Product Notes: Apple MacBook Pro
June 8, 2009
On June 8, 2009, Apple announced significant updates to its MacBook Pro notebook line. Specific changes include the addition of a 13-inch version to the line-up, integrated and non user-replaceable extended life batteries across the line (they had previously been available only on the 17-inch), and Secure Digital slots on the 13-inch and 15-inch.
Notable in what is not included in any new MacBook Pro are higher resolution displays (though the new displays do have increased color depth and brightness), integrated WWAN capability, or Blu-ray drives.
This significant update follows previous updates to the MacBook Pro 15-inch and MacBook in October 2008 and the MacBook Pro 17-inch in February 2009.
Design and Changes
The new MacBook Pros resemble the previous generation 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros and the 13-inch aluminum MacBook with a few changes, including the addition of FireWire 800 to the MacBook Pro 13-inch and the addition of Secure Digital slots across the line. The addition of the Secure Digital slot comes at the cost of the loss of the ExpressCard/34 slot on the MacBook Pro 15-inch.
All MacBook Pros have received an EPEAT Gold rating and are Energy Star 5.0-certified.
Configuration and Ordering Notes
Several notes when ordering a MacBook Pro:
See ISC's Notebook Purchasing Guide and ISC's 'Desknote' Buyer's Guide for more configuration hints. As of June 2009, configuring a MacBook Pro 15-inch to the Mid-Weight Notebook specification can be done for approximately $2,100 to $2,350 while configuring a MacBook Pro 17-inch to the Mainstream 'Desknote' specification can be done for approximately $2,600. A MacBook Pro 13-inch can be built to the Lightweight Notebook specification for approximately $1,300 to $1,650.
ISC sees the new MacBook Pros as being a solid choice among notebooks and desknotes available in mid 2009, with the MacBook Pro 13-inch being the spiritual successor to the long-lamented PowerBook G4 12-inch. They remains Apple's only choice for Mac OS notebook users who require either significant peripheral connectivity capabilities or discrete graphics cards (in the 15-inch and 17-inch models).
ISC will follow up with a full review of these products as soon as they have completed testing.
MacBook Pro graphic courtesy of Apple
--John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services (June 8, 2009)
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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