Thursday, February 24, 2011

Apple Updates MacBook Pro, Previews Mac OSX Lion

Today made two exciting announcements for Apple fans. The first announcement being an update to the MacBook Pro lineup to include the latest Intel CPUs and AMD based graphics and even more interesting the inclusion of Intel's new high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology. The second major announcement came in the form of a developer preview of Apple's next generation operating system dubbed Mac OSX Lion.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Next Generation Processors, Graphics & Thunderbolt I/O Technology

The announcement of the new MacBook lineup should be an exciting one for Apple fanboys. The new Intel chips are expected to boost performance significantly with Apple touting a perform boost of up to twice the speed of the previous generation. The GPUs in the new MacBook also got a major overhaul with Apple making a surprising move and dropping long time partner NVIDIA for AMD.

MacBook users will have the option to select either an AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR5 memory on 2.0GHz configuration; or AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory on 2.2GHz configuration. Other users will get Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory. Apple is claiming the new GPUs will perform up to 3x faster than the previous generation.

In addition to the new CPUs and GPUs the MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the new ultra fast 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.

Buy The New MacBook Pro
Pricing & Availability

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available through the Apple Store (, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at $2,499.

Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options and AppleCare Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at

Apple Releases Developer Preview of Mac OS X Lion

 In their second announcement today, and possibly the most exciting news for Apple fans, Apple gave developers a preview of Mac OS X Lion. This the eighth major release of Apple's operating system takes some of the best ideas from iPad and brings them back to the Mac.

Lion features Mission Control, an innovative new view of everything running on your Mac; Launchpad, a new home for all your Mac apps; full screen apps that use the entire Mac display; and new Multi-Touch gestures. Lion also includes the newly introduced Mac App Store, which allows users to install and automatically update Mac apps via iTunes.

The Lion preview is available to Mac Developer Program members through the Mac App Store today, and the final version of Lion will ship to customers this summer. 

Additional features in Lion include:
  • a new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
  • AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
  • Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions; 
  • Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app; 
  • Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
  • the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and 
  • Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.

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