2011 MacBook Pro Line Updated – Official

Well, it finally happened and not a minute too soon. Apple [AAPL] has announced a new range of MacBook Pro’s for 2011. The new 2011 MacBook Pro range is said to use the next generation processors, graphics as well as use the leaked Thunderbolt I/O technology.

As expected, five new models have been released which includes two 13 inch models, two 15 inch models and a single 17 inch model. Read on below for more pictures and all the technical specs:

2011 MacBook Pro 13 Inch Model

The 13 inch MacBook pro comes in two types. The differences are with the speed of the processor which you now get a choice of an Intel Core i5 running at 2.3 GHz, or an Intel Core i7 running at 2.7GHz. Both are dual-core processors. The lower of the two models has a 500GB hard drive and the more expensive has a 500GB hard drive. Both drives spin at 5400 RPM.

Each uses an Intel HD graphics 3000 chip that has 384MB of DDR SDRAM which is shared with the main memory.

The display on the 13.3 inch model is backlit by LED and is glossy/wide screen that can show 1280 by 800 pixels. As fort battery life, expect 7 hours on a single charge when browsing the internet wirelessly.

Connectivity on this model includes the new Thunderbolt port (more on that below), along with two USB, FireWire 800, an SDXC card reader, FaceTime Camera and a full size backlit keyboard. An 8x SuperDrive is also included.

Price wise, the 13 inch models sell for $1199 and $1499 respectively.

2011 MacBook Pro 15 Inch

Moving on to the next size up, Apple has also introduced two new 15 inch models. These come with either a quad-core Intel Core i7 that runs at 2.0GHz, or the same processor running at 2.2GHz. For storage, they have 500GB or 750GB depending on the model you choose. Each has the Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip along with an AMD Radeon HD 6490M (6750M for upper model), with either 256MB or 1GB of memory, depending on which model you choose.

The 15.4 inch screens come in two types with one being glossy and the other bring antiglare. Each is widescreen and can show 1440 by 900 pixels or 1680 by 1050 depending on what options you choose. Both screen types come in the glossy or antiglare. The same ports can be found in the 15 inch models as is found in the 13 inch models and each has a larger battery although due to the processor and screen size, there is still a 7 hour run when browsing the web wirelessly.

The two 15 inch models start at $1799 for the lower end and $2199 for the upper end model.

2011 MacBook Pro 17 Inch

The next and final model of the range is the single 17 inch model. The processor in this model is an Intel Quad-core i7 running at 2.2GHz. It has a 750GB hard drive, 4GB memory and uses the Intel HD and AMD Radeon HD 7650M which uses GDDR5 memory (1GB).

The screen measures 17 inches and is available in glossy or antiglare format. It has an impressive resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels.

Just as the other models, the 17 inch version also has a battery life of 7 hours on a single charge and it has an extra USB 2.0 port when compres to the rest, as well as an ExpressCard/34 slot.

The price of this model is a healthy $2499.

MacBook Pro Thunderbolt I/O Connection

The Thunderbolt connection built in to the 2011 MacBook Pro range is capable of transferring data 12 times faster than FireWire 800 as well as 20 times faster than USB 2.0. The actual technology is built around what Intel worked on and by working with Apple, they have managed to make Thunderbolt work on two fundamental technologies which are PCI Express and DisplayPort. By using these technologies as explained below:

PCI Express is the technology that links all the high-performance components in a Mac. And it’s built into Thunderbolt. Which means you can connect external devices like RAID arrays and video capture solutions directly to MacBook Pro — and get PCI Express performance. That’s a first for notebooks. Thunderbolt also provides 10 watts of power to peripherals, so you can tackle workstation-class projects on the go. With PCI Express technology, you can use existing USB and FireWire peripherals — even connect to Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks — using simple adapters.

And because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, the video standard for high-resolution displays, any Mini DisplayPort display plugs right into the Thunderbolt port. To connect a DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA display, just use an existing adapter.

The new MacBook Pro’s will go on sale today at the prices mentioned above.

Press Release

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Next Generation Processors, Graphics & Thunderbolt I/O Technology

CUPERTINO, California—February 24, 2011—Apple® today updated the industry-leading MacBook® Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime® HD camera. Featuring the very latest dual-core and quad-core Intel Core processors, the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.*

“The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro.”

Starting at $1,199 the new 13-inch MacBook Pro offers amazing value and performance in a compact design. The highly portable 13-inch MacBook Pro features Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The powerful 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for high performance gaming, pro video editing and graphics intensive applications.

MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer. Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.

The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation for crisp, widescreen video calls. With Apple’s innovative FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone® 4 and the current generation iPod touch®. FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac® App Store? for 99 cents. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its gorgeous aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch™ trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.**

As the industry’s greenest notebook lineup, every Mac notebook achieves EPEAT Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements, setting the standard for environmentally friendly notebook design.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed with recyclable materials.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS® X Snow Leopard®, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife®, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Snow Leopard builds on more than a decade of innovation and includes multiple features for portable computing such as Multi-Touch navigation, advanced wireless networking, easy file sharing, automated data backup and intelligent power management. The new iLife ’11 features iPhoto® with stunning full screen views for browsing, editing and sharing photos; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use tools to transform home videos into fun theatrical trailers; and GarageBand® with new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs.

Pricing & Availability
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at $2,499.

Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options and AppleCare® Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbookpro.

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