Apple rumor claims all-new 12-inch MacBook

The MacBook is getting a makeover sooner rather than later if gossip from China is coming from a reliable source.

A future MacBook Air may depart from the 11- and 13-inch designs to date.
A future MacBook Air may depart from the 11- and 13-inch designs to date.

Apple is planning a radical redesign of the MacBook "soon," if a forum post out of China is to be believed.

A key aspect of the redesign would be the elimination of the fan assembly, according to MacRumors, which describes the post as coming from a reliable leaker of future Apple hardware.

A fanless design almost always implies ultra-thin and light. For example, the iPad Air is a fanless design as are Android and most Windows tablets. Even some of the newest, thinnest Windows 2-in-1s, such as the Intel Haswell processor-based HP Spectre 13 tablet that can double as a laptop, are fanless.

(See Imagining a newfangled MacBook)

The post also mentions that the new MacBook would have a trackpad sans mechanical button. Microsoft's Type Cover ultra-thin keyboard that goes with Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 has that kind of trackpad.

This latest rumor follows an NPD DisplaySearch report last October that forecast a 12-inch MacBook with a Retina-class display. That report said simply that it was due in 2014.

To date, the MacBook Air has come in two sizes: 11.6- and 13.3-inch -- both with relatively low-resolution displays.

Whatever Apple ultimately decides, it seems certain that the ultraportable laptop will eventually get a physical makeover. The MacBook Air hasn't seen a physical redesign or display change since late 2010, when Apple introduced a new chassis and debuted the 11.6-inch Air.

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