Apple has, at last, updated its MacBook Pro Line with new CPUs and graphics. The 15-inch can now be had with Intel’s Core i5 and i7 chips and the 17-inch gets the i5 as standard and the i7 as an option. This speeds things up, although the clock speeds actually drop, maxing out now at 2.66GHz instead of the previous 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo (or 3.06GHz special order). There is also a KITT-style “turbo-boost” which will up the clock speeds of some chip cores when applications demand it.
The graphics chip has been bumped to NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M, with a choice of graphics memory options. This replaces the NVIDIA 9400M and 9600M GT cards of the previous generation. The biggest change here is that you can now switch between the low power and the high performance modes without rebooting or logging out: the MacBook switches for you.
The 15-inch MacBook also gains the option of a higher resolution screen: 1680 x 1050 pixels against the standard 1440 x 900. This combines with the new NVIDIA chips to give proper HD video.
The other big change is battery life. All models get a boost of a couple hours, pushing the 13-inch MacBook Pro up to ten hours (although this is no iPad, so expect that to be lower in real life). The 15 and 17-inchers manage a respectable 8-9 hours.
Nothing much else has changed. The 13-inch gets a speed-bump for the Core 2 Duo CPU and a new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics replaces the old GeForce 9400M. You can also spec a 512GB solid state drive in any model (for an extra $1,300).
A pretty solid update with one surprise: the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t look so pro anymore, which is a pain to those that need the power but don’t want the big screen. Who says that size doesn’t matter?
MacBook Pro [Apple]
Source: Gadget Lab