Print 32 comment(s) - last by Domicinator.. on Feb 27 at 8:39 PM

17" MacBook Pro  (Source: Apple)

13.3" MacBook  (Source: Apple)
Apple drops Intel's 45nm processors into its MacBook, MacBook Pro

Apple created quite a ruckus last month when it launched its ultra-slim MacBook Air ultra-portable notebook. The 13.3", three-pound notebook features a cut-down Core 2 Duo processor, 13.3" screen and Multi-Touch trackpad (which accepts gesture commands like the iPhone and iPod touch).

In late January, AppleInsider's inside sources leaked that Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks would be refreshed in the coming weeks to accept new Intel Penryn processors along with Multi-Touch.

The sources were correct and Apple today announced updated MacBook Pro and MacBook notebooks. Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks now feature Multi-Touch, Intel's 45nm Core 2 Duo processors (up to 2.6GHz) and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor.

Apple's 15" MacBook Pro (1440x900) comes standard with a 200GB or 250GB 5400 RPM HDD depending on the model selected. A 200GB 7200 RPM drive is optional. The 17" MacBook Pro (1680x1050) features a 250GB 5400 RPM HDD as standard equipment -- a 200GB 7200 RPM HDD and a 300GB 7200 RPM HDD are on the options sheet.

The entry-level 13.3” MacBook (1280x800) also received some minor updates although it doesn't add Multi-Touch to its repertoire. The MacBook is available with a 2.1GHz or 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor and is available with HDDs ranging in size from 120GB to 250GB.

Both the updated MacBook Pro and MacBook models are available now. Pricing for the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros start at $1,999 and $2,799 respectively. The 13.3" MacBook starts at $1,099.

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By mmntech on 2/26/2008 10:35:36 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing really exciting here. Just a speed bump. The vanilla MacBook seems to have received a bit of a price drop in Canada. I seem to remember it selling for $1249 now it's down to $1149, which is still $50 more than it is in the US despite the dollar being at par. I also would have preferred 2gb DDR2 be standard in the base model as well, or at least a faster RAM clock speed. I still might save up for one though given my iBook G4 is really starting to show it's age running Leopard.

RE: Meh...
By dcalfine on 2/26/2008 10:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
The 45nm processor will consume much less electricity, and the multi-touch trackpad can actually make a huge difference in efficiency for some. But, generally, I agree. I was hoping for more.

RE: Meh...
By themadmilkman on 2/26/2008 10:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
Given the popularity of the laptops with college students, I would imagine that an overhaul would wait until the summer to generate excitement for the school purchase season.

RE: Meh...
By DASQ on 2/26/2008 11:25:43 AM , Rating: 3
That's what the June release day is for.

RE: Meh...
By daftrok on 2/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: Meh...
By DASQ on 2/26/2008 12:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is great for sidesaddling price increases on features.

Notice you cannot upgrade to the DVD burner in the base model. If you'd like to burn DVD's, you need to swallow a $200 upgrade for the DVD burner, and then some extra stuff you didn't need/want. I'm assuming the DVD combo drive unit exists simply to advertise "MacBook's starting at $1099!!"

RE: Meh...
By JDoobs on 2/26/2008 8:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
Just wondering exactly the 'June release day' is and if I should be waiting to buy my Macbook for school?

RE: Meh...
By kzrssk on 2/26/2008 11:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
I'm about to get a MacBook Pro for work, so this is actually exciting for me. I won't have to change or justify anything since it's a refresh, and as I understand it, the price stays the same.

RE: Meh...
By XPguy on 2/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Meh...
By mikeyD95125 on 2/26/2008 9:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
You mean, " Apple should have to pay you for their laptops.
Their laptops are not very well made. "?

I feel bad attacking an 8 year old on grammar and spelling. :(

iPhone SDK?
By dcalfine on 2/26/2008 10:33:59 AM , Rating: 2
This is great and all, but didn't Apple promise us an iPhone SDK?

Also, how common are these 45nm processors in notebooks? And why aren't they quad-core?

RE: iPhone SDK?
By Lonyo on 2/26/2008 10:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
Because quad core = more power intake, more heat, and are more powerful than necessary for a laptop.
Same reason you see 3+GHz processors on the desktop, but these top out at 2.6GHz.

RE: iPhone SDK?
By kelmon on 2/26/2008 1:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Also, how common are these 45nm processors in notebooks? And why aren't they quad-core?

More common now since the Penryn launch but I believe that Intel is having supply problems so it's restricting their availability.

Quad-core would require someone to make a quad-core processor for notebooks. Intel has plans for this (not sure about AMD) later this year but the best you'll get here is a desktop processor. As powerful as a desktop processor is, put that in a laptop and you'll either get something as big as a desktop, or will spontaneously combust, or possibly both.

With respect to the iPhone SDK, it's already been reported that Apple will miss the February release date by about 1-3 weeks. However, nothing official has been seen and there's still a few days left to prove the reports wrong.

RE: iPhone SDK?
By winterspan on 2/27/2008 6:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
The Penryn "Core 2 Extreme" laptop quad core part isn't out until late spring/early summer. Even then, I'm sure it has a very high TDP rating, and Apple makes thin and quite laptops, so I doubt you'll see one in a Macbook Pro.

Good changes
By FluxCap on 2/26/2008 10:47:23 AM , Rating: 2
I really like the Pro line of laptops from Apple. I have been a desktop PC gamer for a long time but that is about to be phased out (console gaming exclusively). I would probably buy the cheapest model of the Pro, especially with the same touch screen functionality of the iPhone (I currently use one).

RE: Good changes
By MasterTactician on 2/26/2008 1:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Funny. I bought the Pro specifically because it was THE BEST 15" sub-5.5lbs gaming laptop at the time (Summer 07), and also the most powerful DX10 laptop on the market (though that wasn't saying much, the 8600M GT is no miracle when it comes to performance, but it gets the job done - Crysis is even playable at med-low settings). I think I've used OSX less than 20 hours in the last 6 months (suck it apple), but Vista Ultimate x64 works like a charm (since the MacPro Bootcamp drivers were leaked earlier this year) - ALL MacBook Pro drivers and functions work in x64.

Sure, I paid a premium, but what other laptop at the time had all of the below:
1) LED Backlit Screen
2) 8600M GT or equally capable GPU for gaming
3) Battery life of 3-5 hrs
4) Weight and dimensions of 5.4lbs, 1" thickness and small bezel around the screen
5) 5.1 / 7.1 Surround sound Output (and input) via a mini Optical port
6) Dual Link DVI (was almost impossible to find on a PC laptop before the 8-series, I'm not sure what things look like now)
7) Backlit and very well-built Keyboard

Overall, I think the Pro justified its price with the extra (and in some cases exclusive) features it provided. It’s also nice to be able to dual boot into OSX if anything goes wrong in Vista (which it did, naturally, last month). I'm quite satisfied with it, though I doubt I fit the "average apple fanatic / form over function" demographic as well as others might lol.

RE: Good changes
By Domicinator on 2/27/2008 8:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
See, you're the kind of Mac user I LIKE. It doesn't bother me so much that people like the hardware. I admit, Macbooks look pretty cool. (Though I have a Gateway laptop that looks very similar to a Pro at least from a distance.) But I shudder to think of a world where Mac OS is the dominant software. I HATE Mac OS. I'm glad people are learning how to dual boot. It brings Apple down a notch when people aren't using that crappy OS and it kind of just turns them into a hardware maker like everyone else.

I think if I had a Mac I would just get rid of OSX completely (if that's possible) and just run Windows on it.

RE: Good changes
By kelmon on 2/26/2008 1:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 17" MacBook Pro from October 2006 and I still think it's a stunning piece of engineering. However, while gaming under Boot Camp does work, the one game that I wanted to play on it (Dawn of War) keeps crashing even after the official launch of Leopard. Other games that I've tested, like Half-Life 2 run great but DoW always seems to crash after about 30-minutes (BSoD). I don't know how common this but it's something to be aware of.

By thornburg on 2/26/2008 11:16:01 AM , Rating: 2
The 13.3" MacBook Pro starts at $1,099

The 13.3" model is known as the MacBook, no "Pro".

It really is too bad this isn't a bigger update--LED Backlit screens on all the models (at least as an option) would have been very nice. Instead, it is only available on the most expensive model, and costs extra.

RE: error
By DASQ on 2/26/2008 11:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
That's a fairly standard Apple product feature line up.

LED backlights would be nice. I'm not very interested in the MacBook's themselves, but the more that are in use on the market, the faster LED LCD's get cheaper.

RE: error
By Chadder007 on 2/26/2008 12:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
Same here....I was wanting LED for Macbook.

RE: error
By ebakke on 2/26/2008 11:33:13 AM , Rating: 2
And where are the higher resolution monitor options?? Cripes!

I don't get it.
By Domicinator on 2/26/2008 8:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
Why do new Apple notebooks always make headlines? It's not just this site, it's ALL the tech sites. I know Apple has its little following and people think Apple products are just the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I don't get how this is a news story.

Other companies get these kinds of headlines if they make something that stands out. Dell and HP seem to get a lot of headlines for their gaming machines. Anything small and thin gets headlines. But why do a new MacBook and MacBook Pro get headlines???? It's just the same old crap with updated hardware for god's sake!!

I just don't understand it. Steve Jobs does not crap solid gold bricks, and MacBooks are nothing to write home about. They look cool and some people like OSX (I don't know why!), but I just don't see why this is a national news alert.

RE: I don't get it.
By kelmon on 2/27/2008 1:28:55 AM , Rating: 2
On this occasion it was Apple introducing the Penryn processor to their product line and I think pretty much every major manufacturer got similar headlines. Apart from that I think you hit the nail on the head - you don't "get it" but others do. I'd certainly argue, personally, that the MacBook Pro line are something to write home about as the finest notebooks money can buy so each to their own.

RE: I don't get it.
By kelmon on 2/27/2008 1:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
The other obvious answer that I neglected to mention is that loads of people, particularly on sites like DailyTech, absolutely hate Apple and anything made by them, so writing a story about their products is a surefire method to get page hits. Trolls pretty much can never resist the bait and the pro-Apple group will surely arrive as well to defend them. Personally, I just find the articles and the subsequent comments to be funny now.

RE: I don't get it.
By robinthakur on 2/27/2008 5:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
I think you hiot the nail on the head when you said that "they look cool" So much pc equipment doesn't look "cool" it looks geeky and like it was designed by an engineer, Apple products sell to a different demographic who are willing to pay for simplicity and decent industrial design. Since they are the ones with the money, people listen to them and market their products appropriately. The design of the Apple Macbook range is second to none, and for that reason it stands out far more than its competitors which do not have the wow factor unless you can comprehend the convoluted specs. Most can't

By kelmon on 2/26/2008 1:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'd quite like one of these new MacBook Pros but one thing really jumps out at me from the announcement - the Apple Remote for use with Front Row and other applications is now a $19.99 optional extra rather than included in the box as it has been for all other MacBook/Pro models. I'm sorry but if I'm going to pay $2000+ for a laptop then I damned well expect the remote for free, particularly if the model available yesterday had it.

While I've not had a problem with Apple's prices before (I get a good computer that doesn't give me issues and can be resold for quite a lot) I am having issue with them now. The wireless N upgrade was strange but the $5 fee acceptable. The $20 iPod Touch software update was disgraceful. And now charging $20 for the remote when it was free before. Apple has been accused of "nickle and diming" people but it really is turning out to be true and this is not what I want to see. I think Apple are setting themselves up for another PR issue here and they only have themselves to blame.

LED Backlight on the 15"?
By Moebiwankenobi on 2/27/2008 1:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
From Apple's site:

15-inch MacBook Pro

15.4-inch (diagonal) antiglare widescreen TFT LED backlit display with support for millions of colours; optional glossy widescreen display

So that means its standard on the 15" but optional on the 17"

Also, any speculation on the validity of the June update? I'm just wondering if it's worth the wait. If it's just a bump in CPU/Ram/HDD then I'm going to get mine now. CPU is plenty fast for a laptop and the rest I can upgrade myself. GPU on the other hand is important but if apple is going to offer it as an upgrade or 17" exclusive, then forget it.

Jobs is the great iSwindler
By guy007 on 2/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Jobs is the great iSwindler
By dcalfine on 2/26/2008 12:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
How about you defend that assertion with links to comparable notebooks?

RE: Jobs is the great iSwindler
By michael2k on 2/26/2008 12:23:00 PM , Rating: 3
What exactly are you complaining about? The prices are similar to Lenovo's 3000 series (when comparing to the MacBook), their X300 (when comparing to the MacBook Air), and their ThinkPads (when comparing to the MacBook Pro).

RE: Jobs is the great iSwindler
By 777 on 2/27/2008 11:37:38 AM , Rating: 1
Apple is gonna rip you off just a little less for laptops that have the exact same components found in pc notebooks.

Hey Chief, you should do a thorough comparison before you say this. I compared the latest HP laptops yesterday to Apples laptops, not pile of Sh__ Dell laptops and for the same price for the HP's you got just a little less than what is in the Apple laptops. Pc people tend to whine about Apple being a ripoff or too expensive, but if you compare the specs equally this is simply not true. Apple just doesn't make cheaply priced computers other than their Mac mini.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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