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Apple, others leak MacBook casing details

updated 04:15 pm EDT, Sun October 12, 2008

More MacBook Case Leaks

Apple's next-generation MacBook design has been all but confirmed, courtesy of leaks from both Apple itself as well as those with access to the casing in China. The Mac producer has posted a technician manual (PDF; since pulled) that discusses replacing an AirPort card in the display assembly of a "Late 2008" MacBook or MacBook Pro, effectively proving that these two systems will receive an update this coming Tuesday with equally new internal hardware designs. No technical features aside from the already likely existence of Wi-Fi are directly shown in the two-page document.

Separately, however, a Chinese Mac enthusiast site has posted additional case leaks that show the top halves of both the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Both line up with recently confirmed designs for the new notebooks and show a new, consistent design across Apple's whole portable line that includes a seamless border, magnetic lid closure, and the trayless keyboard that first appeared with the original MacBook in 2006. The bottom is absent from both systems but has been reported in past rumors as an at least partly tapered design versus the near-flat surface of current models.

Either also shows a reduced number of ports versus today's systems; in the case of the MacBook Pro, the shift is believed in part to stem from moving the slot-load optical drive from the front to the side for unknown reasons. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro now appears to have dropped its FireWire 400 and regular DVI connectors in favor of the lone remaining FireWire 800 port and a more compact mini-DVI jack.

Notably, the regular MacBook has dropped its one FireWire 400 port and now appears to depend exclusively on its two USB ports for external peripherals. The move would signal one of the first times a non-professional Apple portable has shipped without FireWire since 1999, when the original iBook carried just one USB port. The company's incentive to do so outside of space concerns isn't known.

No leaks have yet to surface of a redesigned 17-inch MacBook Pro or a revised MacBook Air, though Apple is now widely believed to be using a new NVIDIA platform for some or all of its portables that would improve visual performance on some systems and shrink the components inside. [via AppleInsider]

Apple manual excerpt



MacBook case





MacBook Pro case







By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +3

    Losing firewire...

    ...would seem crippling to me - I always laugh when I see USB described as 'high speed' and most peripherals (esp HDs) have too high a power demand to function off USB alone - so much for 'portable'...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +10

    Firewire loss..

    means less customers! 95% of all musicians I know use Firewire audio interfaces. This is a HUGE market.. All MacBook users. These are smart people, they will move to PC laptop with a hacked version of OS X.. I understand Apple wants to push pro users up to the MBP, but crippling the machines won't do it...

  1. imagine engine

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    -4

    Wish list for MBP.

    Besides the standard stuff my wish list for the MBP 17" is to have an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, dual NVIDIA GPU (capable of hardware rendering for apps such as Autodesk Maya), Blu-ray DVD RW drive, 500 GB 7200 RPM HDD, HD LED display, Internal Hardware H.264 Encoder/Decoder (similar to Elgato Turbo but internal), Firewire 800, improved WIFI 802.11n and a better cooling system.

  1. leamanc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003

    +6

    FireWire is a victim of..

    ...the anticipated price cuts on these new models. Apple is going for the lowest common denominator, and supporting the widest variety of devices, by going USB only. I hate it too, because FireWire is such a superior technology for so many reasons. I hate the Apple did the same thing with iPods. But they had to cut something to cut the costs and maintain their traditionally high margins. Let's hope nothing else too near and dear to our hearts is cut.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    -1

    doesn't bother me

    It's important for Apple to get the price down on that entry level model as much as possible, so using USB 2 instead of FW is a "good enough" compromise. I'm hoping the other non-Pro MacBook models will have FW though. If the price really drops to $800-900 I'm first in line for it.

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    -1

    don't worry

    Apple will not abandon FW, these photos did not come with any hardware specs.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +4

    re: firewire loss

    Moving to a PC laptop because of a FW loss doesn't make sense. The firewire on most PC laptops that have a FW port are using that mini firewire connector that doesn't supply any power. So I don't see that as the ONLY alternative. If the USB port power supply is stong enough (>500ma), it should be able to handle a portable drive on one connector.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    re: firewire loss

    Wouldn't surprise me if Intel was behind it.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +2

    mobile USB limitations

    ...and I have urged Apple to change the limiting 'auto sensing 1 USB port at full power only' policy for macbook pro models - I understand the need for switchable power conservation however if it can auto switch surely full power on all ports when needed could be facilitated for a 'pro' portable computer...

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +5

    Progress, but...

    Thank god they finally put the CD on the side of the MBP! Made me crazy; ejecting in couch class was darn near impossible.

    Now, if they would just do something about the vulnerability to splashes of those speakers and keyboard. Bring back a design similar to Blackbird for the speakers (one of the most beautiful computers Apple ever made), and seal up the keyboard so that child's wet sneeze can't fry your motherboard.

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