After a brief period of speculation and expectation, Apple late last week refreshed its MacBook Pro range of notebook computers.
This new range sees a strong demarcation within the range, between the 13-inch model, and the 15- and 17-inch models, as ever in the processors on-board, plus the two larger models offer more power in graphics processor. The 13-inch MacBook Pro provides a choice of 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor, or a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 processor.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro ups the processor choices to 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor, or a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor. It also adds a little grunt in the graphics processor department, with a AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor.
The 17-inch has a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor, and like the 15-inch packs a AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor.
Probably the biggest news is that the new Apple MacBook Pros are the first device to use Intel’s Light Peak technology, now called Thunderbolt. This new technology will allow 10 Gbps of throughput in both directions. That’s 20 times faster than with USB 2.0, and over 12 times faster than with FireWire 800.
What will Thunderbolt work with? In Apple’s words:
The Thunderbolt port will give you plug-and-play performance with a whole new world of Thunderbolt peripherals, as well as with the Apple LED Cinema Display and other Mini DisplayPort peripherals. You can daisy-chain as many as six devices, including your display. And with support for video and eight-channel audio, it’s easy to connect HDMI-compatible devices — like your TV and home stereo — using the HDMI adapter you already have. Current VGA, DVI and DisplayPort adapters are also supported.
MacBook Pro pricing
The standard configurations are listed below. Customisation options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, memory up to 8GB DDR3, plus antiglare and high-resolution display options and the AppleCare Protection Plan.
Available with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor and 320GB hard drive, priced from $1,399 including GST, or with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 processor and 500GB hard drive, priced from $1,698 including GST.
15-inch MacBook Pro
Available with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics processor and 500GB hard drive priced from $2,099 including GST, or with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor and 750GB hard drive, priced from $2,499 including GST.
17-inch MacBook Pro
2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor and 750GB hard drive, priced from $2,899 including GST.