Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Next Generation Processors, Graphics & Thunderbolt I/O Technology

  • Posted: 24 February 2011 09:41 AM

    Press Release Source: Apple On Thursday February 24, 2011, 8:30 am
    CUPERTINO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Apple? today updated the industry-leading MacBook? Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime? HD camera. Featuring the very latest dual-core and quad-core Intel Core processors, the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.*
    ?The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers,? said Philip Schiller, Apple?s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. ?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.?
    Starting at $1,199 the new 13-inch MacBook Pro offers amazing value and performance in a compact design. The highly portable 13-inch MacBook Pro features Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The powerful 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for high performance gaming, pro video editing and graphics intensive applications.
    MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, 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 MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation for crisp, widescreen video calls. With Apple?s innovative FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone? 4 and the current generation iPod touch?. FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac? App StoreSM for 99 cents. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its gorgeous aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-TouchTM trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.**
    As the industry?s greenest notebook lineup, every Mac notebook achieves EPEAT Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements, setting the standard for environmentally friendly notebook design.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed with recyclable materials.
    Every Mac comes with Mac OS? X Snow Leopard?, the world?s most advanced operating system, and iLife?, Apple?s innovative suite of applications for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Snow Leopard builds on more than a decade of innovation and includes multiple features for portable computing such as Multi-Touch navigation, advanced wireless networking, easy file sharing, automated data backup and intelligent power management. The new iLife ?11 features iPhoto? with stunning full screen views for browsing, editing and sharing photos; iMovie? with powerful easy-to-use tools to transform home videos into fun theatrical trailers; and GarageBand? with new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs.
    Pricing & Availability
    The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available through the Apple Store? (http://www.apple.com), Apple?s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual- Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD
    6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at $2,499.
    Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options and AppleCare? Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at http://www.apple.com/macbookpro.

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    Posted: 24 February 2011 10:54 AM #1

    Features review:

    CPU speed ?  important.  features i5 and i7 cores.  They will rock. 
    Graphics ?  Great and Greater.
    Thunderbolt is more than 12x faster than Firewire 800.  Implications still spreading.  This may take a while.  Or not.
    Facetime HD.  A better camera is a good thing.  For people who use video chat, its a prime prime feature.
    battery updates.

    ——-  Conclusion:  buyers will be happy campers.

         
  • Posted: 24 February 2011 11:27 AM #2

    And they still have optical drives for who want to burn their own DVDs, rip CDs/DVDs, or are Cloud phobic. The rumored move toward a more MacBook Air type configuration (no optical, thinner, etc) apparently is put off for another year; or perhaps Apple is unwilling to fuse the two lines into one (A smart move in my opinion).

    Quad core processors in a laptop! That alone makes me drool. HD Facetime and Thunderbolt are examples of Apple’s future looking-industry shifting technologies.

         
  • Posted: 24 February 2011 11:28 AM #3

    And they still have optical drives for who want to burn their own DVDs, rip CDs/DVDs, or are Cloud phobic. The rumored move toward a more MacBook Air type configuration (no optical, thinner, etc) apparently is put off for another year; or perhaps Apple is unwilling to fuse the two lines into one (A smart move in my opinion).

    Quad core processors in a laptop! That alone makes me drool. HD Facetime and Thunderbolt are examples of Apple’s future looking-industry shifting technologies.

    Prediction: Will sell like hotcakes…if hotcakes cost over a $1000.

         
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    Posted: 24 February 2011 01:08 PM #4

    Laptop roundup:

    1. MacBooks (regular) still available for $ 999.  Not long for this world (cough:  Apple Store for full price)
    2. MacBook Pro’s start at $ 1199.
    3. MacBook Pro’s have SSD option.
    4. MacBook Pro’s have LightPeak = Thunderbolt
    5. MacBook Air’s are attractive.  11” = $ 999.  13”  = $ 1299.

    The product mix seems to have a Mobius loop in it.

    [ Edited: 24 February 2011 01:13 PM by Tetrachloride ]      
  • Posted: 24 February 2011 11:17 PM #5

    What the HELL? 

    There are NEW MacBook Pros out today, as evidenced by 4-5 posts in a thread loitering in the basement?  Maybe the AAPL shorts are ON to something?  Where is the drool?  Where are the unsheathed VISA cards?  This is a TERRIBLE way to celebrate SJ’s birthday, I must say!

    Meanwhile, we are updated on The Sponge’s highbrow palate.  It does give me pause….

    Ok.  I purchased a 17” 2.2 GHz MBP with 8GB of RAM, Matte screen, and 500GB 7200 HD. 

    There, I feel better.  I did my part today.  Now. it. is. your. turn.

         
  • Posted: 24 February 2011 11:45 PM #6

    Waiting for the Thunderbolt equipped iMacs… I have an iPad for going out :D

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    Posted: 24 February 2011 11:52 PM #7

    I hate to say this, but I’m not ready for a MacBook Pro yet.

    Wait!  Let me explain!  Well before I do that, I’ll have you guys know I’m a happy owner of a 27” iMac, which for the most part is a beast of a system.  So I’ve been doing my part as a shareholder.

    OK, back to the explanation.  I’ve never really been a notebook kinda person.  I’m somewhat disappointed that Apple’s $1799 config is lacking in the GPU department (there wasn’t any real performance delta between the low/high-end 15” MBPs last generation).  I’m also wondering why Apple has been stuck at the 1440x900 res/1200x800 res for the 15” and 13” models for years now. 

    I suspect this was the trade-off for going to all quad-core for the 15” and 17” models.  Which brings me to my other problem - I woulda been fine with dual-core i5/i7, but they’re only available on the can’t-get-res-upgrade 13” models which have integrated graphics, which is a dealbreaker for me.

    But really, it goes back to me not being a notebook person at the moment.  I’m fine with desktops and I have my iPhone 4 for mobile stuff.  Long story short?  Maybe I’ll wait ‘til Black Friday 2011 before I buy the 15” model with 1680x1050 display option (unless all my AAPL-related holdings start going sky-high all of a sudden).  I think I’ll grit my teeth and stick with the $1799 skew - I can’t justify paying $400 more for more CPU then I’ll ever need just to have access to the GPU that I want but won’t really use unless I’m playing Starcraft 2 away from home.  Of course, it’d be nice if Apple updated the MBPs later in the year, but we all know that’s not happening.

    [ Edited: 24 February 2011 11:54 PM by Mav ]

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  • Posted: 24 February 2011 11:54 PM #8

    willrob - 24 February 2011 03:27 PM

    The rumored move toward a more MacBook Air type configuration (no optical, thinner, etc) apparently is put off for another year; or perhaps Apple is unwilling to fuse the two lines into one (A smart move in my opinion).

    Before Apple fuses the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro I think they will drop the MacBook.  Pricing differences between the MacBook and the MacBook Air is not the great.  Performance and mobility clearly favors the Air.

    I can see the McBook being EOL about the time of its next anticipated refresh.

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    Posted: 24 February 2011 11:57 PM #9

    Mav, why don’t you buy my MBP, I have to say, it is a great price that I have offered AFB members.

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    Posted: 25 February 2011 12:32 AM #10

    I want Thunderbolt and the latest and greatest CPU/GPU.  I’m a pseudo-tech snob.  smile

    Beyond that, I absolutely must have the highest-res screen available.  I needs me my screen real estate.

    [ Edited: 25 February 2011 12:35 AM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 25 February 2011 10:30 AM #11

    Looking back, the rumor that MacBooks would be hybrid SSD/hard disks is the biggest one to not pan out. 

    Looking forward, CPU speed gets a big endorsement, http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/02/macbookpro-benchmarks-early-2011/    Click for the charts.  The Quad Cores are kick-kick-kick-kick-butt.

    Thunderbolt—the implications are NOT FULLY KNOWN.

         
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    Posted: 25 February 2011 11:56 AM #12

    Thunderbolt was the biggest surprise. Relatively undercover, not much in the rumor mill (perhaps because it was Intel), and even here on AFB we didn’t really discuss it until a couple of days prior to launch. It would be interesting if Apple were the first one to ditch USB as they did with the floppy, among other things.

         
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    Posted: 25 February 2011 12:03 PM #13

    Roman - 25 February 2011 03:56 PM

    It would be interesting if Apple were the first one to ditch USB as they did with the floppy, among other things.

    If the USB to Thunderbolt dongle was inexpensive enough, maybe included in box, then we could see it happen in a year or so. Same with Firewire.

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    Posted: 25 February 2011 12:09 PM #14

    I like them. Not ready to update for another year or so but I like what I see.

    I have to say though I was a bit disappointed in one thing. I thought the idea where the new ‘books would have a flash drive for boot and then a normal HD for the rest made a lot of sense. I would have really liked to see that.

    Oh well, in a year or so when I’m in the market maybe it will come to pass.

    But ThunderBolt is wicked awesome. I’m very impressed with that.

    [ Edited: 25 February 2011 12:25 PM by geoduck ]

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    Posted: 25 February 2011 12:50 PM #15

    I’d wait for the tear-down to see if there’s an vestigial ‘Apple SSD’ connector. Having said that I’m ready to see the optical farmed out to an external option; I use it for critical backups, but willing to leave it a home base for a MBA-style 15-incher.

    I’m wondering how 4 cores actually improve performance in everyday use. Other than the occasional software compiling and a touch of image editing, I prefer less heat dissipation and long battery life. Does anyone know if the OS can/does turn off cores completely?