“This is so tempting…” –MKK-
Tue Apr 13, 1:08 pm ET
At last, the long-rumored revamp of Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks has arrived, with the 15- and 17-inch models getting bleeding-edge Intel Core i5 and i7 processors while the 13-inch version sees graphics and battery-life improvements. Also new: a $100 price hike for one of the MacBook Pro configurations, plus $100 and $200 price cuts for two others.
The biggest news, of course, is the replacement of the older Intel Core 2 Duo processors on the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models (starting at $1,799 for the 15-incher — a $100 price hike over last year's model — and $2,299 for the 17-inch MBP, a $200 price drop) with Intel's next-generation Core i5 and i7 processors, good for a performance boost of "up to 50 percent" over last year's lineup, Apple claims.
Of the new MacBook Pros, only the high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro configuration gets the i7 processor. The other two 15-inch configurations and the single 17-inch MBP model must settle for the i5 processor. [Update: Oops — turns out you can get a Core i7 processor for the 17-inch MacBook Pro as a $200 built-to-order option. Sorry about that (and thanks, Carl!).]
Meanwhile, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (starting at $1,119, same as before) is sticking with Intel's Core 2 Duo processor for now, although it's getting a slight speed bump (to 2.66GHz, from 2.53GHz) and — according to Apple, anyway — the "fastest integrated graphics processor on the market," courtesy of Nvidia's GeForce 320M graphics chipset (for a supposed 80 percent performance boost over the previous GeForce 9400M chipset).
Apple is also crowing about the 13-inch MacBook Pro's improved battery life — up to 10 hours, although we'll have to see how that figure holds up under testing.
The 15- and 17-inch models are getting graphic performance boosts as well thanks to the new GeForce GT 330M chipset, with either 256MB or 512MB of dedicated graphics depending on the configuration, along with "seamless" switching between speedy GeForce graphics and slower but "energy-efficient" Intel HD Graphics processors.
As for the MacBook and MacBook Air lines ... no news, at least at the moment.
Anyway, on to the specs:
13-inch MacBook Pro
• 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM (twice as much as last year's entry-level configuration), 250GB hard drive (was 160GB last year), Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, $1,119
• 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive (was 250GB), Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, $1,499
15-inch MacBook Pro
• 2.4GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive (last year's entry-level configuration was just 250GB), Nvidia GeForce GT 330M with 256MB of dedicated memory, $1799 (a $100 price hike over last year's entry-level 15-inch model)
• 2.53 Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive (was 320GB), Nvidia GeForce GT 330M with 256MB of dedicated memory, $1,999
• 2.66 Intel Core i7, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M with 512 of dedicated memory, $2,199 (a $100 price drop compared to last year's high-end 15-inch configuration)
17-inch MacBook Pro
• 2.53GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M with 512 of dedicated memory, $2,229 (a $200 price drop from last year's 17-inch MacBook Pro)
So, anyone ready to upgrade now that the i5- and i7-powered MacBook Pros are here? Wish the 13-inch MBP got the i5 upgrade along with the 15- and 17-inch models? Pleased or annoyed by the price points? Fire away below.