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Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Apple's new MacBook Pros rumored with 16GB SSD boot disk, white model could be axed

With the expected launch of new MacBook Pro models on Thursday, a new report claims Apple's hardware will come with 16GB solid-state drives to quickly boot the operating system, and also says the company plans to discontinue its white polycarbonate entry-level MacBook.

Citing a "trusted source," French Apple site MacGeneration reported Tuesday a number of alleged details about Apple's forthcoming MacBook Pro refresh. The site claimed that Apple sees its $999 11-inch MacBook Air as its new entry-level notebook, replacing the current $999 plastic MacBook.

As for the new MacBook Pros, it was said that the notebooks will feature 16GB Go SSD mSATA drives that will store the Mac OS X operating system. This separate internal drive would allow the devices to boot faster from solid state memory, much like with the new all-flash MacBook Air models. Similar details were claimed in a separate report on Monday.

The 13-inch model will also reportedly abandon the Core 2 Duo processor and make the move to Intel's Core i3 chip. The report also said that the 13-inch MacBook Pro will also have a screen resolution of 1,440-by-900 pixels, and will feature three USB ports.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is also believed to offer 12 hours of battery life, and will allegedly weigh 200 grams less. And it said users will have the option to add a matte screen to the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro. Prices for the two 13-inch models were said to be €1,199 and €1,499.

On the larger 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, MacGeneration claims that Apple will offer customers the option to replace the SuperDrive with a solid-state drive. The 15-inch model was said to be lighter at 2.3kg, while the 17-inch model will weigh 2.65kg. It also said the 15-inch MacBook Pro will offer 10 hours of battery life.

In addition, it was said that the 17-inch MacBook Pro will have 8GB of RAM, while the 15-inch model was said to have a screen resolution of 1,680 by 1,050 pixels.

Finally, the site heard from another source that Apple is expected to debut "new technology" in the new MacBook Pro models, a tidbit that implies the inclusion of Intel's high-speed Lightpeak technology. Last week, a separate report claimed that Apple is on the verge of announcing the new connector for its Mac lineup.

MacGeneration has a respectable track record with Apple-related product leaks. Last year, ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the site revealed details about the Safari 5 Web browser before it was announced.