Hybrid SSDs, Larger Trackpads Destined for MacBook Pro Refresh?

More rumors surrounding Apple’s imminent MacBook Pro refresh this week suggest that the new professional-grade notebooks will gain more features aside from their gut upgrades.

In addition to new second-generation Core i Series (Sandy Bridge) processors that will be making their way into the MacBook Pro, Apple is said to be delivering these notebooks with trackpads that are larger than those found on the current model. Given Apple’s fondness for ‘touch’ technology, the larger trackpad may not be a stretch as it would give users more surface area for gestures inside Apple’s OS X environment. In announcing the MacBook Air, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, shunned the idea of a touchscreen-based laptop suggesting that it was not the right form factor as users would tire their arms reaching for the screen and moving between the keyboard and the screen would not create an optimal user experience.

Additionally, the new notebooks, according to sources to BGR, would come equipped either with full SSDs or hybrid SSD options. The solid-state drives would be used, like on the MacBook Air, to deliver instant-on capabilities and reduce boot and start up times. Basic models would have either an 8 or 16 GB SSD in addition to a regular hard drive while high-end models would migrate exclusively to the more expensive SSD options.

The new models are about 1/2 pound lighter on average than the current generation models that they will be replacing. Apple is expected to announce its refresh on Thursday, which is just in time for Steve Jobs’ birthday bash.

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