Following yesterday’s report that a new ultra-slim 15-inch MacBook is in final testing at Apple’s labs, we’ve learned through a second report that Apple is also preparing an ultra-slim 17″ notebook as well.
While a new ultra-slim 15″ MacBook could possibly represent either an upcoming refresh of the MacBook Pro or a possible new 15″ MacBook Air, the fact that a new 17″ model is also reportedly in the works makes it seem much more likely that the new slimmed-down models represent a future generation of the MacBook Pro.
Further, considering that the reports have failed to include mention of a new slimmed-down 13″ MacBook of any kind, it’s also very possible (in fact I’d consider it somewhat likely) that Apple is looking to combine the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models into a single line of notebooks.
While the 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs could serve as lower-cost laptops that can be taken anywhere, the new thinner 15″ and 17″ models could feature additional RAM, faster processors, and a possible option to add in a second hard drive (with the removal of the optical drive, of course) to use in conjunction with the SSD that would likely be built in to the new models.
Considering the popularity and immense success of all the generations of the MacBook Air so far, it doesn’t take much to surmise that thinness and lightness are definitely important consumer factors in laptops, and design factors that are important to Apple, thus it would not be even remotely surprising to see the next generation of MacBook Pros take a few notes out of the MacBook Air’s design book.
Further, considering that Apple has removed the optical drive from all of their new Mac Minis, it no longer seems like much of a stretch that they’d continue forward and remove the optical drives from the MacBook Pro line as well.