Reports: Apple To Launch Sandy Bridge Macbooks March 1

refresh Bridge

Reports spread on Tuesday that updated Macbook Pro models will come to market on March 1 , which is just under a year since the last Macbook Pro update in April 2010. Apple resellers in Denmark reportedly told Danish blogger Kenneth Lund that the new Macbooks would become available on March 1, which is a Tuesday, the day of the week when Apple usually refreshes its product line.

Furthermore, according to a report from Cult of Mac on Tuesday, the new Apple Macbooks will undergo a radical redesign. The updated notebook line from Apple will reportedly resemble the more lightweight Macbook Airs, which feature a unibody design. The Macbook Air that launched last year featured smaller SSD sticks in place of traditional hard drives in order to save on space. The MacBook Air also does not include the built-in optical drive featured in regular Macbooks.

The thin and light Macbook Air notebooks from Apple, according to a report from C-Net last week, could also be due for a refresh that includes Intel's Sandy Bridge processors this summer, C-Net reported.

Intel is scheduled to begin shipping Sandy Bridge notebook components to manufacturers on February 20. Intel said last week that it will resume shipping its Cougar Point support chipset for its new Sandy Bridge integrated platform, but only for PC system configurations that are not affected by the design issue that came to light the week before. Intel said it made the decision after extensive discussion with its OEM partners.

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The error in Intel's Cougar Point chipset causes SATA ports in some chipsets to degrade over time, affecting the performance of attached SATA hard disks and DVD drives in PCs using Intel’s latest second generation "Sandy Bridge" Core processors. Intel said that Cougar Point is more or less the only chipset that runs alongside Sandy Bridge as it gets integrated into a system. Several OEMs recalled Sandy Bridge-based systems as a result, after unveiling those systems last month at CES 2011. Lenovo, HP, Dell, MSI and Samsung are among those that have suspended production of systems running Intel 's Sandy Bridge platform and offered to compensate customers affected by the Cougar Point design flaw.

Shortly following Intel's recall, Apple resellers told CRN that Intel's Sandy Bridge delay could affect the release of updated Apple Macbook PCs, which have been powered by Intel's Core 2 Duo processors since 2007.