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Thin MacBook Pro

If you’ve been waiting for Apple to refresh its flagship MacBook Pro laptops, it looks like your patience will be well-rewarded.

Apple’s next 15-inch MacBook Pro will reportedly sport a thinner design (as many previous rumors have indicated), a higher-resolution Retina Display screen, and it will also be the first Mac to feature USB 3 ports, supply chain sources tell 9to5Mac. Apple is expected to announce the laptop at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June (it’s already out of stock at many stores), and the company is also ramping up shipments for that month as well, Digitimes reports.

We’ve been hearing quite a bit about a new 15-inch MacBook over the last six months. While initial rumors pointed to Apple releasing a 15-inch version of its MacBook Pro ultraportable, it’s more likely that they were referring to the thinner MacBook Pro. 9to5Mac notes that the new laptop won’t have the tapered design of the current MacBook Air, and it will instead resemble a slimmed-down version of the existing MBP.

Given just how well the new iPad’s Retina Display turned out, it’s been rumored for some time that Apple would eventually bring higher-resolution displays to the Mac. According to 9to5Mac, you’ll be able to choose from several different resolution modes to tweak the sharpness of images and text in OSX Mountain Lion (instead of dealing with specific resolutions).

Intriguingly, Apple is also reportedly removing the MacBook Pro’s optical drive in an effort to make the laptop thinner. Power users will likely be annoyed by the move, but honestly I rarely miss having an optical drive on my MacBook Air. You’ll still be able to read CDs and DVDs with an external optical drive.

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