updated 03:50 pm EDT, Mon April 7, 2008
MacBook Redesigns 2008
Both the consumer MacBook and the performance-minded MacBook Pro will receive a major overhaul with their next updates, say sources speaking with AppleInsider. Either design has remained largely unchanged but will now allegedly receive visual cues from the aluminum iMac and MacBook Air, including an all-aluminum design, traces of black, and more tapered edges. The trackpad is also likely to switch to the extra-large design found in the Air, though whether the 13-inch MacBook will gain multi-touch is unknown.
Apple's next update is also all but confirmed to use most of Intel's Centrino 2 platform, which includes both a revamped mainboard chipset with better integrated graphics as well as newer Core 2 Duo processors, which will range from 2.26GHz to 2.8GHz for regular Core 2 Duo models. A 3.06GHz Core 2 Extreme is also known to exist but consumes more power than Apple has often deemed acceptable for all but its iMac line. All of these processors will have a faster 1,066MHz bus and will launch in June, though Apple has rarely launched new systems alongside major Intel refreshes.
The shift if accurate will mark a major change to Apple's design language for either of its portables. The MacBook Pro is the longest-serving design of the two, having launched in February 2006, and itself is just a minor change to the aluminum PowerBook G4 from 2003. Its smaller counterpart is newer, having debuted in May 2006, but itself is closely based on the plastic design of the iBook it replaced.
A switch to aluminum for the MacBook is said both to bring a more consistent look to Apple's lineup and to improve the company's eco-friendly stance, which is helped by use of the more easily recycled metal. The prospect of LED-backlit displays for the base notebooks is uncertain, as the thinner, mercury-free illumination often commands a price premium over traditional cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlights.