The Apple rumour-mill has been stoked (yet again) this week, with reports that Apple's contract manufacturing partners have started sending the new aluminium MacBooks to Apple's Cupertino HQ.

Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner told investors this week that the new MacBooks would feature a "very thin aluminum casing, an LED-backlit display and an aggressive entry-level price point," according to numerous reports.

Design mash-up

The new machines are said to be a design mash-up of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro's aluminium styling, with Apple doing away with plastic lappies for ever, with Greenpeace no doubt ready to applaud the move.

Apple Expo kicks off in Paris tomorrow, with plenty of eager Apple fans wishing for the new MacBooks to be unveiled to coincide with the event.

Feasible but unlikely

"It's certainly conceivable that Apple will release new laptops at Paris; the rumours that new models have started shipping are less easy to dismiss than usual," said MacFormat's deputy editor, Christopher Phin.

"That said, the Paris Expo is rarely the venue for product announcements, and indeed Apple, as far as we know, isn't even exhibiting at this year's Paris show."