Apple Releases New MacBook Pro Models

Like it is when pretty much anything new is released by Apple, their online Apple Store was down for a bit this morning. Now, the store is back and with it are new, improved MacBook Pro models for your purchasing pleasure. These updates were rumored to come for the last months and now they have and provide an impressive array of new features and models from which to choose.

The 15″ and 17″ models now use the i5 and i7 Intel dual-core processors (at 2.4, 2.53GHz or 2.66Ghz, respectively), giving them a big performance boost and permitting hyperthreading (up to 4 virtual cores). They also include the GeForce GT 330M graphics chip, and the NVIDIA-driven Optimus technology to switch from the high-end video subsystem to integrated graphics on the fly to improve power management.

Users of previous generation MacBook Pros will remember that this process used to involve logging out and in to switch, but now simply requires the click of a mouse. The improved power handling lets the 15″ and 17″ models supposedly go 8-9 hours on one battery charge. That, of course, remains to be seen. In addition, all models now include 4GB of RAM standard.

The 15″ model adds new display options: the normal, glossy 1440×900 screen, or a denser 1680×1050 panel with either glossy or matte coatings. The 17″ display is a glossy 1920×1200. The 13″ keeps the Core 2 Duo chip but bumps up maximum speed to 2.66GHz, and adds the GeForce 320M graphics card. Battery life is up to 10 hours.

The 13″ low-end unit price is $1199 with the top-end 17″ model now going for $2299, but that does not include the i7 chip, which is only available as a preconfigured option on the highest-end 15″ ($2199). You can get the i7 as a BTO option on the 17″ model.

Okay, who’s buying a new MacBook pro today?

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