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Supposed 12" MacBook Air display assembly shown off in new photo set

A fresh set of photos from the Far East popped up online Friday purporting to show an assembled display belonging to Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, complete with "polished" Apple logo ala the latest iOS devices.

The images come from Chinese language Apple blog iFanR, which claims the "spy shots" depict an unreleased Apple laptop's display —with pre-production identifiers obscured —thought to be a 12-inch MacBook Air model.

If the pictures are legitimate, they are the first extensive look at Apple's much-rumored 12-inch ultraportable, which is shaping up to be the thinnest laptop ever designed by the Cupertino company, according to industry rumblings.

Along with closeup shots, a number of images show the alleged display unit laying on what appears to be a 13-inch MacBook Air for purposes of comparison. As expected, the display is smaller than the 13-inch model, but looks to be a bit taller than Apple's existing 11-inch MacBook Air. This could bode well for future buyers worried about keyboard size and key pitch.

A side view illustrates an extremely thin design, which appears to be a few millimeters thicker than the iPad Air shown for comparison, in line with expectations.

The top cover is conspicuously missing a translucent glowing Apple logo, long a staple of Apple's laptop lineup that distinguishes Macs from look-alike PC brands. The report claims Apple swapped out the plastic part due to an overly thin surrounding metal chassis, but the statement is somewhat suspicious considering the smaller 11-inch Air makes no such concessions.

Also modified from current MacBook Air models is edge-to-edge cover glass with underlying black bezels, a design suggesting a laminated LCD arrangement indicative of Apple's other Retina quality components. For many, the change from silver bezels is a welcome one and fits well with the MacBook Pro with Retina display series.

Not much is known about the alleged 12-inch Air aside from industry scuttlebutt. Earlier this month, rumors swirled over Apple's purported plan to drop all external ports save for a single USB 3.1 Type-C connection in a move to thin the device's chassis by cutting down on internal components.

According to the most recent rumors, Apple could launch its 12-inch thin-and-light by the end of the first quarter, though an exact timeline remains elusive due to a distinct lack of leaks from the supply chain.