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Sunday, January 04, 2009, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Sources: 17-inch MacBook Pro, NVIDIA Mac mini due shortly

Apple as early as Tuesday will introduce a 17-inch MacBook Pro with a fixed internal battery and a new version of the Mac mini, both of which will feature chipsets from NVIDIA, AppleInsider has been able to independently confirm.

People familiar with the matter say both products are due to begin shipping this month but stopped short corroborating a Macworld introduction. That said, this week's trade show would seem the most likely forum for Apple to announce the new offerings.

In what's sure to be a controversial move on the part of the Mac maker, those familiar with the new unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro confirm that it will not share the same panel-covered battery layout as its 13- and 15-inch cousins. Instead, the notebook's battery will be fixed in place and not easily removable by users, similar to the MacBook Air's.

Additionally, AppleInsider can also confirm that a similarly-timed makeover to the Mac mini will see the diminutive desktop adopt chipsets from NVIDIA's MCP79 platform, as was previously implied by discoveries within the resource files of a Mac OS X build train that shipped on the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

In addition to sporting both a Mini DisplayPort and a Mini DVI connector, it's now also rumored that the new Mac mini will see the addition of a FireWire 800 port and a fifth USB port, with the legacy FireWire 400 port going away. The Mini DVI connector will allow the mini to continue to cater to users who already own a display, while the Mini DisplayPort will offer support for customers of Apple's latest LED-backlit Cinema Display.

AppleInsider reported in October that the 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro was delayed by several months as Apple focused on working out some design kinks.