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Apple Announces New MacBook Pro Models with Intel Core i5 and i7

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Apple has updated the MacBook Pro line of notebooks with the most recent Intel Core processors, more powerful graphics and improved battery life. The MacBook Pros now feature automatic switchable graphics, providing high-performance graphics and power saving on demand.

While all of the MacBook Pros received a spec bump today, the Intel Core processors are restricted to the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro models. While the 13″ MacBook retains an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, it does gain a speed bump up to 2.66GHz.

The 15″ MacBook Pro starts at $1,799 for an Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.53GHz and can also be purchased with an Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.66GHz for $2,199.

The 17″ MacBook Pro can be purchased pre-configured with an Intel Core i5 processor for $2,299 and can be built to rrder with an Intel Core i7 processor. These share the same clock speeds as the 15″ MacBook Pro.

In addition to the new Core processors, both the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro models have the new NVIDIA GeForce GT33oM discrete graphics processor for better efficiency and performance. The combination of new processors and hybrid graphics allow the new 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro models to get 8-9 hours of battery life.

The updated 13″ MacBook Pro didn’t receive an upgrade to a new Intel Core processor series, but it did receive a bump up to NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M graphics and a battery life claim of up to 10 hours. The 13″ MacBook Pro now comes with 4GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive. We really would have enjoyed seeing an Intel Core i3 processor in the 13″ MacBook Pro.

For the first time, the 15″ MacBook Pro will have an optional high-resolution display.

In addition to the new NVIDIA GeForce GT graphics, all MacBook Pros come with integrated Intel HD graphics. MacBook Pros will dynamically switch between the power saving Intel graphics and the more powerful NVIDIA graphics. The system will switch over to the NVIDIA GPU when graphics-intensive applications, such as movie editing and video games, are launched. When users close those applications, the MacBook Pros will switch back to the power-efficient Intel graphics.

This system is identical to NVIDIA’s recently introduced Optimus technology, which can be found on several PC notebooks.

Switchable graphics was available in select MacBook Pro models, but switching between the two NVIDIA graphics solutions was a manual process.

Josh Smith is a longtime mobile tech user, currently using a Droid as his primary smartphone. Josh is also an editor at Notebooks.com where he reviews notebooks and other mobile tech. Follow Josh on Twitter @Josh_Smith or email him Josh@Notebooks.com.

4 Comments

  1. 1adam0

    April 18, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I am wondering if anyone else is perplexed that Apple chose to release a Core i7 dual core MacBook Pro instead of a quad core version. Did Apple choose to sacrifice computer performance for battery performance? Really?

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