updated 06:05 pm EST, Sun January 4, 2009
17in MBP and Mini at MW09
Apple is planning at least two key Mac updates that may show their faces as early as this week's Macworld, AppleInsider has allegedly confirmed through its own sources. The company is seen launching a 17-inch MacBook Pro based on the unibody shell of smaller models but will allegedly switch to a fixed-in-place battery. Why the move will be made is unknown, though the MacBook Air was designed in similar fashion to help slim down the casing versus previous models. The report points to earlier claims which say Apple might compensate the reduced flexibility with a much higher-capacity battery than what's presently offered in the large MacBook Pro.
Additionally, these same sources also state that the Mac mini should receive significantly greater expansion options beyond just the dual display connectors rumored late last week. The new compact desktop will reportedly receive a fifth USB port and should replace the FireWire 400 jack with a faster 800 model; previous leaks have already confirmed a switch to a NVIDIA-based chipset for the mainboard that should also be shared by the next iMac.
Whether or not either system will be introduced at Tuesday's Macworld keynote speech is unknown, though Apple has been placing cloth-covered banners about its booth at the event that suggest new products will be unveiled that demand this level of secrecy.