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Rumor redux: new MacBooks coming soon

Rumor redux: new MacBooks coming soon

Mac rumors, you vex us so. Pretty much every other hardware vendor is powerless against the almighty leak, as evidenced by the floodof laptop information that showed up online prior to the launch of Intel's Santa Rosa platform. But Apple always manages to keep us guessing up until the very last moment.

The current buzz around the Interwebs is that we should see some kind of update to the hugely popular MacBook line of laptops sometime in June. The Apple WorldWide Developers conference, or WWDC, starts June 11, an obvious marker, but Web site is putting its money on June 5, based on some information found on a French Mac enthusiast site and the timing of Apple's Back to School promotional program, which starts next week.

The always interesting Apple Insider Web site doesn't weigh in on the great date debate, but offers that some MacBook Pro orders are purportedly delayed and quotes an unverified e-mail from Apple to distributors with the subject line, "Setup info for new SKUs."

Another possible clue comes from the launch of Apple's new Outlet Store section on its Web site, offering discounts on clearance items.

What can Mac fans actually expect from new MacBooks? The smart money so far is on an update to Intel's Santa Rosa platform and LED backlit displays for the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros. Less likely are long-rumored devices such as a new ultraportable laptop or tablet. The 13-inch MacBook got a fairly inconsequential update a few weeks ago.

Last but not least, a MacBook we were expecting from Apple a couple of weeks ago has mysteriously been delayed. We didn't give it much thought at the time, but now...