CNET First Look
Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (2.2GHz Intel Core i7)Apple's revamped MacBook Pro line features new CPUs, GPUs, and a brand new Thunderbolt I/O port.
-I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a very first look at Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptops. It's been a while since we've seen a MacBook Pro refresh. Although at first glance, you might think these look pretty much the same as the MacBook Pros you already know and that's because, on the outside, they actually are pretty much the same. There are, however, a lot of big changes on the inside. Most importantly, these guys have all switched on the 13-inch, the 15-inch, and the 17-inch to Intel's 2nd Generation of Core iSeries processors--that's what was previously code named Sandy Bridge--and that gives you a lot of advantages in terms of processing power, battery life, and the integrated graphics that come built in with these. It's Intel's HD 3000 integrated graphics which is likely a pretty decent step-up from previous generation Intel integrated graphics. Then on the 15-inch, like this model and the 17-inch, there is also discrete graphics although here's another big switch. Instead of NVIDIA discrete graphics, they use AMD discrete graphics. That's kind of a major change there. And of course, the other big MacBook Pro news is a brand new port right on the side here. That is the Thunderbolt port and that is the final brand name of Intel's Light Peak technology. It's a new superfast type of connection meant for pretty much anything--storage, peripherals, even displays. In fact, it looks exactly like the old Mini DisplayPort jack and, in fact, works as a Mini DisplayPort jack as well. You can just plug a Mini DisplayPort jack there and hook up your monitor or you'll be able to plug in Thunderbolt peripherals. When they're available, Apple says you should except some around spring time in 2011. We've seen a couple of prototypes, but we don't really know what the final products are going to be. I bet they'll be very hard drive-related right now. We've already heard rumors of high-end digital cameras coming out with Thunderbolt ports on them and that can do theoretically like 10 megabits per second bidirectional. So, you know, great if you're, let's say, editing a lot of HD video or something like that. Apple has a bunch of software upgrades, cool new features that are gonna be ready for MacBooks probably closer to the summer. One cool, new feature is FaceTime. It's an app in the new Mac app store. It's 99 cents and it works just like FaceTime on your iPhone or your iPod touch or, you know, maybe your future iPad 2 in that it uses the 720p camera built right into the MacBook Pro and let's you call up any other MacBook that has FaceTime or an iPhone 4 or an iPod touch that has FaceTime, so let's call our buddy, Scott, right now. Why hello, Scott. How are you doing? -Hey Dan. What's up? -I am calling Scott who is on another MacBook Pro right now. Let's switch to the horizontal view, kind of like we were flipping our iPhone on their sides. Can you do that? -Sure. Woah! -Oh, look at that. Alright, now, I'm gonna go full screen over here and for a full screen video chat, it's actually pretty impressive. How are things doing down at the other end of the office? -Hey, things down at the office are great. How are things over in the TV studio? Pretty exciting? -I bet everyone wants to hear about Thunderbolt, don't they? -They are all chanting Thunderbolt. -Excellent. As a standard operating procedure for Apple, they've got the price at about the same while upgrading the components, so the 13 still start at $11.99. This is the high-end 15-inch model that's actually $21.99 and the 17 start at $24.99 I'm Dan Ackerman and that is a first look at the new 15-inch MacBook Pro.