Thoughts on The Next Major MacBook Pro 2011 Refresh

As I sit here at my desk drinking a delicious beer and wishing my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving, I can’t help when my mind wanders away from me and starts to think about the MacBook Pro refresh happening early 2011 (kind of sad eh?).

Yesterday 9to5Mac reported that about a rumour that Final Cut and MacBook Pros were due for a major revamp.

It’s hardly a surprise to anyone that Apple will refresh their MacBook Pro lineup in April, just as they do every year. However, it’s clear that a major refresh is due. Considering how well the new MacBook Air has been selling, it’s highly likely that Apple has already been spending the last few months taking what they learned from that design and prototyping a brand new MacBook Pro from it.

How would you feel about a 13″, 15″, and 17″ MacBook Pro based on the MacBook Air design? A more svelte MacBook Pro without an optical drive, and logically Apple would fill that extra space with more battery. Does that sound appealing to you? It sure as hell does to me! Last month my piece about the future of the Macbook lineup touted that it’s inevitable that we would see a MacBook/MacBook Pro without an optical drive. With most consumers getting their TV/Movie content fix via iTunes, Netflix, or Hulu, and not to mention software that can be downloaded via the web, the days of the optical drive are dwindling fast.

It would be a smart move for Apple to just continue to offer an optional external optical drive for people that absolutely can’t live without one. I know I still have a use for one on rare occasion, but I’d much rather sacrifice having it built-in for a slimmer laptop with more battery capacity. I know a small percentage of people will flip out at the thought of not having a built in optical drive, but the truth is Apple has already set the wheels in motion with removing them from the MacBook Air, and it’s only a matter of time before the entire Mac family gets stripped of that feature.