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Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro casing design revealed

post #1 of 96
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Photos that reveal the industrial design of Apple Inc.'s next-generation MacBook Pro notebooks have been making the rounds on the Internet since late last week, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the ongoing development of the new 15- and 17-inch professional notebooks are now confirming that an image of an unfamiliar and deconstructed Apple notebook enclsoure published by a Chinese blog on Saturday is in fact that of an authentic next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro shell.

Although the enclosure shown in the photo appears to be a slightly dated prototype that has somehow found its way into the wild, casings currently sitting in Apple's labs are said to be nearly identical, as the overall design has not changed.

The photos show a trademark aluminum Apple notebook enclosure that appears slightly thinner than the one employed by the current MacBook Pro. The edges of the casing are also more tapered, somewhat akin to the design of the company's relatively new 13-inch MacBook Air.

Also visible from the photo is a small rectangular recess on the bottom casing, about three quarters of the way up on the right hand side. People familiar with the design say this recess will be fitted with a latch in the shipping product that will release the notebook's long and narrow battery cover.



The cover spans the entire length of the notebook and comprises approximately 25 percent of the bottom casing, bleeding out and over one edge. Once removed, it will not only provide access to the MacBook Pro's battery but also its hard disk drive, those same people say. The change appears to reflect a similar move for the 13-inch MacBook in 2006.



It's unclear whether Apple's decision to make the hard drive more readily accessible will ultimately allow users to perform their own upgrades without voiding warranties. Similarly, it's unclear if the move will make it trivial for users to pop out their traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and replace them with solid state drives (SSDs) as flash media storage becomes more affordable.

The photo of the new MacBook Pro's top shell is not particularly revealing, and also largely mirrors that of the MacBook Air. The recessed Apple logo contains three holes that are further recessed to the depth of the Apple logo's leaf. In the shipping product, it's speculated these holes (and the leaf) will be hollowed out so that light from the notebook's LED-backlit display can shine through and illuminate the same kind of a semi-transparent white Apple logo seen on today's models.

Back in April, AppleInsider was first to report that Apple's existing MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks would be the last of their breed, as both product families were destined for major design changes that would see their appearance mirror that of the August 2007 aluminum iMacs and January 2008 MacBook Air.

Among those reported changes were instances of matte black on portions of the casings (keyboards), the adoption of oversized trackpads, and a move away from plastic enclosures on the MacBook and towards ones constructed from more eco-friendly materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel.



The report also mentioned that while the footprints of the notebooks would remain largely unchanged, Apple had conducted "some trimming around the edges, similar to -- but nowhere near the same magnitude -- as what was accomplished with the MacBook Air, and to a lesser extent, the rear of the aluminum iMacs."

These changes aside, rumor has it there may be some additional surprises in store when Apple gets around to refreshing its MacBook lines in the coming months. AppleInsider is working to sort out those details and hopes to have some additional information on the matter once the iPhone 3G frenzy settles down.
post #2 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

People familiar with the ongoing development of the new 15- and 17-inch professional notebooks are now confirming that an image of an unfamiliar and deconstructed Apple notebook enclsoure published by a Chinese blog on Saturday is in fact that of an authentic next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro shell.

That's not proof enough for me, sorry. I'll believe it when I see it. And on that note, if I see it without a backlit Apple logo, I'll be very disappointed.

The ability to remove one entire long-side end of the bottom half of the clamshell also isn't doing it for me. If it doesn't line up just so, it will look hideous (more hideous than the fact that they're adding a visible seam to an otherwise perfect look).
post #3 of 96
Umm... where would you put the memory?

And another important consideration is that sticking the battery at the back where the fans (and heat) are isn't that smart of an idea. But we'll see what happens.
post #4 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaAnt View Post

That's not proof enough for me, sorry. I'll believe it when I see it. And on that note, if I see it without a backlit Apple logo, I'll be very disappointed.

The ability to remove one entire long-side end of the bottom half of the clamshell also isn't doing it for me. If it doesn't line up just so, it will look hideous (more hideous than the fact that they're adding a visible seam to an otherwise perfect look).

Agreed, I think that the new MBPs will have the same battery layout as the current MBs e.g a rectangular block concealed underneath, the proposed battery configuration doesn't seem very like something Apple would do
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post #5 of 96
As this is probably legit, and Apple is slowing evolving the product line to emulate the new iMac, what Im curious about is the MacPro. Im wondering if Apple will overhaul the case to reflect any stylized aspects of the iMac. My gut tells me, probably not, due to the HW inside and it needing space and a little more cooling I assume. Then again who knows?
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post #6 of 96
someone is gonna have to start looking for work!



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this thread had one comment, but the RED headline, on the main page, obviously then the RED does not signify a popular (in the heavily posted to sense) topic.
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post #7 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

someone is gonna have to start looking for work!

I don't know - these have been floating around for a while, and I haven't heard of Apple sending any cease and desist letters.
post #8 of 96
We believe these now? Seems possible. Glad to see something aside from a phone, even if its a fake.
post #9 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Umm... where would you put the memory?

And another important consideration is that sticking the battery at the back where the fans (and heat) are isn't that smart of an idea. But we'll see what happens.

Like the Macbook the memory (and hard drive) would fit around the battery. Remove battery, unscrew piece of trim, access hard drive and memory slots.
post #10 of 96
It's going to be a bigger, thicker Macbook Air. Just like I and many other people predicted.
post #11 of 96
I am really getting sick of watermarks. I could barely see this allready-unclear picture.
post #12 of 96
Anyone wondering when this new Macbook/Macbook Pro refresh will actually be coming out? I need a new laptop URGENTLY and have been patiently waiting for this for months. Patience...wearing thin.
post #13 of 96
The thinner profile is a welcome change according to these early prototype. The user accessible HD is also a nice transition. It would be interesting to see if Apple will include HDMI or DisplayPort type interface along with updated ACD release.
post #14 of 96
These pics seem plausible to me.

The MacBook style battery would be a vast improvement. Just look at the bottom of an MBP, yet alone think about upgrading the hard drive, and tell me it can't be improved.
post #15 of 96
Is the new MBP purported to have a Magnetic(MB) or Mechanical(current MBP) closure clasp?
post #16 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macd-to-death View Post

Anyone wondering when this new Macbook/Macbook Pro refresh will actually be coming out? I need a new laptop URGENTLY and have been patiently waiting for this for months. Patience...wearing thin.

Not until the iPhone 3G has settled down. That's how Apple like to work: one story at a time.
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimUrban View Post

Is the new MBP purported to have a Magnetic(MB) or Mechanical(current MBP) closure clasp?

Seeing how Apple use magnetic latch (MB) and moving it into the new MBA, presumably the new MBP would receive the same. It will actually save production cost for MBP since the same magnetic inner piece can be reused among different model lineup. Moving away from mechanical latch also helps to decrease the overall thickness of the new MBP redesign.

As much as many are waiting for Montevina MB, MBA, MBP update, Apple will emphasize first on iPhone 3G for the most part in the months of July and August. If it's Montevina MBP launch following the Penryn MBP (Feb 08) update pattern the month after Intel's announcement, mid August would be the earliest.
post #18 of 96
These rumors could make a man cry. I'm waiting on the new MacBook Pro. I want one, but detest the current keyboards. I hope Apple has the damn sense to include a mag-latch on the pro models also.

Perhaps Apple is going to give the new MacBook Pro's a chrome Apple logo?



That would be a pretty jazzy change!
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post #19 of 96
Kind of boring if it stayed the same shade of aluminum. Could we not have something in a slightly darker or lighter colour?
The bigger question is what the keyboard is going to look like. Same lovely scissor keys it currently has or the not so nice chiclet MacBook style ones.
post #20 of 96
I can't tell anything from this lousy image. It seems a bit fishy to me. Apple does not make hardware design changes without a great reason. Samsung just started to mass produce it's 128 GB SSD drives at a cheap price. I have a feeling that any design changes with regards to the Macbook Pro with have to accomadate these drives.
post #21 of 96
Aluminium colour same, keyboard black keys like MacBook Air, tapered edges = super sweet babyyyy!!!

THIS IS THE INTEL MACBOOKPRO I have been waiting for.
post #22 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

And another important consideration is that sticking the battery at the back where the fans (and heat) are isn't that smart of an idea. But we'll see what happens.

I'm pretty sure that's actually the front of the machine.

The 3 visible screwholes in the bottom of the picture, would make me think that that would be the back of the machine. Just like current MBPs.
post #23 of 96
Doesn't it look like the lid/screen is separated from the base/keyboard? Could this be instead the long awaited tablet or some variation of the concept?
post #24 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Kind of boring if it stayed the same shade of aluminum. Could we not have something in a slightly darker or lighter colour?
The bigger question is what the keyboard is going to look like. Same lovely scissor keys it currently has or the not so nice chiclet MacBook style ones.

that shell has likely not been painted yet... the final product could be a darker color... though apple will probably keep it the same color as the MacBook Air...
post #25 of 96
So what are these "surprises"? Come on AI can't you give as a clue, a region, something?!

*crosses fingers* decent GPU, decent GPU..
post #26 of 96
Perhaps the keyboard/base is actually a portable docking station?
post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

I'm pretty sure that's actually the front of the machine.

The 3 visible screwholes in the bottom of the picture, would make me think that that would be the back of the machine. Just like current MBPs.

yea, i second that. the battery would be in the front, like the long battery of the MacBook. the image is confusing because they did not position the top and bottom case the way the laptop would be put together.
post #28 of 96
The logo could be lit by its own 2 LED's instead of the LED's for the screen.
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post #29 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

yea, i second that. the battery would be in the front, like the long battery of the MacBook. the image is confusing because they did not position the top and bottom case the way the laptop would be put together.

Yes. If you look, at the very bottom of the picture is the back edge of the bottom cover. I think. So the front third of the bottom is removable, with the battery, RAM, and hard drive all under it.
post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

yea, i second that. the battery would be in the front, like the long battery of the MacBook. the image is confusing because they did not position the top and bottom case the way the laptop would be put together.

This is hilarious! some people just can't wait to see what the new laptops are actually going to look like, and how they'll be configured. They are so beside themselves that they're open to all manner of unsubstantiated rumor. One guy says that Apple will have more surprises in the finished machines, and a gullible inquirer asks him what those surprises are going to be!

NOBODY at this site has a clue, as to what the final products will look like, or how they will be configured, until the products are announced. The ONLY exception to that would anyone who has signed an NDA, and therefore isn't going to offer any information. IOW, this is all 100% WAG's and BS!
post #31 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Yes. If you look, at the very bottom of the picture is the back edge of the bottom cover. I think. So the front third of the bottom is removable, with the battery, RAM, and hard drive all under it.

That will lead to another speculation, where will be the optic drive slot? Either from the side or external super driver like the MBA!

Even if people on this forum knew the final design, he/she can not say because of NDA!
post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

I don't know - these have been floating around for a while, and I haven't heard of Apple sending any cease and desist letters.

if its real, someone will pay.

If its INTENTIONALLY fake it was designed to show where a leak was.. so someone will lose their job/pay/suffer the endless pain that is the rath of steve.
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post #33 of 96
I too am wondering if this is a prelude to a drawing for a device I've seen here at one time, or somewhere... about an iMac type form factor where the laptop slips inside like a cartridge. Was it a patent filing drawing? Gettin' old...

But the way the battery/hard drive area appears to be removable...makes my spider senses tingle.
post #34 of 96
Possible LED "Strip Insert"

I remember as well some patent/drawing thingy, where as the LED stip was replaceable, but prob not since this is the bottom of the laptop......
post #35 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSnarkmeister View Post

Doesn't it look like the lid/screen is separated from the base/keyboard? Could this be instead the long awaited tablet or some variation of the concept?

Don't think it's a tablet, but it is important to note that the side parts are missing!

Current designs have the bottom aluminum part kind of 'U' shaped with the sides bent upwards.
This new design simply has a flat bottom part slightly tapered around the edges, but it doesn't curve up anymore. So, where's the rest? Is it even aluminum?

I have the suspicion that they are going to use a different material for the side parts again. Akin to the Titanium PowerBook. Just for the new MacBook Pro I think it's going to be black!

Imagine: silver aluminum outer screen lid and laptop bottom, but black inner screen frame, black keyboard and either silver or all-black handrest and trackpad, and black all-around side parts where the drive slot and ethernet connections are.

Could be a really interesting design!
post #36 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

I'm pretty sure that's actually the front of the machine.

The 3 visible screwholes in the bottom of the picture, would make me think that that would be the back of the machine. Just like current MBPs.

so where will the superdrive go then? i preferred the slot on the front of the MBP
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post #37 of 96
[CENTER]awesome[/CENTER]
post #38 of 96
it would be better if appleinsider marked this as a rumor instead of immediately assuming that this is in fact the next gen casing.
post #39 of 96
There is a small error in the chart showing the introduction of the Aluminum Powerbook G4 - it was introduced at Mac World SF in early January 2003 and shipped by mid to late February if my memory serves me. That is when I think I received my 17" PB G4 - not the late date of 9-16-03.

And I can't wait to replace it with the new MBP!
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFU View Post

That will lead to another speculation, where will be the optic drive slot? Either from the side or external super driver like the MBA!

Even if people on this forum knew the final design, he/she can not say because of NDA!

What if...
This is actually a prototype for a 15.4-inch aluminum MacBook?
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