We’ve been expecting Apple to launch a touchscreen tablet Mac for a while, and despite Steve Jobs downplaying the notion of a new ultra-portable, one search engine has detected an unannounced Apple prototype using its service.

Reported by the New York Times’ John Markoff, a search engine insider has let slip that its usage logs have picked up traffic from an unannounced Apple product, with a screen resolution higher than the iPhone, but lower than its laptop range.

“Is it the iPhone 3.0 or the NetMac 1.0?” Asks Markoff.

We’re hoping for a netbook, packing full-blown multitouch and ready to take a slice of the ultra-portable pie from Asus and MSI. But there’s every possibility it’s simply a prototype that’ll never see the light of day.

What do you think? Can Apple really take on the bargain brigade? Let us know in the comments section.

TBC | £TBC | Apple (via New York Times)

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