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Apple officially refreshes MacBook Pro Notebook line

Updated MacBooks receive Sandy Bridge processors and Apple’s newest transfer technology


With people patiently awaiting word on the iPad 2 launch event, Apple has gone ahead and announced an update to their line of MacBook Pro notebooks. In a press release by Apple today, the new notebooks will be updated with the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors along with Apple's new Thunderbolt technology.

According to the press release, the 13”, 15”, and 17” MacBook Pros have all been updated with new specs that make them up to twice as fast as the previous generation”. The two 13” MacBook Pro models feature a 2.3GHz Core i5 Processor or a 2.7 GHz Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB HDD or a 500GB HDD, and the classic MacBook Pro aluminum unibody. Unfortunately, the new 13” models forego NVIDIA’s graphics (previous models included the GeForce 94000M) in favor of integrated Intel‘s HD 3000 graphics.

As far as the 15” model goes, it will only be available with a Core i7 processor unlike the 13” version. The two 15” models feature either a 2.0 or 2.2 GHz Core i7 processor along with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB or 720GB HDD, and an AMD Radeon HD 6570M with either 256MB or 1GB of DDR5 RAM.

The most expensive MacBook Pro features the same specs as the higher-end 15” model but has a 17” screen to justify the price jump. Last but not least, both 15” and 17” models will be upgradeable with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB solid state drives for increased performance and all notebooks will have FaceTime HD.

Unfortunately, as a drawback to the increased power under the hood the estimated battery life on the new MacBook Pro’s has decreased from 10 hours to 7 hours. However, Apple reps claim that the drop is due to more powerful testing by Apple for their estimates; not due to the more powerful components inside.

Finally, all new MacBook models feature a new transfer port labeled “Thunderbolt” based on Intel’s light peak technology. According to Apple, the new I/O (Input/Output) should theoretically provide up to 10 Gbps data transfer speeds. The port is the same as Apple’s mini-display port and should be compatible with all mini-display peripherals.

As far as pricing goes, the new laptops start from $1,199 for the basic 13” model, $1,799 for the lower 15” model and $2,499 for the 17” model. For those interested in purchasing the new laptops, Apple’s online site has been all updated and is ready to accept your money.



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Omar Qudsi, 2011-02-26 (Update: 2012-05-26)