MacBook Pro revving for full makeover this year: report

The flagship Apple laptop, the MacBook Pro, is set for an overhaul, according to one source. 

Apple
The MacBook Pro could soon be revamped.

The look of the MacBook Pro, the flagship Apple laptop, hasn't changed much since its introduction in 2006, save some minor cosmetic alterations. But according to a new report in 9 to 5 Mac, Apple will soon release a "revamped" 15-inch MacBook Pro – "the outcome of years of research and development in ultra-thin mobile computing and super-high-resolution displays."

So what will make the 2012 MacBook Pro different from the 2011 model? Well, the power button is being incorporated into the keyboard – a design cue used on the current MacBook Air. Faster USB 3 ports are being added. So is a retina display. And the optical drive is going out the window, allowing Apple to streamline the shape of the Pro. "Basically, the prototype design is a thinner, yet more robust, version of the late-2008 design," 9 to 5 Mac reports.

Perhaps best of all, the 2012 MacBook Pro will get a "retina display" – the high-res screen currently used on the iPhone and the iPad. 9 to 5 Mac hasn't specified the exact resolution, and Apple is staying mum. (In fact, Apple hasn't said anything about its new line of laptops – 9 to 5 Mac sources its whole report to anonymous sources with knowledge of the Apple production calendar.) 

Still, as Matt Burn of TechCrunch notes, "in order to fall into Apple’s own definition of a retina display – that is, a display that [has] the maximum amount of detail the human eye can perceive at a somewhat arbitrary distance – the resolution would have to be insane by today’s standard. For example it would have to exceed (possibly by a factor of two) the new iPad’s 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536." 

Aforementioned caveats apply. But this blogger buys the 9 to 5 allegations – Apple is a master of knowing exactly when to put a new coat of sheen on its top-selling machines. And the MacBook Pro is due for a make-over. 

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