Apple Updates MacBook Pro Line for 2011

by Reads (21,367)

For those who haven’t already heard the news, Apple has officially revealed its new MacBook Pro family with the latest Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 and Core i7 processors, AMD Radeon graphics and the latest high-speed data port: Thunderbolt. In short, it’s time to buy a new MacBook!

There is a lot of new tech packed inside the latest MacBook Pro refresh and it’s bound to take a few Apple consumers by surprise. For starters, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro, and 17-inch MacBook Pro are all getting new Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors. Apple is also apparently kicking its long-time partner NVIDIA to the curb; the new 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros will come with AMD Radeon HD 6000M discrete graphics for high performance video and gaming. Apple is also making the interesting claim that all three sizes of MacBook Pro notebooks get the same 7-hour battery life. All the MacBook Pros also feature FaceTime HD cameras (with three times the resolution of current FaceTime cameras) and the all-new Thunderbolt high-speed data port.

Thunder(bolt) From Down Under
Although the new MacBook Pro notebooks look unremarkably like the old MacBook Pros, the team from Cupertino made some impressive changes inside the aluminum unibody shell. Tech enthusiasts from around the globe will take special interest in the first public implementation of Intel’s Light Peak technology: Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is essentially an alternative to the new USB 3.0 standard. Thunderbolt promises to deliver data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps. The only problem is that no one already has Thunderbolt-compatible accessories on the market (unlike the many USB 3.0 products that are already on store shelves). Several companies have already announced plans to release Thunderbolt-compatible external hard drives, but that doesn’t help the people who ran out and bought a new MacBook Pro today.

Here are the rest of the details on the latest MacBook Pro laptops:

13-inch MacBook Pro
2.3GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor with 3MB shared L3 cache and a 320GB hard drive or 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor with 4MB shared L3 cache and a 500GB hard drive for $1,199 and $1,499 respectively. Both come 4GB of RAM and both come with Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics (no optional AMD graphics here). It remains to be seen if the lack of discrete graphics was a wise choice.

15-inch MacBook Pro
The “modest” price of $1,799 gets you a 2.0GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 6490M discrete graphics with 256MB GDDR5 and switchable Intel HD 3000 graphics. The bargain price of $2,199 gets you a faster 2.2GHz Core i7 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive and AMD Radeon 6750M graphics with a whopping 1GB GDDR5 discrete memory.

17-inch MacBook Pro
There simply is no replacement for the 17-inch MacBook Pro if you want a large screen that spills over into the lap of the person sitting next to you on your next flight. A starting price of $2,499 gets you the same 2.2GHz Core i7 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive and AMD Radeon 6750M graphics as the top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro … with a larger screen.

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple is offing the 15-inch and the 17-inch MacBook Pro models with an optional anti-glare screen ($50-$150 depending on model) since many MacBook Pro owners have complained about the glossy screens on the MacBooks being difficult to use outdoors or under strong office lighting.

Be sure to check back with NotebookReview.com for more information and details about these latest and greatest Macs.

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