Apple is updating its MacBook Pro laptop line with faster processors, next-generation Nvidia graphics and better battery life. (Congratulations to the astute Micro Center employee who predicted this April 11!)
All 13-inch MacBook Pro models now offer Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 4GB of RAM, a 10-hour battery and a Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor-which delivers 80 percent faster graphics than the previous model enjoys. Apple officials described the 48-core processor as the "fastest integrated graphics processor on the market."
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is now available with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and a 250GB hard drive for $1,199, or with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and a 320GB hard drive for $1,499.
The 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros have also been refreshed and each are now 50 percent faster than their predecessors. Both models now deliver between 8 and 9 hours of battery life per charge and come with two graphics processors, the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M and the energy-efficient Intel HD Graphics processor, each of which knows when to step aside and let its compadre take over.
"Apple's automatic graphics switching determines which graphics processor an application needs and switches instantly between processors to deliver peak performance and long battery life," Apple explained in an April 13 statement.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro comes in three versions: with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor and a 320GB hard drive for $1,799; with a 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 processor and a 500GB hard drive for $1,999; and with a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 processor and a 500GB hard drive for $2,299.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro offers a 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 processor and a 500GB hard drive for $2,299.
"The new MacBook Pro is as advanced on the inside as it is stunning on the outside," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, said in the statement. "With faster processors, amazing graphics and up to 3 more hours of battery life, the new MacBook Pro delivers both performance and efficiency."
On April 20, Apple will disclose its earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2010. Apple's fiscal 2010 first quarter was its best ever, with sales of 3.36 million Mac computers and 8.7 million iPhones, setting new records. Apple's quarterly revenue reached $15.68 billion, and quarterly profits were $3.38 billion.
"We're shipping the best products in our history," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said during the first-quarter announcement, "and customers love them."