It is said that all models will be made between 15-20% lighter, being made of an amorphous alloy that Apple has purchased the rights to. The material is said to be stronger, lighter, and more scratch resistant than the current aluminum unibodies, and is said to be manufactured in a process similar to injection molding, as is standard for that material.
It was also mentioned that Apple has invested in a new battery technology, enabling Apple to pack about 20% more battery life per volume into their battery cells, indicating that all notebooks across the board should be experiencing improved battery life.
Further, it is claimed that Apple is slightly smoothing the edges of the enclosure to eliminate a concern with “sharp edges” that some users have been reporting, but that this process will yield only a very minimal change in the product’s visual design.
In addition, it is claimed that Apple will be using a new type of display with lower power consumption, although no details were given as to what type of display would be used. It was also mentioned that Apple will be lowering the price “significantly” on RAM and SSD upgrades.
MacBook Pro 13"
The 13″ MacBook Pro will receive an update to Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, made possible due to the Sandy Bridge units having made significant improvements in heat output and power consumption.
The 13″ model will also receive a BTO option to add a higher-resolution 1440*900 display in either glossy or matte finish. The 13″ MacBook Pro model will retain its optical drive in the present form, and in it’s present location. Battery life on the 13″ model will increase from 10 hours of wireless productivity to 12 hours, and the weight of the 13″ base model will decrease from 4.5 pounds to an incredible 3.7 pounds.
MacBook Pro 15″
The 15″ MacBook Pro will receive, in addition to the new Sandy Bridge processors, a battery life rated for 11 hours of wireless productivity. It will retain it’s current BTO hi-res display option, but will also gain the matte display option on the standard resolution configuration.
Interestingly, the 15″ model is said to be gaining a modular bay for the optical drive, which would give users the option to replace the optical drive with a second hard-drive, or perhaps some other type of SATA device as well, although this assumption is a second hard drive. Due to the enhanced strength of the amorphous allow, they are able to include this without adding to the thickness of the device.
The weight of the 15″ model is said to be decreasing from 5.8 pounds for the base unit down to 4.6 pounds. The 15″ model is also said to be once again gaining an expansion slot, which is thought to be the standard ExpressCard/34 slot. The 15″ model is also said to be gaining a third USB port on the right-hand side panel, directly across from the track pad.
MacBook Pro 17″
The 17″ MacBook Pro will receive, in addition to the new Sandy Bridge processors, a battery life rated for 11 hours of wireless productivity, as well as the modular optical/HDD storage enclosure from the 15″ MacBook Pro. It will also gain an additional USB port (bringing the total up to 4) in the same location as the 15″ model.
The weight of the 17″ model will be reduced from 6.6 pounds to 5.3, and will retain it’s current ExpressCard slot. The 17″ model is also claimed to be gaining an advanced graphics option that will, for some reason, only be available in the 17″ model.
Base pricing is said to be as follows: $1099 starting for the 13″ MacBook Pro, $1549 for the 15″ MacBook Pro, and $2099 for the 17″ MacBook Pro, with Apple clearly being quite aggressive here on those price points.