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Apple Preparing to Launch New Ultra-Thin MacBook Pro With Retina Display and USB 3

Apple Preparing to Launch New Ultra-Thin MacBook Pro With Retina Display and USB 3

As summer approaches (and the release of OS X Mountain Lion), and with most of Apple’s Mac lineup due for a refresh, many are anxiously awaiting the release of new Macs based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge hardware.

A new report has surfaced regarding Apple’s forthcoming MacBook Pro update. According to a source speaking to 9to5Mac, Apple is preparing to release a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with an ultra-thin design, a Retina display, USB 3, and of course, Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors.

Apple is putting the finishing touches on an entirely new 15-inch MacBook Pro that is the outcome of years of research and development in ultra-thin mobile computing and super-high-resolution displays. According to trusted sources in Apple’s supply chain, who have handled prototype components and casings for the new Apple notebook, the computer is currently undergoing test production rounds. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is coming this summer, and it features an ultra-thin design, a “jaw-dropping” Retina Display, and super-fast USB 3.

In order to make the MacBook Pro even thinner, Apple has removed the optical drive entirely – a move which is unsurprising, considering that the optical drive was removed from the Mac Mini last year, and that Apple is continually moving away from physical media in favor of the Mac App Store and iTunes downloads.

Interestingly, Apple has also eliminated the traditional power button, and has instead placed the power button directly on the keyboard, replacing the eject key. The report also reveals references to NVidia’s GT 650M graphics chip, which may be included in the upcoming MacBooks.

While the report doesn’t provide any details about an expected launch, it’s likely that the release of new Macs will fall in line with the release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Apple’s World-Wide Developer Conference will be held from June 11-15, and it is possible that Apple could announce Mountain Lion, as well as new Macs, at the event. We also recently received information to suggest that new Macs, as well as OS X Mountain Lion, could be released this July.

The report cites “trusteed sources” within Apple’s supply chain. It’s worth noting that 9to5Mac has a fairly decent track record for this type of rumor, and the claims within the report  do seem to be fairly credible.

We’ll keep you updated on any new information as it emerges.

Update: Bloomberg has seemingly confirmed this rumor with a report of their own, suggesting that Apple is preparing to launch the new MacBook Pro models at WWDC.