make a smaller drive by letting half the CD protrude outside the device. Why has nobody done this? Before disc are obsolete, someone should.

Ooh I also want an secret internal USB port so I can put my Logitech mouse dongle in there.

But I have high hopes that despite appearances Apple understands that it has professional users who don't mind lugging tech around, and will do the right thing. It may take some truly optional relics away, but it will also give us some value-addeds as well that will help us take our medicine.