Rumor: MacBook Pros Will Feature New Carbon Fiber Case
It's approaching three years since Apple dazzled the crowd with its Unibody MacBook Pros, a case design the company oh-so-eloquently described as being "crafted from a single piece of aluminum." But while no one will question their beauty, even Apple knows that replenishing the guts with the latest Intel processors, bigger hard drives, and hot new technology (like Thunderbolt) will only carry it so far.
Hence, rumors, first reported by iLounge and now MacRumors, are suggesting that new case designs are on their way. Some reports are tied to a month-old Intel advertisement that shows a black-clad MacBook Pro, while others are pointing to a carbon-composite expert that Apple recently hired.
It's suspected that the company will use carbon fiber to replace the aluminum used in its MacBook Pros. And for good reason: The Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, at 4.5 pounds, is one of the heaviest 13-inch laptops in the business. Meanwhile, the Sony Vaio VPC-Z1390X, which uses carbon fiber in its construction, is the lightest 13-inch laptop (3 lbs) with a built-in optical drive. Indeed, carbon fiber is lighter, but the verdict is still out on whether it's more durable than a solid slab of aluminum (the lid flexes on the Sony Z-Series). And then there's the cost issue, as the Sony Z1390X can run upwards of $4,000. But knowing how Apple likes to dictate terms and succeed at it, the cost premium of the materials shouldn't impact the final price of the unit.
If the MacBook Airs are any indication, the new MacBook Pros might also get "instant-on" SSDs or some kind of hybrid drive that'll speed up boot-up and resume times. And at least with the 13-inch MacBook Pro, there's the very off-chance that Apple might purge the optical drive in favor of shedding even more weight and making room for a bigger battery, although that's as unlikely as a black MacBook Pro.