In a move that was expected for quite some time, Apple has updated its line of MacBook Pros. The 13-, 15- and 17-inch devices come with a new processor, new graphics cards and Intel’s Thunderbolt technology to help lead the hardware company through 2011. Across the board, the update was much-needed and quite appealing to those who want to be a bit more productive while on the go.
Of course, there are some out there who say the updates are nothing more than incremental improvements. Admittedly, that’s true, to some extent. This latest update isn’t groundbreaking in any way. The computers still feature the same design, and the key improvements made are internal. Apple’s latest update is an evolutionary upgrade over previous models.
But that doesn’t mean that these latest MacBook Pros aren’t impressive. Quite the contrary, they deliver several features that consumers and even some enterprise customers should know about.
The new MacBook Pro line might not be groundbreaking, but buying one of these computers certainly seems like a worthwhile investment.
1. They’ve been hit with a Thunderbolt
With the new line of MacBook Pros, owners will find a new technology: Intel’s new Thunderbolt I/O technology. The technology is widely considered one of the more exciting additions to the MacBook Pro, since if it catches on, it could be the successor to USB and FireWire. Thunderbolt allows data transfer rates of up to 10G bps. Even better, it allows for the transfer of video over the connection. Thunderbolt could just be the future of data transferring, and it’s in the MacBook Pro today.
2. The prices seem right
Over the years, Apple has received a lot of criticism from those who believe that it sells its computers for far too much. They point to cheaper products from Dell and HP with similar components and wonder why Apple can’t match the competition on pricing. But further analysis of Apple’s new MacBook Pro line reveals that the starting price of $1,199 for the 13-inch model and $2,499 for the high-end version are actually reasonable pricing for what customers are getting. With the 17-inch version, for example, consumers are basically getting the functionality of a desktop in a laptop. That’s important to keep in mind.
3. Choices for everyone
Choices are everything in the computer market. Consumers have very different needs, and they want to find the computer that matches what they’re looking for. With the MacBook Pro line, it seems that Apple understands that. It offers 13-, 15- and 17-inch models for customers with different budgetary and size considerations. Plus, all of the devices are customizable to fit consumer needs. With more choices comes more value. Apple proves that with its new line of MacBook Pros.
4. Sandy Bridgehas promise
The new line of MacBook Pros feature Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors. That’s an important component in the added value these devices offer. As Apple points out in its own benchmarks, the new processors are up to twice as fast as previous chips in the earlier line of MacBook Pros. And perhaps most importantly to enterprise customers, they should deliver more battery efficiency. All in all, Sandy Bridge looks like a win for MacBook Pro customers.
Apple Keeps Defining the Mobile Market
5. Better graphics technology is important
Apple made an interesting move with its new line of MacBook Pros by bringing AMD Radeon graphics to the 15- and 17-inch versions of the computer. The update, according to Apple’s own estimates, offers up to three times better performance over previous versions of the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, which have Nvidia graphics cards inside. Not bad.
6. They keep the fine design
Although some say that the latest MacBook Pro line is just a minor update over its predecessor because there weren’t any changes to its design, Apple was smart to keep things the same. The MacBook Pro is a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing device. It arguably offers a better design than the vast majority of laptops it competes with in the marketplace. In light of that, Apple’s design choice makes sense. And the computers are all the more appealing because of it.
7. The OS is impressive
At the same time, it’s important to note that Apple’s new MacBook Pro line is about more than just hardware. When users boot up their computers, they will be working with Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Enterprise customers take issue with Mac OS X because itlacks the program support they find on Windows. But the operating system is quite appealing to consumers who want a simpler and potentially safer environment to work in. Combine the MacBook Pro line’s impressive hardware with its highly touted software, and it seems like a winner.
8. It continues to be about mobility and power
The mobile market is changing rapidly. And to some extent, Apple can be blamed for that. The company’s iPhone has changed what people want in smartphones. ItsiPad has almost single-handedly ruined the market for netbooks and lightweight notebooks. But there is still an important group of customers who want devices that can deliver mobility while still offering power. The MacBook Pro delivers that. Apple’s 13-inch model is easily mobile, but still boasts solid performance for the size. Its 17-inch model is a workhorse that offers desktoplike functionality in a mobile frame. All that combines to make the MacBook Pro line a fine complement to more mobile products consumers can find elsewhere.
9. The HD Webcam might actually be important
Apple has brought a FaceTime HD Webcam to the MacBook Pro models. Admittedly, a nicer Webcam isn’t all that groundbreaking. But when one considers that owners of the new MacBook Pro can now chat via FaceTime with other Mac owners, as well as those on an iPhone 4 or the new iPod Touch, it quickly becomes clear that Apple might be on to something with FaceTime. The functionality could be a big win for enterprise customers who want to use video chatting across different platforms.
10. They’re facing basic competitors
When it’s all said and done, the new MacBook Pros need to be compared to the competition. Aside from boutique vendors, it seems that Apple understands more than any other major PC maker, including Dell and HP, exactly what consumers are looking for in a laptop. The company’s MacBook Pros offer a sleek design, impressive specs and an operating system that most are happy to use. All that combines to make the new MacBook Pro a standout among competing products from other top PC makers.