Apple gets back to the Mac

Apple is apparently shifting its focus back to the shiny Mac after conquering the tablet market with its “magical” iPad.

Indeed, Steve Jobs has announced yet another conference at his Club Cupertino campus (Oct. 20), where he is expected to reveal details about the long-awaited Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).

Apple is also likely to announce a replacement for the rather outdated and neglected MacBook Air, which hasn’t received a hardware refresh since mid-2009. 

As AppleInsider notes, “persistent rumors” out of the Far East have suggested the company is gearing up to overhaul the Air line with a newly designed 11.6-inch display in an attempt to create a more “aggressively priced” notebook for students and business travelers.

So, what else will the venerable Jobs talk about?

Well, CNET’s Dan Ackerman and Scott Stein speculate Apple may unveil an updated lineup of MacBook Pros – which could boast a blazingly fast Intel Core i3 and longer-life batteries. 

The two also hypothesized that any MacBook refresh could theoretically feature Nvidia’s new mid-range and high-end GPUs, which would be “welcome additions” in the higher range of the Macbook Pro 15 and 17-inchers. 

And, as expected, Ackerman and Stein formulated a standard “MacHead” wish list with much-coveted items such as Blu-ray, HDMI and SD card slots “across the board.”

“Lest you think the MacBook designers are unmoved by consumer demand, note that it took years for any MacBook to include an SD card slot, now it’s available in the Pro models, and the Mac Mini includes HDMI as its main video output,” the two explained.

“[So], our prediction? An SD card slot on the 13-inch MacBook seems like a smart bet, the others are wishful thinking for now.”

What do you think Apple will reveal at the conference on October 20th?