An image which appears to show a unibody MacBook Pro with a different key configuration to the current model has been unearthed by Macgasm from the Apple website. The image, which was apparently pulled shortly after the image was grabbed, shows a MacBook Pro, apparently running an early build of Lion, with a keyboard that has has a different set of arrow navigation keys on the right side as well as small modifications to the Shift key.
While it is unclear where specifically the image came from, and why it was rapidly pulled after the grab, it is interesting to speculate if Apple will be launching new Mac models this year with Lion specific keyboard layouts. Given that multitouch gestures are beginning to play such an important role in Mac operating systems, together with iOS, is it feasible that Apple could be playing around with keyboard configurations to add to this interactivity? Certainly, the leak of this image online suggests that the company has been looking at modified keyboard layouts.
Given that the company will reportedly be releasing new models of the Mac mini, the MacBook and MacBook Air in the coming weeks following the launch of 10.7 Lion, it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if any of the new models have Lion-specific tweaks to the keyboard. Certainly, given that the 2011 MacBook Pro has just been released, it’s unlikely that a refresh would be seen so soon, but a small keyboard tweak that is designed for the new OS certainly isn’t out of the realms of possibility.