Product Notes: Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
October 21, 2008
On October 14, 2008, Apple announced significant updates to its MacBook Pro 15-inch widescreen notebook line. Specific changes to the MacBook Pro 15-inch include Intel's Montevina/Centrino2 notebook platform, NVIDIA hybrid graphics, and a significantly revised case design - the first substantially changed design in over five years. The MacBook Pro 17-inch is less changed, retaining the previous generation case design.
Notable in what is not included in any new MacBook Pro are higher resolution displays, integrated WWAN capability, or BlueRay drives.
This significant update follows a previous significant MacBook Pro update in February 2008.
The new MacBook Pro 15-inch design inherits much of its aluminum and glass appearance from current iMacs. A manufacturing process which is generally not used with computers allows Apple to construct the MacBook Pro case from a single block of aluminum.
Apple has replaced the previous Mini-DVI video port with a Mini DisplayPort while removing the FireWire 400 port (only a FireWire 800 port remains). Finally, Apple eliminated the need for a mouse button by completely redesigning the trackpad: the trackpad may be pressed as if a mouse button was there.
All MacBook Pros support NVIDIA's hybrid graphics, which allows switching between discrete and integrated video for performance and battery life considerations. Apple is not first-to-market with a hybrid graphics solution, but they are first-to-market with an NVIDIA-based hybrid graphics solution.
The MacBook Pro has received a Gold rating from EPEAT and is Energy Star 4.0-certified.
Configuration & Ordering Notes
Several notes when ordering a MacBook Pro:
See ISC's Notebook Computer Purchasing Guide and ISC's 'Desknote' Buyer's Guide for more configuration hints. As of October 2008, configuring a MacBook Pro 15-inch to the Mid-Weight Notebook specification can be done for approximately $2,150 to $2,500 while configuring a MacBook Pro 17-inch to the Mainstream 'Desknote' specification can be done for approximately $2,850.
ISC sees the MacBook Pro 15-inch as being a solid choice among mid-weight notebooks available in late 2008. It also remains Apple's only choice for Mac OS notebook users who require either significant peripheral connectivity capabilities or discrete graphics cards. ISC will follow up with a full review of this product as soon as it has completed testing.
MacBook Pro graphic courtesy of Apple
--John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services (October 21, 2008)
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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