Air style ultra-thin 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pro models on the way?

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Hot on the heels of the MacBook Air 2011 revamp (and with it the news that the MacBook line is being laid to rest) are reports that Apple are planning on building ultra-thin MacBook Pro models.

Little birds have whispered to MacRumours of 15 inch skinny MacBook Pros, while TUAW have heard similar rumours around 17 inch versions.

MacBook Pro’s major selling point over Air models (other than processing grunt in many configurations) is the addition of a built-in optical drive, which would no doubt be cut if the Pros went on a diet.

It’s all possible too; Apple are all for aesthetic synergy, and the falling cost of SSD storage makes slim MacBook Pros far from pipe dreams. With Apple increasingly turning to net distribution channels for software (as seen with the Mac App Store and the download/USB stick only OS X Lion) that optical drive wont nessecarily be missed.

Sources at MacRumours suggest that the line could even be ready by Christmas. While the skinny Pros are certainly a possiblity, we’d doubt we’ll see them this soon. A single MacBook Pro range refresh is enough for one year, and Apple have already drip-fed 2011’s updates.

Gerald Lynch

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