MacBook Pro 2011 Lineup Unveiled

Apple today released the MacBook Pro 2011 laptop lineup, including the new 13″, 15″, and 17″ models.

MacBook Pro 2011

The refreshed MacBook Pros feature the 2nd Generation Intel Core “Sandy Bridge” processors, new graphics choices, new Thunderbolt 10Gbps peripheral connection technology, and the old aluminum unibody enclosures.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro actually has a 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy display with a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. There are two 13-inchers: the lower-end $1,199 model with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor and a 320GB hard drive; and the higher-end $1,499 model with a dual-core 2.7GHz Core i7 and 500GB HDD. Both laptops have the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro uses a 15.4″ LED-backlit glossy or optional antiglare screen at 1440-by-900 or 1680-by-1050 pixels, depending on customer’s choice. The first of two available models has a 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, a switchable graphics solution combining the Intel HD 3000 and AMD Radeon 6490M 256MB video card, and a 500GB hard drive. It’s priced at $1,799. Starting at $2,199, the more powerful second model provides a choice of 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 or 2.3GHz quad-core i7, and features the Intel HD 3000 in conjunction with the Radeon HD 6750M 1GB GPU.

Finally, the 17-inch MacBook Pro has a full HD 1920-by-1200 17-inch LED-backlit glossy or antiglare display, a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, Intel HD 3000 and Radeon HD 6750M graphics combined, and a 750GB hard disk. It has a $2,499 price tag.

The refreshed MacBook Pros have 4GB of RAM as a standard and provide “up to 7 hours” of battery life with wireless web browsing. There are also the SuperDrive DVD burner, new FaceTime HD web camera, backlit keyboards, and a Thunderbolt port, besides other connectors.

Intel’s latest Thunderbolt I/O technology is “more than 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0”. Thunderbolt uses a compact-sized connector and supports PCI Express and DisplayPort protocols.

Here’s how Apple explains Thunderbolt:

“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 Pros run Mac OS X Snow Leopard and can be purchased now via Apple’s official online store.

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Danijel is a tech writer who founded Laptoping in 2006. His specialty are Windows-based laptops, 2-in-1 convertibles, and tablet PCs.

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