For once, the rumor sites seem pretty consistent with their predictions and leaked photos in advance of Apple’s laptop-centric special media event.

According to the photos, the laptops appear to be aluminum, possibly forged from a single piece of metal, which, while not a first in the laptop market, could spell benefits in terms of production efficiencies, heat dissipation, noise reduction and even price. Daringfireball’s John Gruber has added a litany of specifications for the expected new computers, calling for the hardware equivalent of “Snow Leopard-style” changes — built for overall system performance improvements rather than new features. One exception is a new trackpad, that “is bigger and supports additional multi-touch gestures.” But, writes Gruber, the MacBook Pro’s new trackpad is made of glass, and is a physical button as well. “You just press and it clicks,” he writes. “This is not like the current software option where you can enable ‘Tap to Click’ in the trackpad preferences, but instead a glass trackpad that acts as a physical button, with a click you can feel. Sounds odd, but I hear it’s very cool in practice.”

More information is obviously forthcoming at today’s special event. I will be discussing the announcements — including any possible surprises — on the MacJury podcast.