Apple rumored to eventually introduce ultra-thin 15-inch notebook

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With Apple's new family of MacBook Airs gaining considerable traction in the marketplace over the past nine months, the company is believed to be working to introduce 15- and 17-inch models with a similar minimalist design to capitalize on the trend towards ultra-mobile computing.



The notebook is believed to be in the late testing stages, says a report over at MacRumors, though no further details were provided. It's therefore unclear at this time whether the device will be marketed under the MacBook Pro brand or arrive as an extension of the MacBook Air line.



A move away from the hefty, optical- and hard disk drive-equipped MacBook Pros and towards a family of notebooks based exclusively on thin, ultra-lightweight designs is something AppleInsider's sources first began alluding to back in February. At the time, the transition was expected to take between 12 to 18 months.



The latest report may suggest Apple has ambitions of easing the transition by first introducing a 15-inch MacBook Air as an intermediate step. A jump towards an ultra-thin MacBook Pro before year's end could ultimately prove burdened by too many sacrifices, given that existing technologies and componentry may not allow Apple to deliver a design as thin and lightweight as the existing Airs but powerful enough to replace the 15-inch MacBook Pro.







Nevertheless, people familiar with the matter have said that MacBook Air features such as instant-on, standard SSD drives, slimmer enclosures, and the omission of optical drives should begin making their way to the remainder of Apple's notebook offerings over the course of the next 12 months.



For its part, TUAW says it has also heard rumors of an ultra-thin 17-inch Apple notebook and believes both models could potentially turn up ahead of the holiday shopping season under the MacBook Pro moniker.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,785member
    That is an AIR alternative to the current 15" machine. If done right I could see myself going that route for my next laptop upgrade. Personally I'd wait for Ivy Bridge but still a 15" AIR will be very desirable.
  • Reply 2 of 159
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    So the question is: will they be able to keep a dedicated gpu? If so, I'm sold.
  • Reply 3 of 159
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    So the question is: will they be able to keep a dedicated gpu? If so, I'm sold.



    With the ODD removed there is plenty of room to maneuver a dGPU. My wish is they will offer at least* a 7mm 2.5" HDD/SSD option, but will use the SSD card for fast booting.





    * The 2.5" HDD/SSD space in MBPs currently support 12.5mm drives.
  • Reply 4 of 159
    An ultra thin 17" would be the killer desktop replacement.
  • Reply 5 of 159
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,277member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    So the question is: will they be able to keep a dedicated gpu? If so, I'm sold.



    Agreed. It's all about the gpu.

    I think the day they can market it as a true FCPX machine, it'll be the day they launch it.
  • Reply 6 of 159
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    Let's not forget the MBP's are 4 cores not 2 like the MBA.



    Apple will not think discreet graphics are needed in an Air as long as they are selling Pro's.
  • Reply 7 of 159
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Go Banana View Post


    An ultra thin 17" would be the killer desktop replacement.



    If it's supposed to be a desktop replacement, why in the world would it need to be thin?!
  • Reply 8 of 159
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    I have 2011 15" MBP and I would love 15" MBA, provided it can accommodate 8 GB of RAM (or 16 GB when 8 GB modules become less expensive) and offer quad-core i7.
  • Reply 9 of 159
    adamj84adamj84 Posts: 5member
    Am I the only 1 to recognise the missing laptop from the current line up!?



    "It's therefore unclear at this time wether the device will be marketed under the MacBook Pro brand or arrive as an extension of the MacBook Air line." .... How about... er, duh, it being the new "Macbook" !!??? doesn't take a genius....
  • Reply 10 of 159
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    I am guessing that Apple will do with the MacBook Pro what they did with the Mac mini. Remove the optical drive and offer a hard drive or SSD or both. And, make it thinner. Everything else can remain the same - dedicated GPU, super-fast processor, etc. Offer only the 13" with a built-in optical drive to differentiate it from the Air.
  • Reply 11 of 159
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    If it's supposed to be a desktop replacement, why in the world would it need to be thin?!



    Big desk, low ceiling?
  • Reply 12 of 159
    anakin1992anakin1992 Posts: 283member
    if optical drive can be rid of and HD changed to SSG, the existing MBP product lines would be much much lighter already.
  • Reply 13 of 159
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Big desk, low ceiling?



    Reminds me of this.....



    http://contest.newyorker.com/Caption...ate=ny-caption
  • Reply 14 of 159
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    I need a 1TB drive, so I hope that ssd is not the only option.
  • Reply 15 of 159
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Here's what's likely to happen based on how Apple has worked in the past:



    1) The optical drive will be removed - it's a foregone conclusion at this point. The Mac Mini got rid of it, and you can't make a thinner laptop if there are already parts with pre-defined sizes like an optical drive. This leads to point #2...

    2) Apple will switch from standard 2.5" sized drives to MacBook Air-style SSDs, which sit on a single piece of silicon without any extraneous housing to save space. People will definitely be kicking and screaming about this one (The good thing is that the MacBook Air probably has the easiest HD to remove based on the number of screws you have to take out).

    3) FireWire 800 will be removed from the laptop completely. Few people ever use it and for those that do, I'm sure there will be a Thunderbolt->FireWire 800 adapter out by then.

    4) Ethernet port will either be moved to the opposite side of the laptop or removed completely. If I had to guess, it's probably going to be the latter since Apple assumes most people use their laptop wirelessly. As an appeasement, they'll likely create their own Thunderbolt->Gigabit Ethernet adapter to prevent a huge uproar.

    5) Expect USB ports on both sides because of tapering of the design.

    6) Additional Thunderbolt port for 20Gbps simultaneous transfer.



    Looking at this iFixIt photo, you can see that getting rid of the ODD and HDD gives you about 40% of space back:http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/m...nQWANeF.medium



    And the current MacBook Air has batteries that go almost all the way to the tapered edge: http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/w...ixqZwxJ.medium



    The main question is with these changes, will the internal volume of the laptop still be the same (minus HDD and ODD space) so that a) battery life doesn't decrease and b) a quad-core CPU and dedicated GPU can be cooled effectively? Will you be able to get a 3rd party SSD for greater storage? Will you still be able to add RAM yourself or are user-serviceable parts gone?



    While there's no doubt that any radical change will result in much grumbling, one thing is for sure: Apple will take us into the future, regardless of the number of people who kick and scream about user-serviceable hard drives, batteries, and the need for DVDs.
  • Reply 16 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Big desk, low ceiling?



    A desktop replacing notebook doesn't necessarily have to always live on the desk. I'm just tired of dragging my 27" iMac to Panera Bread to play WoW.
  • Reply 17 of 159
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    Dedicated graphics + bigger screen = either bigger battery (more weight) or less battery life. And a 4-core chip probably wouldn't help battery life, either.



    If they go for the 'Air' moniker, they'll go 2-core with integrated graphics and shoot for low weight.



    If they go for the 'Pro' moniker, they'll go for performance, and basically you'll just get a sleeker look, but it'll essentially be a Super Drive delete and will still weigh in the high-3-pound range, maybe 4, because it'll need a big battery to power it.





    All I know is that I want a matte screen Air. 13" or 15" doesn't matter.....gimme a matte screen option and I'll buy either one.
  • Reply 18 of 159
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    If it's supposed to be a desktop replacement, why in the world would it need to be thin?!



    Indeed - the 17inch needs maximal power, I think it can lose the ODD without too much complaint, but there's no point trying to slim it down to Air levels if it comes at the cost of components.
  • Reply 19 of 159
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,150member
    Maybe this is the September "Product Transition" that Oppenheimer spoke about in the quarterly earnings report last week?
  • Reply 20 of 159
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    Maybe this is the September "Product Transition" that Oppenheimer spoke about in the quarterly earnings report last week?



    That's iPhone 5.
Sign In or Register to comment.