Apple to take notebook lines larger and smaller
Almost by definition, we'd be talking about a 10in screen - a 12in model wouldn't be much smaller than the 13in MacBook, though it could be thinner. And unless a 10in widescreen (when did Apple last offer a 4:3 display?) is surrounded by a deep bezel, there's not enough room for Apple's usual trackpad beneath the keyboard.
So we can't help wondering whether this will be the long-awaited tablet Mac, even if it is a convertible rather than a slate. The only other arrangement we can visualise is a trackpad that slides out from the edge of the device closest to the user.
The idea of omitting the optical drive may worry some people, but the combination of target disk mode and almost ubiquitous wired and wireless networking - not to mention capacious and inexpensive thumb drives - means it won't be as big an issue as it was in the 1990s.
Will flash memory be built in? Quite possibly - it's the technology that makes thumb drives so cheap, and various vendors are looking at it for a way of speeding boot/wake times and reducing overall power consumption. Think in terms of the safe sleep feature of the MacBook (and Pro), but with the data stored in onboard flash memory rather than the hard disk, and as a cache that could reduce the number of times that the hard disk must be spun up during normal operation.
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