Apple Macbook Pro Gets Processor, Graphics, Thunderbolt I/O Update

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The Apple Macbook Pro family has been updated with new next-generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. 

FaceTime has become a popular selling point of Apple's iPhone, and the iPad 2 is expected to accommodate it as well. 

"The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers," said Apple SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller. "Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro."

Apple Macbook Pro family gets updated

Apple says in its announcement, "MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer. 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."

"With Apple's innovative FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone 4 and the current generation iPod touch," the company says. "FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for 99 cents. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its gorgeous aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery."

There is a 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro model, as well as a 15-inch and a 17-inch model. The 13-inch version is available in a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive version for $1,199, as well as a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive version for $1,499. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive version for $1,799 and a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive version for $2,199. The new 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro comes in just one version -  2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive, and is priced at $2,499.

Apple has an event scheduled for March 2nd, where it will almost certainly unveil the iPad 2. Stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, the iPad continues to dominate tablet shipments.

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