New Apple MacBook Pro: Packing Nvidia

Tonight's event at Apple HQ was widely expected to deliver a major refresh to the company's ageing MacBook laptop line, and JobsCo didn't disappoint

Tonight's event at Apple HQ was widely expected to deliver a major refresh to the company's ageing MacBook laptop line, and JobsCo didn't disappoint. "We've got some exciting new notebooks," said Sir Steve, and he wasn't lying. Using manufacturing techniques (spelt out in excruciating detail by designer Jonathan 'Jony' Ives) used on the MacBook Air, the new MacBook Pro is much stronger and thinner than before, with a "precision aluminum unibody enclosure". Presumably they meant to say aluminium.

Jobs heavily pushed the new Mac's graphic performance, with a brand-new Nvidia GeForce 9400M chip offering 5x faster graphics than in previous MacBooks and "54 gigaflops of graphics performance". Whatever that means. Cleverly, there's the option to switch over to the 9600M GT -- another chip on the same piece of silicon -- for even better performance. You take a hit on battery life doing so, going from a claimed 5 hours to 4.

There's a new extra-smooth multi-touch glass trackpad with a 39 per cent larger tracking area, for all your gesturing needs. As you'd expect, it's the thinnest Pro yet, at just 24mm thick. It weighs 2.5kg.

This thing will light up like a Christmas tree, with an LED-backlit 15.4-inch display and a backlit keyboard. There's a built-in iSight webcam and mic, stereo speakers, the magnetic clasp from the Air and a sudden-motion sensor. Fancy.

There's two models, with the base spec starting at £1,399 and featuring a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 250GB hard drive and the Nvidia 9400. Shell out £1,749 and you get a faster chip, 4GB RAM, double the graphics memory and a 320GB hard drive. Both are available to order now from the Apple Store. There's no option to add a Blu-ray drive because, as Steve puts it, "Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt." -Nick Hide

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About the author

Nick is CNET's global copy chief, writing news and managing the reviews copy desk from our London office. He's worked at CNET since 2005 and loves phones, movies and video games.

 

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