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Monday, February 21, 2011, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Rumor has Apple's new MacBook Pros booting from fast SSDs with larger trackpads

A new rumor attributed to unnamed sources says the coming refresh of MacBook Pros will feature larger trackpads and boot from SSD, even on models equipped with a conventional hard disk drive.

The rumor, published by BGR, first notes that "new laptops will contain glass trackpads that are even larger than the pads found on current-generation MacBook Pro models."

It then adds that "next bit of information doesn’t quite make sense to us," but describes an 8 to 16GB Solid State Drive being used as the Mac OS X startup volume even on base models, which will retain a regular hard drive as well.

Higher end models are said to use SSD exclusively, much like Apple's existing MacBook Air line.

The advantage to using a hybrid SSD/HDD configuration, of course, is that the main benefit afforded by SSD is read speed, while its greatest drawback is expense per gigabyte of storage. SSD also has issues related to rewriting data as efficiently as conventional mechanical hard drives.

By combining both types of drives, Apple could provide rapid boot and "instant on" features currently available on the iPad and MacBook Air, while also providing large amounts of general storage for power users' large documents.

The report also noted the new models are about a half pound (0.2 kg) lighter than existing models. It also describes five different SKUs, harmonizing with existing reports on the new models.

Read more about MacBook Pro models in our latest reports on the subject.