Apple today released a revamped MacBook Pro
lineup. Those expecting fresh new case designs and SSD
boot drives will be disappointed.
The smallest member of the MacBook Pro lineup, the 13"
model, is finally moving into the modern era by ditching its base Core 2 Duo
processor for a Core i5 processor running at 2.3GHz. Standard storage capacity
has been bumped from 250GB to 320GB and the standard 4GB of DDR3 memory is now
running at 1333MHz.
While the sleek
13" MacBook Air is sporting a 1400x900 display, the 13" MacBook
Pro still soldiers on with a 1280x800 display. When it comes to graphics, Apple
has ditched the NVIDIA GeForce discrete graphics for the on-chip Intel HD 3000
graphs solution with 384MB of shared memory.
Other features worth noting are FaceTime HD (triple the
resolution of the previous FaceTime camera), support for SDXC memory cards, and an implementation of Intel's Light Peak that it dubs "Thunderbolt".
“Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that
delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O
standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro," said Philip Schiller,
Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
Apple further describes ThunderBolt:
enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer. Featuring
two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each,
Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance
peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer
devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports
DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for
HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems,
cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as
a new standard for high performance I/O.
The 15" and 17" MacBook Pros also get processors
upgrades, and both are now available with quad-core Core i7 processors (2.0GHz
in the 15" model, 2.3GHz in the 17" model). Like their little
13" brother, the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros also gain SDXC slots
and Thunderbolt. Standard storage on the 15” and 17” MacBook Pros are 500GB and
The biggest news for the two largest members of the MacBook
Pro family is the removal of NVIDIA discrete GPUs to accommodate new AMD Radeon
graphics. The 15" model comes packing a standard Radeon HD 6490M with
256MB of memory while the 17" is equipped with a Radeon 6750M with 1GB of
As is typically the case with Apple's notebooks, the latest
MacBook Pros will cost you quite a bit more than comparable Windows 7-based
machines. The 13" MacBook Pro still starts at $1,199 -- Apple also offers
a 13" MacBook Pro with a 2.7GHz Core i7 processor and 500GB HDD for
$1,499. The 15" MacBook Pro starts at $1,799 and the 17" MacBook Pro
starts at $2,499.