Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple Quietly Improves MacBook Pro Specs

While slimmer, more portable products are making most of the news, Apple’s signature laptop line – well-suited for gaming, high-end processing, and Home Networking – recently underwent a quiet redesign.

This week, Apple upgraded its specs on the MacBook Pro without changing the laptop’s price or exterior design. The 13 inch base model of the MacBook Pro now has a 2.4 Ghz Intel i5 processor, a 500 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of RAM. The $1200 price tag remains unchanged.

The company also upgraded its 15 inch and 17 inch models, especially in the area of graphics. You can now get 512 MB of RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6750M with the 15 inch product, or can opt to pay more for a higher performance AMD, twice as much RAM, and a faster 2.4 Ghz processor. This upgraded system, which is similar to the 17 inch base model, will retail for around $2200.

The upgraded specs only serve to reaffirm the MacBook Pro’s status as one of the most powerful, advanced, and sophisticated laptops on the market. The product is just as expense, but you certainly will get what you’ve paid for. With this internal upgrade, what you pay for now goes even further.

But the lack of an exterior redesign only further draws attention to Apple’s need for an upgrade in that department. This is not to say that the product’s look and feel seem dated, rather that Apple has now gone through several rounds of minor upgrades without making any real changes to the external features. The external element that is probably most in need of refurbishing is the MacBook Pro’s width. With the introduction of the Motorola Razr and the Acer Aspire, in light of legal battles between Apple and Samsung over the thickness of their respective smartphones, and even with the MacBook Air making its older brother look a bit clunky by comparison, the Pro could probably stand to lose some width. Currently, all three models are just under an inch thick.

Fortunately, with the release of patent information that suggests that Apple is trying to build a slimmer optical drive, there’s a good chance that a thinner MacBook Pro is already in the works. Since it’s been so long since we’ve seen an exterior upgrade, it’s also feasible that a more extensive upgrade and redesign will be announced early next year.

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