The latest round of Apple rumors has Steve Jobs launching a new redesign of the MacBook Pro in April 2011 with solid-state drives and the Intel Light Peak optical cable technology.
Apple is notoriously reticent about providing information about upcoming
products, but that doesn't stop the Apple faithful from speculating. The latest
rumor making the rounds of Apple blogs predicts the next MacBook Pro notebook
will move to solid-state drives.
Mark Reschke from the Three-Guys-And-A-Podcast
blog wrote Nov. 24 that Apple will be launching the "all-new MacBook
Pro" design with SSDs in April 2011. He correctly predicted the launch of
a new MacBook Air in September.
The new design centers on the notebook's optical drives, or rather the lack
of them. "The new MacBook Pros will move to solid state storage, up to
512GB, remove the optical drive, and we believe Light Peak is being pushed to
make its first-ever entrance into the market, another Apple exclusive,"
Intel's Light Peak
is a high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect multiple
electronic devices, including peripherals, displays and disk drives. While the
Light Peak connectors will be smaller with cables that are longer, thinner and
more flexible, the technology will be capable of transferring data at blazing
speeds, starting at 10Gb per second, according to Intel.
Even though Light Peak
is an Intel project, there is rampant speculation that Apple is collaborating
with Intel on the technology. Many blogs are also claiming that it will be
Apple exclusive when it first hits the market
While Apple has never commented on its involvement with Light
Peak, sources told CNET
year, "Apple is an innovating force in the industry and makes requests
that nobody else does, and that only helps innovation."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs also recently said,
"We don't see USB
taking off this time." Many Apple watchers have taken this statement
as additional evidence that the new Macs will get Light
Intel has said customers will have Light
Peak components before the end of
2010 and that peripherals and PCs with Light
Peak connectors will appear on the
market in 2011. With Reschke's April prediction, the timing is not too far off
for Light Peak
to be in the MacBook Pro.
"We don't believe this will be a simple refresh of the MacBook Pro;
rather, Apple will deliver an all-out redesign, the big brother of the MacBook
air," Reschke wrote. This is in line with Jobs telling the crowd during
the MacBook Air launch that they can expect similar things from all MacBook
models in the future.
The MacBook Pro was last refreshed in April, with the addition of the Core
i5 and i7 options. While SSDs have been available as options on the MacBook Pro
line, the new redesign would mean a significant boost in processing power
between the entry-level MacBook line and the high-end Pro machines. The
predicted MacBook Pros will last longer, run quieter, and be lighter and more
power-efficient because there will be next to no moving parts within the case.
There is also some speculation that dropping the internal DVD
drive paves the way for Apple to come out with its own brand of external DVD
player/burner with Light Peak
to work with the MacBook Pro.
Reschke noted that Apple is likely to leave one legacy 15-inch design in the
lineup for those not yet comfortable with the shift to solid-state drives and
no optical drive. He speculated that the new MacBook Pros will start at $1,999
and scale up according to configuration.