FRAMINGHAM 21 FEBRUARY 2011 - If you were planning on heading to the Apple Store to go shopping for a new MacBook Pro, you might want to hold off on until at least Thursday. Apple is expected to announce a MacBook Pro refresh this week featuring machines that are thinner, lighter, have zippy new Intel processors and better screens, according to the latest rumors. The favored date for the new MacBook Pro line-up is Thursday, February 24, according to MacRumors.
Now that I've ruined your Apple-themed holiday plans and you've got nothing better to do, here's a rundown about the latest rumors and suspicions surrounding Apple's impending MacBook Pro refresh.
Apple has reportedly been prepping its third-party retail partners to get ready for a product launch this week. The company has told some of its European partners to expect sealed shipments of new products this week possibly as early as Monday, according to Apple Insider.
Apple's shipment time for new MacBook Pros via its online store has also slipped from 24 hours to 3-to-5 business days, a potential sign of an impending MacBook Pro refresh. The $1000 white MacBook is still listed as shipping within 24 hours so don't expect an upgrade for that device.
Rumors about features and improvements for the new MacBooks are fairly sketchy at the moment. Most Apple watchers expect Apple to unveil new MacBook Pro devices sporting Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The new Intel chips feature improved graphics performance and energy efficiency. Apple's MacBook Pro lineup is not expected to be impacted by the recently discovered design flaw in Intel's Sandy Bridge chips.
Apple may also unveil a redesigned unibody chassis for the MacBook Pro line, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes. In addition, most rumors point to typical improvements such as better resolution screen, longer battery life, and a thinner and lighter laptop.
Fueling Apple rumors
Cult of Mac has an interesting story about how Apple's exclusive agreement to use Liquidmetal may turn up in fuel cells powering Apple laptops and mobile devices.
Fuel cells used in laptops could make the devices last for 20 hours or more without recharging, Cult of Mac says.
Liquidmetal is a corrosion-resistant metal alloy produced by Liquidmetal Technologies that is twice as strong as titanium, but can be molded like plastic during the manufacturing process. Apple was recently awarded a patent for an internal component of a fuel cell made from "bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys," something that sounds a lot like Liquidmetal.
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