Apple this morning quietly shut down their online store and came back with a new line of Macbook Pros, all featuring the Sandy Bridge Intel CPU. That means every model, from 13″ to 17″, has gone from Intel Duo processors to at least i5 CPUs, a significant jump in processing power. Not only that, now all Macbook Pros come with 4GB standard, which will also significantly boost the speed and power of the machines.

There is a slight step down however. First and most noticeable is the battery life, which has dropped from eight hours from the previous models to seven hours. This is likely due to Intel’s latest processors, which are more power hungry than the Duos. Second is the 13″ model sporting no dedicated video card, instead using integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, which is a real shame. Now anyone interested in buying a 13″ workhorse with serious graphics processing will have to buy an older model, or go up to at least 15″.

Pricing, as expected, remains the same, and all Macbook Pros are shipping immediately, and should be in-stores right now. The new laptops also include Intel’s new Thunderbolt port, which is completely unsupported (not a single product out today can make use of the port) and is meant to support any sort of peripheral, from displays to data transfers. It can do so up to 10Gbps, which is deliciously fast.

Finally, the 15″ and 17″ include a new line of video cards from AMD. The lower-end 15″ uses a 6490m 256MB, while the higher end 15″ and the 17″ models use the 6750m 1GB GPU. The step away from NVidia makes sense, considering AMD has always been more power efficient, and as of late has produced slightly more powerful cards to boot. Unfortunately, there is no upgrading to the more powerful GPU on the 15″ models. You either get the higher end model, or you don’t get the 6750m.

We’ll be looking at the new Macbook Pros shortly. No change has come to standard Macbooks, to the iMac line or the Macbook Airs.

Update: Prices are now live in the Apple Store.  They’re as follows:

  • 13-inch with 2.3Ghz: $1,199
  • 13-inch with 2.7Ghz: $1,499
  • 15-inch with 2Ghz: $1,799
  • 15-inch with 2.2Ghz: $2,199
  • 17-inch with 2.2Ghz: $2,499










James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.