February 25, 2011
A hands-on review of the new MacBook Pro 13- and 15-inch modelsby Shalu Pillai
Our friends at CNET have laid hands on the 13- and 15-inch models of Apple’s latest MacBook Pros. Initial reviews say that the MacBook Pro, 13-inch, 2.7GHz dual-core Core i7 has impressed big time. After the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the older Core 2 Duo processor, the new MacBook has definitely skipped a generation, going straight to Intel’s newest Core i-series CPUs. The $1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro is the high end of two available configurations, with a 2.7GHz second-generation dual-core Intel Core i7 CPU, a 500GB hard drive, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics. Screen resolution remains at 1,280×800 pixels, which is lower than the 13-inch MacBook Air. The new MacBook Pros also have new HD Webcams, which are compatible with the newly released and FaceTime Web chat app, which comes preinstalled.
Like the 13-inch models, the 15-inch MacBook Pro looks the same as the previous few models from the outside. The 15-inch also jumps to Intel’s second-gen Core i CPUs, but only the higher-end quad-core versions. The unit also had a 2.2GHz quad-core i7, with the same 4GB of RAM, but a huge 750GB hard drive. It also comes with a 1,440×900-pixel display and offers two screen upgrades: a 1,680×1,050-pixel version for an extra $100, or a 1,680×1,050-pixel “antiglare” version for $150. A surprise feature is the 15-inch MacBook’s graphics processor, which comes from AMD. The base model 15-inch has an AMD Radeon HD 6490M, while the review unit had an even faster 6750M.
A significant design change in the new MacBooks is where the Mini-DisplayPort used to be, now shows Thunderbolt, Intel’s new high-speed powered port for data transfer and displays.