Apple have given their premium MacBook Pro unibody laptops a mid-life refresh this week. Upgrades to baseline configurations include speed bumps for core i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge processors, new discrete video card updates and increased hard drive storage options to 750GB.
Current hard drive technology in 2.5" hard drives means that the largest drive in 9.5mm height to fit the MBP line are actually 750GB drives. I expect data density improvements to allow for 1TB drives to be available sometime in the next 6 months for those waiting for more storage, though don't expect any Apple upgrades to be made available before the next major overhaul.
For a brief rundown on each model see below base specifications:
MBP 13" late 2011 features 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD from AU$1399.
Option up to 2.8GHZ dual core Intel Core i7 and 750GB HDD at AU$1698
MBP 15" late 2011 features 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD and AMD Radeon HD 6750M discrete video with 512MB GDDR5 RAM from AU$2099.
Option up to 2.4GHZ quad core Intel Core i7, 750GB HDD and Radeon HD 6770M 1GB GDDR5 RAM at AU$2499
MBP 17" late 2011 features 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD and AMD Radeon HD 6770M discrete video with 1GB GDDR5 RAM from AU$2999.
Option up to 2.5GHZ quad core Intel Core i7 at AU$3189
Missing from the model refresh - Bluetooth 4.0. Instead the combined Wi-Fi / Bluetooth card remains unchanged, supporting wireless transmission rates of upto 450MBps and Bluetooth 2.1 specifications.
It's great to see the processor speed bumps and improved specifications and as an owner of the early 2011 model, there's plenty to love about this line of models. My pick for travellers requiring good performance is the MBP 15 with the 2.4GHz processor - plenty of CPU and GPU grunt, combined with a portable 2.54Kg package.
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