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MacBook to See Design Refresh in Near Future?

AppleInsider reports that Apple is currently overhauling the design of the MacBook, looking to bring a fresh exterior look to the aging entry-level notebook while also rebuilding the computer's interior architecture.

People familiar with Cupertino-based company's plans say the 13-inch portables are presently undergoing an industrial design overhaul that will see them reemerge in the coming months with a slimmer, lighter enclosure and restructured internal architecture to boot.

The report points to the likelihood of multiple models beginning at price points below the current $999 entry-level price, utilizing low-end components to allow Apple to better compete against budget PC notebooks.

Though details are few and far between, Apple is expected to achieve these markdowns through largely existing tactics, such as using lower-end components and previous-generation Core 2 Duo chips and architectures from Intel Corp. Battery life should receive a boost from cutting-edge technology that recently found its way into the company's other notebook offerings, while high-end legacy features like FireWire connectivity are likely to be sacrificed in the tradeoff.

Sources also claim that Apple had briefly considered using Intel's Atom processor in the MacBook as a way to quickly drop notebook prices, but decided against the move as the much-rumored tablet project came closer to fruition and allowed Apple to redevelop its ideas of the company's product mix for the future.

Apple's white polycarbonate MacBook has been viewed by many as sorely in need of a refresh, having been carried along as a single low-end model when the aluminum unibody MacBooks were introduced in October 2008 and left to carry the "MacBook" banner on its own when the aluminum models were rebranded as MacBook Pros in June 2009.