The Maciverse is all a-twitter this morning with speculation that an Intel promo photo is showing off the next-generation MacBook Pro. As you can see in the photo at right, there's a very thin laptop powered by the new Intel Sandy Bridge processor.
We reported about a month ago that Spanish Mac site FAQ-Mac.com had found an Intel promo showing an alleged Core i5 MacBook Pro that was to be given away. Somehow, people seem to be comparing that photo with the laptop seen in today's advertisement.
Most likely, this is just a lot of breathless anticipation by a lot of MacBook Pro owners who wish their computer was as thin and sexy as a MacBook Air -- but with a lot more power. Let's think about this, folks. First, although there are abundant rumors about a MacBook Pro refresh appearing next month, we still don't know what it would look like, and it's rare for Apple to let anyone, even Intel, see what its designs look like in advance.
Next, this device doesn't appear to have the traditional iSight / FaceTime camera, and considering that cameras are built into most Apple products these days, it seems like that would be a great loss. It also appears to be missing the optical drive, which isn't unprecedented -- after all, the MacBook Air doesn't have one -- but it would be a bit of a shock to MacBook Pro owners who are used to having that SuperDrive.
On the other hand, the black case could be an indication that Jony Ive and crew are starting to move away from the aluminum and glass design metaphor towards lighter carbon fiber construction. The opinion in the TUAW newsroom is that this is not a MacBook Pro; it's most likely a generic placeholder image. If we're wrong, I'll eat chocolate-covered bacon.