Ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook edges closer to production

An ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is on the cards -- it could either be the biggest Air or the skinniest Pro.

An ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is on the cards. Suppliers are reportedly gearing up with bits and pieces for a new MacBook, which could either be the largest Air or the skinniest Pro.

The computing industry wonks at DigiTimes report that Apple's suppliers have started to produce components for the potential 15-inch super-svelte laptop, ready for a possible launch as soon as March.

This is the most solid evidence so far for a new 15-inch model, but the question remains whether it will be a thin Pro or an oversized Air. A 15-inch ultra-thin laptop would be largest Air so far, and for our money would stray a little too far from the Air's super-portable raison d'etre -- remember how it was introduced as a computer you could produce from an envelope?

Apple currently sells an 11-inch and a 13-inch MacBook Air. The Pro line-up starts with a 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, so an ultra-thin 15-inch model could be the first of a skinny new look for the Pro. But the Pro's size is dictated by its features, including an optical drive and Thunderbolt connection, whereas the Air has more licence to ditch features in service of its thinness.

The Air has inspired a whole new segment of the market: the ultrabook. Intel came up with the name to describe a new breed of slender laptop that offers portability, speed and lightweight design, without being too expensive.

Here's our roundup of the best ultrabooks to be unveiled so far, including the impressive Acer Aspire S3.

Should Apple make an Air with a bigger screen, or does that miss the point of the Air? Is it about time the Pro went on a diet? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below, on our Facebook page, or at Google+.