Whenever a rumour reaches a fever pitch in the Apple community, it's all but assured that something big, new, or redesigned is about to be unveiled in Cupertino and take the world by storm.
The most consistent rumour revolves around Intel's brand new "Sandy Bridge" processor, a multi-core processor that improves on the speed and performance of its predecessors. Apple is known to be rather consistent in updating their machines to the latest Intel technology as quickly as possible, so one would expect this part of the rumour to be true. While delivery of these processors was delayed by Intel due to a few hardware issues, it is believed that it would only delay new MacBook Pro models by a week or two at most. This would still give Apple plenty of time to update their MacBook and MacBook Pro lines in March.
Other rumours have gotten a bit more daring and adventurous. For example, some are expecting an all-new MacBook Pro design, perhaps one that sheds the traditional aluminium casing for one made of carbon fibre. These rumours note that carbon fibre is lighter, more durable, and would be in line with Apple's trend setting designs of iterations past.
Failing a redesign or a changed casing, other rumours point to the exclusion of an optical drive in the newest MacBook Pro models; at the very least, many people expect it to be an optional feature. This would help make the new MacBook Pro line the thinnest professional-grade laptops Apple has ever sold, perhaps transforming the line into a creative professional's MacBook Air -- all the thinness without compromising valuable screen real estate. Like the MacBook Air, many Apple insiders are hoping for a transition to solid-state hard drives in all MacBook Pro models, a change that would speed up boot times and increase durability significantly.
And the MacBook Air itself is not left out of rumours for a big update to the MacBook line. Apple observers widely expect both the 11-inch and 13-inch models to be updated with Intel's Sandy Bridge processor as well, making them an attractive option for consumers and professionals alike. Observers also question whether or not Apple might introduce a larger, 15-inch model to cater to those who like more screen real estate in addition to the thinnest form factor on the market.
Overall, the rumours surrounding Apple MacBook models are numerous and at times conflicting. Will we see a 15-inch MacBook Air? Or will Apple introduce a 15-inch MacBook Pro model without an optical drive, making it thin and desirable for professionals? Will MacBooks look the same or come packaged in an exciting new design? Only time will tell, and according to Apple observers and insiders alike, Apple will reveal those answers in the coming month.
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