Apple MacBook Pro 2012: Top 5 Rumors You Should Know

By Sangeeta Mukherjee | May 18, 2012 06:29 AM EDT

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MacBook Pro 2012 is gaining a lot of traction regarding its features and release date lately. The latest to rumor to roll out of the rumor mills indicates that Apple's MacBook Pro series laptop will receive liquidmetal chassis, Ivy chips and Thunderbolt features, improved battery and 4G LTE support.

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For the ardent Appleites, major changes in the design and functionality were long overdue for the Pro as since the launch of MacBook Pro line in January 2006, the Cupertino-based company has never brought any major overhaul to the product. A minor design touchup, however, happened four years ago for the MacBook Pro, which of course did not satiate Apple lovers.

Latest reports, which refute earlier claims that Apple was trying to bridge the gap between its MacBook Pros and lightweight MacBook Airs to a significant level with the new upgrade, confirm that the new model will supposedly not be a copy of Apple's current MacBook Air that is scheduled for the June release during its World Wide Developers Conference 2012 (WWDC).

While rumors are flying high about the features of the Pro 2012, let's take a look at the five rumors that top our list and stand a better chance to be featured in the latest device.

1.       Ivy Bridge Processor: One of the most expected features coming in the Pro 2012 are Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge chipset, which have already hit the market. According to reports, the 15-inch version of the Pro will get Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge chipset, while the medium version currently features only Core i7 chips.

MacRumors' Eric Slivka had already reported that "Apple has also reportedly been considering using integrated graphics only in some of its mid-range MacBook Pro models, with the HD 4000 chip making it feasible for the company to drop the dedicated graphics chip on some of those models while still being able to offer acceptable graphics performance."

2.       USB version 3.0: By virtue of the Ivy Bridge processor, the new MacBook Pro will support USB 3.0, claim various reports. The new three USB 3.0 ports will be faster, giving speeds of up to 5GB and will be backward compatible with USB 2 devices as well.

3.       New Thunderbolt ConnectorVR-Zone has recently reported that Intel has shipped its second-gen Thunderbolt controllers, codenamed "Cactus Ridge," and Apple lovers can expect to see the new Thunderbolt to be released alongside the new MacBook Pro line-up.

The Thunderbolt, co-developed by Apple and Intel, was introduced just over a year ago. It is a high-speed connector technology that transfers data among computers and with peripherals. This technology can be considered a faster alternative to USB 3.0, with transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps.

4.       Retina Display: After Apple's "resolutionary" New iPad, iPhone 5 or MacBook Pro, all are expected to receive the long-rumored Retina display with the revolutionary 2048 x 1536 screen resolution with 3.1 million pixel color support. Mac's OS Mountain Lion already drops a few clues through its use of HiDPI Retina images. The new MacBook Pro is also expected to get Retina Display with better anti-glare protection, but to enhance the display quality Apple has to compromise the ultra-thin and light qualities of the device, believe experts.

5.       No Ethernet, FireWire and Optical Drive: Leading tech blog Arstechnica report suggests that Apple is doing away with Ethernet ports and FireWire. The report says, "Apple may be ditching FireWire and Ethernet ports entirely, relying on dual Thunderbolt connectors to handle high-speed storage and networking needs." The article further adds "WiFi is widely used for networking, even in many enterprise environments, and there are already solutions for connecting Ethernet adapters to both Thunderbolt and USB. And while FireWire is still used widely in pro audio and video circles, vendors have been expanding Thunderbolt storage options as of late."

According to 9to5mac, Apple is also declining optical drive to streamline the shape of the Pro. "Basically, the prototype design is a thinner, yet more robust, version of the late-2008 design," claimed the reports.



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