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The new MacBook Pro
According to people familiar with Apple's upcoming notebook offerings, the photo (below) is that of a partial prototype of the company's new 15-inch MacBook Pro, revealing the left side of the unit as well as its keyboard and palm rest areas.
The verification adds yet another piece to the puzzle, with AppleInsider having previously authenticated an earlier photo showing the base of the unit as well as its top shell. When combined, the two photos offer a significant window into what consumers can expect Apple's new professional notebooks to look like when they're released to market in the coming weeks.
The latest photo also reveals a new port layout for the MacBook Pro, which appears to include a FireWire 800 port, two side-by-side USB ports, an Ethernet port, audio in and out, and what may be a mini-DVI port. Again, these findings are consistent with a report published late last month.
Meanwhile, some publications have jumped to the conclusion that the latest photo provides evidence that Apple is using some completely new and revolutionary manufacturing process to stamp out its new MacBook Pro design from a single block of aluminum, which does not appear to be the case.
The two authenticated photographs (below, and below) clearly combine to show at least two separate components that will be joined to form the base of the unit, similar to the way the company constructs its existing MacBook Pro. The only difference appears to be in the layout of those pieces and the way they fit together.
An authentic photo of Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro top panel and left-side port makeup.
The existing MacBook Pro is constructed from a base container molded from a single piece of aluminum (that includes the unit's sides), which is then capped with a separate palm rest/keyboard area. The two are then secured by screws on the left- and right-side of the unit. With the new MacBook Pro, Apple is molding the palm rest/keyboard area and sides from one piece of aluminum, then securing a separate base through screws that will be visible at the base of the unit, not the sides.
Also of interest is the MacBook Pro's keyboard component, where individual key containers are carved out of the aluminum sheet that forms the top of the unit's base component. Again, this is nothing new. Apple has been employing this same technique in MacBook Air manufacturing for nearly a year, and on the plastic 13-inch MacBooks for several years (photos below).
Potentially the new MacBook
Separately, Apple.pro, the website responsible for leaking the first authentic images of the MacBook Pro casing back in July, has since published a trio of images that may turn out to be authentic representations of Apple's upcoming aluminum 13-inch MacBooks.
AppleInsider reported last month that both the new MacBook and MacBook Pro were spotted in matching outfits, building on reports from April that originally tagged both to obtain new aluminum enclosures that borrowed design cues from the aluminum iMacs and MacBook Air.