back to article Next 15in, 17in MacBook Pros to be MacBook Air skinny

Apple has completed development work in a 15in MacBook Air-skinny notebook, it has been claimed. Little is known about the laptop's specification, reports MacRumours, which was first out with the news. But given its slimline design and Apple's current strategy, it's safe to say the thing won't sport an optical drive, absent …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I was planning to pick up a new macbook pro around xmas time, and I'll be in hong kong where they're a whole lot cheaper!

    1. Robot

      Apple products are not cheaper in HK

      I have lived in Hong Kong for a total of four years, including two recent years. Some things are cheaper here, and some things are more expensive, than in USA:

      - Notebooks are more expensive in Hong Kong due to localization (e.g. user's guides are converted to traditional Chinese, and a service center has to be set up in a small market like Hong Kong)

      - Peripherals that don't need localization are cheaper in HK (e.g. mice, keyboards, blank CDs)

      - Apple products in HK cost the same as their American counterparts, to within 2% after currency conversion.

      But I suppose you are right too, if you are comparing HK versus UK prices.

    2. Robot

      I forgot one word

      I forgot to type the word "Windows" when I said [Windows] notebooks are more expensive in Hong Kong than in USA.

  2. GrumpyJoe
    Thumb Down

    Are optical drives

    THAT out of date? Or is Uncle Steve expecting us all to suck at his digital teat for all our media needs?

    1. CmdrX3

      Heres a clue

      Pucker up

  3. Adam T


    Let me hazard a guess, that they'll get that skinny by removing all the things that currently make them Pro.

  4. Frederick Tennant

    No DVDr Bad Idea

    I still use mine to import movies, via firewire, edit via final cut, and burn DVD's all in one slimline laptop! looks like im going to have to keep mine a little longer. Now wheres that rubber cover for it?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optical Media

    He did the same for floppies on the original iMac, dropped it from the system spec.

    However, like the late 90s with the market for USB floppy drives, it is easy enough to pick up a USB DVD writer.

    I did for my AAO netbook (ironically to install OSX....) but the majority of the time it sits gathering dust.

    Not that I agree with everything St Steve of Trendyville does, but it does appear that the next 10 years of computing will eradicate anything that is still mechanical or analogue (bye bye magnetic HDs, optical drives, VGA ports)

    USB pens of multi-GB (These days you can get a 32GB Flash drive for a little over £15) plus good old-fashioned network shares are the usual file transfer mechanisms.

    In fact, on my work laptop, I don't think I've *ever* used the DVD drive. (though its good to know it's there)

    1. Flatpackhamster

      USB DVD writer?

      You do know that, because of their high power requirements, many of them use two USB slots? How's that going to work when the cable is 8" long and the Macbook's USB slots are on opposite sides of the case?

      Whether or not 10 years will see the death of moving parts in computers, the fact remains that now, in the real world, they are still necessary. Ethernet cables are a necessity. DVD or Blu-Ray drives are a necessity. If you have to carry around a second bag full of extra plugins just so that you can use your incredibly thin laptop, doesn't that rather ruin the point of the incredibly thin laptop?

      1. Jean-Paul

        You do know that...

        USB ports on a Mac have been able to supply the higher voltage in the USB standard for the last 4 years in prep of charging the iPad etc.

        Mine is the 2008 MBP with an optibay to run dual SDD/HDD and a single connection DVD rewriter. It is not a problem that exists on Mac...

    2. Mark 65

      Easy to pick up external drives

      Given how much Apple laptops are why the fuck should I spend more money to get something that should be included? If he wants to ditch it out the device he should provide it as an extra, however I am not convinced that circular media is dead just yet. It seems to me that he'd like it to be so he can spruik his digital stores some more.

  6. Curt Vile

    Much ado about nothing

    Meh. I replaced my Thinkpad's optical drive with a second HDD yonks ago and I haven't looked back. Of course, it helps that the HDD caddy in question is hot-swappable, so it's a matter of seconds to replace it with the DVD-R drive if I really need it.

  7. oopsie

    2nd laptop sans optical

    Just bought one of the new airs to replace another laptop with no optical drive - the only thing i've missed it for is playing old games that want to have the CD in the drive. Especially as macs are able to borrow a neighbour's optical drive when necessary, i'd rather not carry the weight around with me.

    Did take me a couple of minutes to realise why there was no OSx DVD in the box though... Doh!

    I'm far more worried by the lack of ethernet port - but that's only so that i can get at the web interfaces of kit to configure it before it goes on the network proper. Much more convenient than going in via serial - which not laptops seem to have anymore either :-)

  8. Gulfie

    I see me rushing to buy one of the last Unibody Macs

    The problem with the air range is that there is no no user upgradeable hard drive or memory, no inbuilt DVD drive, and to get the battery life and control heat, most likely the larger units will sport less powerful CPUs and graphics than current Unibody models.

    None of this is attractive to the power users like myself that buy (in particular) the 17" MacBook Pro. I need a portable powerhouse, not a desktop. And for that reason I can see myself picking up a new 15" or 17" MacBook Pro in September, before the 'new and improved' (read: walled garden) models arrive.

    Music? iTunes. Video? iTunes. Software? App Store. Nope. Don't get it. And with the pigs ear that is Lion it will (a) get downgraded to Snow Leopard and (b) be the last Apple hardware I buy. Sad.

  9. heathentoy


    I wrotre this last week, perhape I may be right....

    Okay, so this is the wrong place to make this comment but has or is anyone bothered that the new Mac Minin has no DVD drive. So what !!! some may say, but I for one who was waiting to buy another Mac mini to replace my aging old Mac Mini may need to fork out additional money to buy an external DVD drive.

    What for, well to burn DVD for videos I produce, to RIP CD's to iTunes ( why buy CD's when I can download from iTunes store, because I can get legal music cheaper from online stores and also to load my Logic Pro 9 and DVD version of Aperture.

    Perhapes future Macs will not be supplied with a DVD player, Apples future, rip off Brits with ever increasing prices in the App Store, iTunes, iCloud, once your captured your stuffed; me iGo back to PC.


    1. Mark 65


      I for one have no doubt that this is a push to get everyone buying from the itunes and app stores. There always had to be a catch to the "but you'll still be able to install software you buy in the shops" statement. High speed internet is not a widespread as his Steveness likes to think (and caps are lower) and I see no reason why I should buy from his stores if I can source the material at a higher quality for less (CDs, DVDs etc). I still use my optical drive extensively for ripping CDs and DVDs and there is no way I'd buy a machine without one.

      I really don't think people get that it may be alright for themselves but there's no way you'll be sending videos of the kids, weddings etc to the people without an optical drive. After all, what's the point of iMovie without an output device? Share to web? YouTube? Please. Like people are going to film with the all pervasive HD capable camera/camcorder then compress it down to blocky shite to share on the web.

  10. james4765

    Let's wait and see on this, but...

    I have a feeling this might be true - and they'll be removing everything that makes it a 'Pro' system.

    Given that I'm already on the long-term migration path off OSX after the hideous blunder of Final Cut Pro X, I'm left feeling that I have no horse in this race. Looks like my last Mac laptop will be coming soon, and just strapped to the old Aja IO that FCP X made obsolete, for doing standard definition field recording.

    I loved what Apple was doing in the 2008-2010 era, but they're going too far in the "lock 'em down" direction for me to feel comfortable. Not supporting Blu-Ray playback was the first sign...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Whence 1080p iTunes and Apple HDTV?

    So this rumour ties nicely into the previous rumours of iTunes providing 1080p and a new Apple HDTV all in time for Christmas. Perhaps then the lack of HD and now SD optical media in all Apple product will stop being corporate blackmail and start to actually benefit customers.

    Of course, not in Canada. No Hulu, and even Netflix sucks up here- no licensing for 85% of all movie and TV releases. Talking about for the mainstream customer, not counting 'expert' workarounds.

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