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Apple updates MacBook Pro line

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April 13, 2010

Apple's family of updated MacBook Pros

Apple's family of updated MacBook Pros

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Apple has finally unveiled the long expected updates to its MacBook Pro line with faster processors, next generation NVIDIA graphics and improved battery life. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro includes faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors, while the 15-inch and 17-inch models feature Intel Core i5 and i7 processors as well as Apple’s new automatic graphics switching technology that lets users toggle between energy efficient Intel HD Graphics and the more powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M processors without having to log out.

13-inch MacBook Pro

Alongside the faster processors all 13-inch MacBook Pro models now include 4GB RAM, a 10-hour built-in battery and the new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor. Apple says that with 48 processing cores, the new NVIDIA GeForce 320M is the fastest integrated graphics processor on the market, making the 13-inch MacBook Pro ideal for graphics intensive applications or high performance games.

15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros

Testing conducted by Apple using preproduction 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7–based 15-inch MacBook Pro units with NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and production 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based 15-inch MacBook Pro units with NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT showed the new 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models are up to 50 percent faster then the previous systems.

This is thanks to the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors integrating the memory controller and Level 3 cache for faster access to system memory. Hyper-Threading technology also improves data throughput by creating virtual processing cores, while Turbo Boost optimizes performance between the two processor cores, accelerating the system from 2.66 GHz to 3.06 GHz for intensive dual core tasks, and up to 3.33 GHz for single core tasks.

All 15-inch and 17-inch models include two graphics processors, the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M for peak performance and Intel HD Graphics for energy efficient operation. Apple’s automatic graphics switching determines which graphics processor an application needs and switches instantly between processors to deliver peak performance and long battery life. Apple says the tightly integrated hardware and software allow the new 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro to deliver eight to nine hours on a single charge.

All MacBook Pros feature LED-backlit wide-angle displays with a broad color gamut. The 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a high resolution 1920 x 1200 display, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro is now available with an optional high resolution 1680 x 1050 display. Customers can also upgrade their MacBook Pro with new 128GB, 256GB and 512GB solid state drives.

One More Thing… (well a couple actually)

Borrowing from the iPhone/iPod/iPad, the MacBook Pro glass Multi-Touch trackpad now supports inertial scrolling for scrolling through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites.

Apple has also confirmed to Ars Technica that the new MacBook Pro models will pass both video and audio signals to an HDTV or receiver when using a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. Although Apple doesn’t make its own adapter and reportedly doesn’t have any plans to do so at the moment, third-party options have been available for some time.

All new MacBook Pro models are available now through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Tech Specs

13-inch models

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 250GB hard drive priced at US$1,199; and one with a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 320GB hard drive priced at US$1,499.

They include:
  • 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
  • 1066 MHz front-side bus;
  • 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • iSight® video camera;
  • two USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
  • SD card slot;
  • combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
  • built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
  • 60 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 13-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a 320GB 5400 rpm or a 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare® Protection Plan.

15-inch models

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in three models: one with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256MB of VRAM and 320GB hard drive at US$1,799; one with a 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256MB of VRAM and 500GB hard drive at US$1,999; and one with a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512MB of VRAM and 500GB hard drive at US$2,199.

They include:
  • 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
  • 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
  • integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • iSight video camera;
  • two USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • SD card slot;
  • audio line in (analog/digital);
  • audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
  • built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
  • 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 15-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a high resolution 15-inch 1680 x 1050 display in glossy and antiglare, a 500GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

17-inch model

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512MB of VRAM and 500GB hard drive for US$2,299.

It includes:
  • 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200, glossy display;
  • 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
  • integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics;
  • 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • iSight video camera;
  • three USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
  • ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
  • audio line in (analog/digital);
  • audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
  • built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; and
  • 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 17-inch MacBook Pro include a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 memory, a 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, antiglare display, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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