The latest date comes to us from KennethLund.dk, a Danish outlet, that has heard from a source inside a big Apple reseller that the new models will be available on the first day of March. This date matches up with the typical Apple refresh cycle, as we last saw a MacBook Pro refresh in April 2010.
While we don’t yet know what exactly the next MacBook Pro models will look like, its pretty much a given that they will use the latest Sandy Bridge processors from Intel. It was estimated that recall issues would delay the release of the MacBook Pro update, and many other computer models, but it appears that Intel has things under control and we will be seeing the MacBook Pro refresh sooner than anticipated.
The Sandy Bridge processors have an integrated graphics solution baked into the processor, perhaps allowing the MacBook Pro 13 to finally jump into the current line of processors without worrying about bulking, or heating, up.
Additionally there are some rumors that the new MacBook Pro models will take cues from the MacBook Air, either in the form of SSD storage or by ditching the optical drive. It may be hard to transition MacBook Pro users over to smaller SSD drives at this stage in the game, without offering a hybrid storage model, but we could see Apple relying on the Mac App store more and pulling out the optical drive. This could be used to enable the hybrid storage model, or to simply make the MacBook Pros thinner and lighter.