Apple has updated its MacBook Pro line with new processors, storage and graphical capabilities as the company prepares for the holiday shopping season. Although the improvements weren’t major and the design of this computer line is basically the same, it’s enough to make both consumers and enterprise users at least take pause and consider whether or not it’s time to buy one of Apple’s notebooks or upgrade to the latest model.
Admittedly,making that decision nowadays is harder than ever. No matter where you turn, you’ll find something worthwhile from PC vendors, and in some cases those devices are much cheaper than Apple’s MacBook Pro line. But when you consider the value Apple notebooks offer and that they are more affordable than you may realize, you might decide that the latest MacBook Pros are must-buys.
Apple’s MacBook Pros were always appealing. But this latest update brings them into a state where competing products just don’t present compelling alternatives. Here’s why.
1. Quad-core processors
There was a time when dual-core processors were all the rage in the notebook market. And although those chips still find their way into the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s 2.2GHz to 2.4GHz quad-core processors in the 15- and 17-inch models of the notebook are a welcome addition. With the help of those Intel Core i7 processors, customers will get a level of power that trumps most other notebooks and even some desktops. Granted, Apple offered quad-core options before, but now, the MacBook Pro line delivers speeds that are up to twice as fast as the previous version of those computers. Not bad.
2. Choose a display size, any size
One of the nicest things about the MacBook Pro line is that customers of all types can find one that appeals to them. Those who want to be more mobile might choose the 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the folks who tend to sit in one spot all day and need some power will go with the 17-inch option to maximize their screen real estate. The 15-inch option is the best solution for those who want the best bang for their buck. Simply put, there’s something for everyone in Apple’s MacBook Pro line.
3. Thunderbolt is the future
Apple has officially bet its future on Thunderbolt, an input/output technology that allows users to connect everything from peripherals to displays. It’s a smart move. Thunderbolt is simply better than USB and FireWire, and as long as the rest of the market adopts it, the technology could very well replace its predecessors. Thunderbolt has quickly become a key selling point for Apple’s entire line of computers, including the MacBook Pro.
4. The battery life is stellar
As with any notebook, the battery life of the MacBook Pro line is vastly important to the devices’ consumer appeal. And on that front, the MacBook Pros perform exceedingly well. In fact, Apple’s newly updated MacBook Pros deliver up to 7 hours on a single charge and allow for up to 1,000 “full charge and discharge cycles,” which Apple claims is three times greater than the average lifespan of a standard notebook battery. The company says that based on that, the MacBook Pro’s battery should last five years without any trouble.
Apple Pricing Really Isnt a Deal Breaker
5. Design, design, design
Look around the notebook space and try to find another product that is as well-designed as Apple’s MacBook Pros. The latest versions of the computer come withthe familiar aluminum finish, a full-sized backlit keyboard and a good-looking display featuring a black bezel. Add that to the MacBook Pro’s thin body, and it becomes clear that the device is easily mobile and far more attractive than its competitors.
6. FaceTime support
Although it’s sometimes overlooked by analysts, Apple’s integration of FaceTime into its entire line of computers is an important factor. Each quarter, Apple sells millions of iPhones and iPads. The majority of those devices, including the iPad 2, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, come with support for Apple’s FaceTime video-chatting tool. As more of those products sell, consumers will want to be able to engage in video chatting both through their handsets and on computers. They can do that, in HD, on the MacBook Pro. It’s just another feature that makes the MacBook Pro appealing.
Apple’s MacBook Pro will ship with Mac OS X Lion. What that means is that not only will owners have all the benefits of Apple’s latest operating system, including improved performance, easy access to applications and improved email, but also superior security. Windows 7, while a nice operating system in its own right, is not nearly as secure as Mac OS X. It’s an issue. And it’s something that consumers and even some enterprise users think about when choosing between a PC and a MacBook Pro.
8. Gamers, video developers rejoice
For consumers buying the 15- and 17-inch versions of the MacBook Pro, there is an awful lot to like. Chief among the features worth mentioning is the discrete graphics cards. In fact, according to Apple, the two models havegraphics performance that’s twice as fast as previous MacBook Pro models. Gamers and video developers will be especially happy to hear that.
9. More storage means more value
As consumers add more video and music content to their hard drives, they need more storage. So Apple beefed up the amount of capacity in its MacBook Pro line. Now, consumers can choose up to 750GB on the 13-inch MacBook Pro model. The 15-inch versions can come with either 500GB or 750GB hard drives, while the 17-inch model comes standard with 750GB of storage. That should be more than enough for the vast majority of users.
Apple is often cited for charging too much for its products. And at first glance, that might appear to be the case with the MacBook Pro, considering it starts at $1,199 and goes up to $2,499. However,Apple’s MacBook Pro line is actually more affordable than some think. As noted, the computers come with top-of-the-line components, a superior operating system and strong security. Sure, a comparably equipped HP machine can be purchased for hundreds of dollars less. But when it comes to longevity and quality concerns, Apple’s MacBook Pro might just prove more appealing, even with its higher price.