New MacBooks coming this spring, reports suggest

— 3:05 PM on February 11, 2011

That Intel 6-series chipset bug sort of threw a wrench in the works, but according to AppleInsider, Apple's next MacBook Pro refresh will be postponed by less than a couple of weeks as a result. Basing itself on word from sources "familiar with the matter," the report predicts that volume shipments of the upcoming Apple laptops will kick off "between late February and early April."

Little seems to have transpired with the machines themselves. A couple of months ago, DigiTimes reported the systems will exhibit a "slight change in chassis design." Around the same time, we also heard future entry-level MacBooks might employ Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics component without help from a third-party GPU. (One would expect Apple to continue offering discrete graphics on higher-end MacBook Pros, though, of course.)

In a related story, CNet News suggests Apple will follow up in June with refreshed MacBook Air laptops also based on Sandy Bridge. An anonymous source "familiar with Apple's plan" allegedly let the schedule slip. As CNet points out, the MacBook Air line really could use the CPU upgrade. Apple has been outfitting these machines with ultra-low-voltage Core 2 processors ever since the first Air model came out in early 2008.

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