Report: Upcoming 15-inch MacBook Pro to Be Thinner, Ditch DVD Drive

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Apple's 2011 MacBook Pros.

Apple’s next 15-inch MacBook Pro will reportedly be much thinner than its predecessors, at the expense of a DVD drive.

“Trusted sources” tell 9 to5 Mac that Apple is almost ready to launch the revamped 15-inch Pro. The laptop reportedly sports an “ultra-thin” design, but retains the general shape of older Pros and doesn’t taper to a point like Apple’s MacBook Air line. In lieu of a built-in DVD drive, Apple would likely encourage users to download their software through the Mac App Store or attach an external DVD drive when necessary.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will also reportedly include a “Retina” display–a term Apple uses when a screen’s individual pixels are indistinguishable to the human eye. The sources didn’t provide an exact screen resolution or pixel density, but because Apple bases Retina status on the typical distance between the user’s eyes and the screen, a Retina display MacBook would likely have a lower pixel density than the new iPad.

Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors seem like a safe bet for the next generation MacBook Pro, which would also mean that USB 3.0 support is built in, providing data transfers up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Geekbench claims to have benchmarks for the unreleased laptops, showing a quad-core 2.7 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM, but as 9 to 5 Mac notes, these benchmarks can easily be faked. The graphics processor is unconfirmed, but could be an NVidia GeForce GT 650M based on references in OS X beta code.

There’s no information on a release date for the new MacBook Pro yet, but a June launch is possible given that Apple is holding its World Wide Developer Conference that month. As Cult of Mac notes, Best Buy has dropped prices on existing MacBooks, possibly to clear inventory for new models.

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