Today is Steve Jobs‘ birthday, and as expected, Apple has celebrated the event by rolling out the new generation of MacBook Pro laptops. As is underscored by the fact that Apple introduced these in a relatively low-key way without much fanfare, the new MacBook Pros mark an evolutionary rather than revolutionary change to the MBP lineup: Faster processors are available across the board, yes, and “Thunderbolt” (formerly known as Light Peak) has been unveiled, promising data transfer at speeds of up to 10 GB per second. Apple says that “the Thunderbolt pipeline is more than 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0, and it offers unprecedented expansion capabilities,” with new peripherals on the way.
But the new MacBook Pros do not bring the rumored operating system on an SSD that we heard about earlier this week: More broadly, they haven’t morphed into the iPad-laptop hybrids that many envisioned with the launch of the MacBook Air, though today Apple released to developers a preview of Mac OS X Lion, which is expected to bridge the gap somewhat between iOS and previous builds of OS X. This is an incremental upgrade, and while the laptops may be worth getting if you’re in need of a new computer anyway, it may be worth waiting until either this fall’s likely MacBook Air update or next spring’s likely MacBook Pro update to see if Apple whips up something that’s dramatically different from MacBook Pros to date.
Specs and prices below:
13-inch MacBook Pro:
*starts at $1199 (better processor and hard drive for $1499)
*2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor ($1499 option: 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7)
*320 GB hard drive ($1499: 500 GB hard drive)
15-inch MacBook Pro:
*starts at $1799 (higher-end model: $2199)
*2.0 GHz quad-core Core i7 processor ($2199: 2.2GHz Core i7)
*AMD Radeon HD6490M graphics, 1 GB VRAM ($2199: AMD Radeon 6750M)
*500 GB hard drive ($2199: 750 GB)
*Also available for more money: 128, 256, and 512 GB SSDs.
17-inch MacBook Pro:
*starts at $2499
*2.2 GHz quad-core Core i7
*AMD Radeon 6750M
*750 GB hard drive
*Also available for more: 128, 256, and 512 GB SSDs.