Rumor: Apple is preparing a larger 15-inch MacBook Air

Apple's new thin and light MacBook Airs just received a recent refresh with zippy Core i5/i7 processors and Thunderbolt ports, but new intel suggests a 15-inch model is already in late development in Cupertino and will ship by the end of the year.

It's been rumored to death that Apple would borrow a few design elements from the MacBook Air and migrate them to the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The new 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs are just so fast (faster than a 2010 Core i7 17-inch MacBook Pro) that it wouldn't be too hard to stuff a beefier processor, larger battery and bigger screen into a larger 15-inch chassis.

As Steve Jobs said last October at the refreshed MacBook Air unveil, "We think all notebooks will look like these one day."

Don't believe Steve Jobs and his reality distortion field yap? Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang even thinks the MBA will be the basis of all notebooks going forward.

"I think the Macbook Air is a good mental image of what a clamshell laptop will look like. They'll be thin because you won't need any heat pipes, the fan, and extra batteries to lug around," Huang told CNET.

With Apple's omission of the optical disc drive on the MBAs, instead, pushing digital software through its Mac App Store, Apple's in a position in a good position to fend off potential backlash. We'll take fast SSDs and instant-on over slow hard drives and boot-up times any day.

Although MacRumors is confident that a 15-inch MBA exists, it wasn't sure if the notebook was only an internal prototype or not. TUAW has followed up with a similar report that says a 17-inch MBA is also in the works.

These new models are expected to drop in time for the holidays. So if you need the extra screen real estate, it might be worth it to hold out for a few months.

CORRECTION: The headline of this article originally stated as fact that Apple has a 15-inch MBA coming. This has not been confirmed, and the headline has been changed to reflect the status of the this as a rumor.

MacRumors and TUAW, via SlashGear

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