CNET First Look
Apple MacBook Pro ( Fall 2011)Apple tweaks the MacBook Pro line with some CPU and graphics upgrades -- we find out if it makes a difference.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the latest version of Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop. Obviously, this looks a heck of a lot like the last couple generations of MacBook Pros. In fact, this is the second 2011 version that we've seen. I think we're gonna call it the 15-inch MacBook Pro Fall 2011 version compared to the spring 2011 version. What Apple did was they put in a couple of fairly minor upgrades to the CPU and the GPU and some hard drives and some of the other sides, if not, the 15-inch for the 15-inch model. What basically happened was there was a 1799 15-inch Pro and a 2199, previously the 2199 version had a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU. The less expensive 15-inch Pro had a slower CPU, so now that high end 2.2 what moves down to the 1799 model. That's what we have right here and the more expensive version gets, I think, a 2.4 GHz same Intel Core i7 CPU. So everybody moves up a step right there. Same thing happened with the GPU. In this model, we've got the AMD Radeon 6750 which was in the higher end 15-inch model now again it's in the lower end 15-inch model you get a 512 meg version of that card here and if you spend more in the 2199 15-inch Pro, then you get a 1 gig card that's obviously gonna be a little bit better. Other than that, you still get the same big glass touch pad everybody likes and of course the back lid MacBook Pro keyboard that's really become an industry standard across a lot of different brands of PCs that's sort of an island style keyboard. The screen is still 16 x 10 rather than 16 x 9. That's one of the areas where Apple really doesn't follow the conventions of the laptop industry and of course it still get that one really unique for now at least Apple think that is the Thunderbolt port that replaces what still looks like a display port connector on the side there so you can still connect your display port peripherals and it'll also takes Thunderbolt peripherals which is the super sort of high speed data transfer standard that you can get a couple of hard drives and a couple displays but not too much stuff yet. Long story short, this is the typical Apple methodology of keeping the prices the same and then everyone all bumping up the specs on the systems in between the kind of more big picture physical design changes. So if you are waiting to buy a MacBook Pro to see if they would do anything for the holiday season, well this is it. It's not a huge change but more power, same price, it's hard to say no to that. I am Dan Ackerman and that is the Fall 2011 edition of Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro.