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New MacBook Pros to Carry Larger Trackpads, Dedicated SSD for Mac OS X?


While all signs are pointing to updated MacBook Pros appearing later this week, most likely on Thursday, details on what changes might be included have been rather scant. But a new report from BGR now offers a few claims about what might be included beyond an upgrade to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors.

The first tidbit of information claims that the new MacBook Pros will offer larger trackpads than those found on current models, opening the door for greater flexibility for users and perhaps options for more complex gestures.

The report also claims that the updated machines will offer a dedicated solid-state drive of 8-16 GB to house Mac OS X system files that would allow for fast system boot-up and performance. Additional machine storage would be made available in either traditional hard drives or with solid-state drive upgrades.

The next bit of information doesn't quite make sense to us, but we have been told the OS on the laptops will be loaded to a separate (internal) 8-16GB SSD while everything else will remain on the regular hard drive. There will be options for just SSD drives but the base models will feature regular hard disks with the SSD combo for the OS.

The idea of separate flash-based storage for system files is not a new one, as reports dating back to early 2006 suggested that Apple might adopt Intel's "Turbo Memory" feature that offered similar functionality. At the time the advantages of using an SSD/Hard Drive hybrid were improved performance and longer battery life:

[Turbo Memory] utilizes NAND flash memory instead of the hard disk for computer startup and launching frequently used applications. The use of this technology would allow for faster boot up times and improved battery life in portables utilizing the technology.

Finally, the report's source indicates that Apple has shaved approximately half a pound off of the weight of each of the MacBook Pro models.