Expect Thinner Keyboards on 15- and 17-inch Macbooks

Apple wants to put laptops with thinner keyboards in your hands. A patent application dug up by Apple Insider points to plans by Apple to make keyboards as thin as .02 mm. These keyboards would be thinner, lighter, and more quiet than keyboards being manufactured today.

The patent says the new keyboards could be made of glass, wood, stone, or, believe it or not, polished meteorite (material that’s, you know, out of this world).

The 15-inch Macbook Pro and the rumored 15-inch Macbook Air are prime candidates to get ultra-high resolution retina display from Apple. Image from Apple website.

We know OS X Mountain Lion is coming thanks to Apple’s announcement on February 16, 2012. But we have yet to hear official word on what new features Macbooks will be coming out with.

Observers are convinced that Macs will soon be switching to the new Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. This should bring with it improvements in performance as well as niche-market capabilities like triple-display functionality.

Many unconfirmed reports have to do with displays: high-resolution retina displays for Macbook Pros and Macbook Airs and 15-inch and 17-inch displays for the Macbook Air line. Apple buying its own flash storage company shows that the company is looking to develop low-priced, higher capacity flash drives for its computers and mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads.

OS X Mountain Lion, building on OS X Lion and taking advantage of the success of iPhones and iPads, features iCloud and better iOS integration.

And with the overwhelming success of the 2011 Macbook Air, it looks like Apple will start making more notebooks in the thin-and-light category. So maybe new Macbook Airs are in the offing: Macbook Airs with 15-inch and 17-inch displays could be adding to the current 11-inch and 13-inch models.

Another theory is that the more equipped Macbook Pros are about to get thinner and lighter. There are many factors that this could happen without sacrificing the kind of performance expected from the Macbook Pro line. One is the expected adoption of Intel Ivy Bridge processors.

Another factor is the improvements in flash storage technology. (See: Samsung SSDs will become twice as fast.) Then there’s Apple’s research into thinner keyboards that keeps the pleasure of providing tactile feedback not possible with iOS-style virtual keyboards.

Instant on should be making its way to more Apple gadgets and should soon become ubiquitous in both the Macbook Air and the Macbook Pros. And whether we see improved battery designs, simply switching to Ivy Bridge and newer SSDs should give Macbook improved battery life as well.

We don’t know for sure just yet what the future holds for Apple gadgets, but we can safely suppose that the company will continue to add improvements to its laptop and desktop computers. The changes, taken individually, might seem like tiny increments. But taken together, we are really seeing an overhaul of the entire Macbook Air and Macbook Pro lines.

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