15 Inch Mac Book Air

Apple is putting the finishing touches on a 15-inch ultra-portable MacBook Air/Pro hybrid that could make its debut this holiday season, according to multiple reports.

While Macrumors is scant on details about the next-generation Apple computer, it is likely to drop the optical disc drive and utilize a solid state drive instead of a hard disk drive. These are two of the MacBook Air‘s defining features.

A follow-up report from TUAW corroborates the Macrumors report. In addition, TUAW claims that the new device will be part of the MacBook Pro product line and not the MacBook Air family. It also claims that a 17-inch model is also being developed and that both models could make their debut during the 2011 holiday season.

Apple unveiled new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs last week to critical acclaim. In addition to new Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs, the refreshed ultra-portables contain Thunderbolt ports, backlit keyboards and OS X Lion. The tech titan refreshed the MacBook Pro line in February with faster processors and Thunderbolt ports.

If Apple really intends to slim down the MacBook Pro line and switch out the HDD for the SSD, it will have to find a way to keep the price down while giving customers comparable disk storage options. Or perhaps the 15-inch ultra-portable is the start of a new line of MacBooks that combine the portability of the Air with the power of the Pro.

We won’t know for sure until we get closer to the holiday season. We’ll keep our ears to the ground and try to get some answers.

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