News Item: : The New MacBook Pro Laptops
(Category: Adam Hawkes)
Posted by Elizabeth
Wednesday, April 28 2010 - 19:00:00
The New MacBook Pro Laptops
by Adam Hawkes
On Tuesday, April 13th, Apple introduced a new MacBook Pro laptop family. What’s new?
Aesthetically, the Macbook Pro models have not changed. Apple is using the same enclosure design as the previous “Unibody” model. The name “Unibody” is based on the manufacturing technique that Apple uses to create the case for the laptop. They machine the bottom half (not the screen) of the laptop from a single piece of aluminum. This technique has not only created a beautiful piece of equipment, but also the sturdiest laptops I have ever used.
The MacBook Pro laptops are still available in three sizes, 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch. They still come standard with a glossy glass display, but the 15-inch and 17-inch models can be ordered with an optional antiglare display instead.
Though the MacBook Pro 13-inch model has remained largely unchanged, Apple has made several important changes to the 15-inch and 17-inch that directly impact the user experience.
The biggest changes to the MacBook Pro family were at least partially made to all three models. The video cards have been updated to new offerings from NVIDEA. The 13-inch model gets the NVIDIA GeForce 320M processor, a faster, low-power update to the previous video that MacBooks used. This video card is “integrated,” meaning that it shares its memory with the main computer processor.
However, the 15-inch and 17-inch models have a very compelling new feature related to video, called Automatic Graphics Switching. To make this work, they get TWO "video driver devices". These two video devices are used together to provide the best performance with the most efficient use of power. When your video demands are low, the computer uses the integrated Intel HD Graphics with 256 MB of shared memory. However, when your video demands are high, the MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models automatically change video processors on the fly and utilize the faster GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics processor with either 256 or 512 MB of video memory, depending on the model. This new video processor is not only faster, but the video card is “discrete,” meaning that it does its work without depending on the main computer processor or its memory, both of which might be busy with other tasks. This is a distinct advantage when you are working in graphics-intensive applications or games.
Also in the graphics arena, the 15-inch model can be optionally equipped with a higher resolution display – 1680x1050, up from the 1140x900 standard.
Another important change to the video capabilities of the new MacBook Pro line was not officially announced, but has been confirmed. The new version of the Mini DisplayPort video output on the notebooks will also now pass audio signals. This means that users can connect their MacBook Pro notebooks to an HDMI device using only a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. And that means that it’s easier to connect the new MacBooks to a modern home theatre. This is an update that many people have been waiting for!
Another of the big changes comes only to the 15-inch and 17-inch models. Apple has updated the main processors on these models. They are now utilizing the newest Intel laptop processors, the Core i5 and the Core i7, available on different builds and at different speeds depending on the options you choose. These new, dual-core processors increase the performance of the laptops significantly over the previous dual-core processor called the Core 2 Duo. In fact, according to Apple, the new models will be up to 50% faster at certain tasks. An interesting feature of these new processors is called “Turbo Boost.” Turbo Boost allows the processor to increase its own speed rating on demand. Apple claims that a 2.66 GHz MacBook Pro could “Turbo Boost” its speed up to 3.33GHz!
The last significant change to the MacBook Pro line is battery capacity. According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro batteries in the 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models will provide up to ten, nine and nine hours of use respectively.
Apple also chose to make a few minor updates related to standard and custom configurations of the new MacBook laptops. They now all ship standard with 4GB of memory, and there are several great options for hard drive sizes on each of the models.
The bottom line is that, aside from the meager update of the 13-inch model, the changes Apple has implemented this time around are very compelling! It’s a great update to what I already consider to be the best computers Apple has ever made!
If you’re interested in finding out more about how these exciting, new Apple laptops can help you work more efficiently (or play at a higher level!), contact your RetroTechs consultant or call the main office at (404) 352-6210.
This news item is from The RetroTechs, Inc.
( http://www.retrotechs.net/archive/news.php?extend.93 )