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Friday, September 21, 2007, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Thin Apple notebooks may come clad in black aluminum

A new line of Apple notebooks believed to be nearing release have been spotted in both black and traditional aluminum enclosures, according to a new report.

The systems are said to be thinner than the company's existing MacBook and MacBook Pro offerings, while also sporting a more compact footprint that includes a thinner display bezel.

Outside of this information, details appear to be scarce. It's not entirely clear whether the notebooks are part of an upcoming revision to Apple's consumer-oriented MacBook line or are simply one-and-the same with the much rumored "ultra-portable" design first detailed back in February.

The latter systems are expected to include L.E.D-backlit 13-inch LCD panels, on-board NAND flash (for faster application launching and boot times), and lack a traditional optical disc drive.

It's believed that Apple had originally intended to launch the slimmer notebook line alongside its next-generation Leopard operating system back in June, but subsequently pushed the release out to "late 2007 or early 2008" when Leopard's expected release date slipped to October.

Thin MacBook Pro Mock