MacBook and MacBook Pro Port Speculation

The recently leaked MacBook and MacBook Pro case images have spawned a 1400+ post discussion thread. One of the most debated issues is the analysis of the ports on the side of the upcoming Apple laptops. The two laptop enclosures photographed actually show two different port arrangements, which has caused some confusion.

The larger (presumed MacBook Pro) enclosure contains an additional port which is believed to be a Firewire port:

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While the Magsafe connector is not shown on this image, the remainder of the ports are believed to be (from right to left): Ethernet, Firewire, USB 1, USB 2, Video Out, Audio Jack, Headphones, Express Slot, and possible additional port (covered by tape).

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This photo of the presumed MacBook enclosure shows the following ports from (right to left): Magsafe, Ethernet, USB 1, USB 2, Video Out, Audio Jack, Headphones.

If these images are believed to represent the upcoming machines, that would mean that Apple has eliminated Firewire support from the MacBook (but not MacBook Pro). Firewire (also known as IEEE 1394) is a common method for connecting external hard drives and digital camcorders to Macs. One interesting possibility mentioned, however, is that the newest Firewire specification does allow for the use of Firewire over Ethernet connectors, but Apple would have to specifically support this implementation. If they did, then users could theoretically use Firewire devices using a special adapter to connect to the Ethernet plug.

Other points of debate which have not found any consensus include:

- The exact video out plug standard. Though it may simply be an Apple-proprietary plug that requires a special adapter.
- The presence of a possible additional port on the MacBook Pro enclosure. Some have suggested that this could predict the iMac docking station in which a notebook would slide into an iMac-shaped dock. While the presence of a right sided optical drive would fit nicely with this design, this possibility still seems improbable.

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