The new MacBooks are the first Apple portable to include a quad-core processor, Intel's Core i7. The devices also include more RAM, iFixit discovered. Thunderbolt, meanwhile, combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connector.
On the new machines, you can chain up to six Thunderbolt devices. For comparison, FireWire supports 63 devices and USB supports up to 127 devices. But as iFixit noted, this might not be an issue since "we're not even aware of six products that support Thunderbolt yet." But if the connection becomes more popular, it might become a problem.
The RAM in the MacBooks is PC3-10600. That's the same RAM found in the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs released last year, but different from earlier Apple laptops, iFixit said. PC3-10600 can be used in older MacBook Pro machines, but the RAM found in those older machines - PC3-8500 - will not work in the new MacBook Pros.
It's rare that an entire line of MacBook Pros is updated all at once, but sometimes new technology warrants this occasion. Apple, as expected, announced updates to the MacBook Pro 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch. They all get Intel second-gen Sandy Bridge Core processors and all the technology associated with them, including dual- and quad-core versions. In addition to new internals, each MacBook Pro will be equipped with a FaceTime HD webcam and a lightning-fast connection technology called Thunderbolt. The 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros will also have a new graphic partner in AMD, ditching Nvidia after several years.
The MacBook Pros keep their shape and form for the most part, since most of the changes occur within. Their metal frames are still an inch thick, carved from a slab of aluminum, the same as their predecessors. A FaceTime HD webcam replaces the standard one on all the MacBook Pros, and when used in tandem with the native FaceTime app, users can video chat in 720p. They didn't get the flash SSD that allowed the MacBook Airs to resume and boot up instantly, but the hard drive capacities have ramped up to 500GB, with a 750GB option, depending on the system. And there will be SSD options (512GB) available, albeit for an obscene price.
The newest and most out-of-the-ordinary addition is the mini-Display port that now doubles as a superspeed I/O port. Thunderbolt, formerly known as Intel's Light Peak technology, is a new connection technology that supports transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps (that's twice as fast as USB 3.0) between the laptop and a Thunderbolt peripheral. Problem is, peripherals that can take advantage of this new technology haven't surfaced yet. But with a huge backer in Apple, these peripherals will surely be available soon. The Thunderbolt port, according to Apple, can deliver PCI Express to external peripherals and can support FireWire and USB devices. Since it's also a mini-Display port, the same port can output to external displays.
Read More | MacBook Pro product page
Intel today officially announced the availability of Thunderbolt, its new PC connection technology capable of running at speeds of 10Gbps—more than twice the speed of USB 3.0, and fast enough to transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds.
First introduced at IDF 2009 under the code name "Light Peak," Thunderbolt is based on fiber optics and was originally designed to transmit data over thin glass cables rather than traditional electrical ones. (Intel announced last month, however, that the initial iterations would use copper rather than fiber-optic cabling.) Powered by an Intel controller chip, it unites the PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort protocols to send data and video transmissions in two directions at once over a single cable.
Thunderbolt's first commercial application is on Apple's just-released refresh of its MacBook Pro laptop line. There had been speculation for a while that Apple would introduce the technology commercially, as Steve Jobs declared in October that because of lackluster support the company would not implement USB 3.0 right away.
Here's today’s Deal of the Day list, where we bring the the top discounts on gadgets and consumer electronics for the day. The highlights for today are a big Walmart clearance sale, the iPhone 3GS for 1 cent, and the cheapest price we've seen on the new Motorola Atrix 4G:
- Walmart clearance sale
- Apple iPhone 3GS - 1 cent + free shipping
- Motorola Atrix 4G - $130 + free shipping
- Apple MacBook Pro - Refurbished discounts
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.
Our pals over at BGR are reporting that sources have told them that the new Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro models, which should be available sometime in the next two weeks, will be sporting a the following new features:
- Even larger surface area for the glass trackpad
- A 8 or 16GB SSD specifically dedicated to running OS X
- They'll be about a half-pound lighter on average than the current models
The bit about the SSD dedicated to the operating system is the most suspect of the bunch, but that would certainly be one way to speed things up. I use an SSD in my Mac Pro that dedicated to running OS X and holding my applications folder, with separate hard drives for data storage. These rumors are added to the one that says that Light Peak may make its debut on the new MacBook Pro as well.
Read More | BGR
It's time to insert another quarter in the Apple rumor-machine. In addition to the rumored Macbook Pro refresh coming in a week or two—we've reported a possible March 1 date for an introduction of Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU lineup into the line, though other sites are indicating that this could occur as early as February 24—it's time to throw a new connector into the fray as well.
CNet is reporting that an undisclosed source has told the site that Apple plans to introduce a new connection technology "soon." The site then goes on to speculate that this may or may not be a part of the rumored Macbook refresh—rumors upon rumors!—and that the technology may or may not be the Apple-renamed version of Intel's Light Peak connection technology.
Just to refresh, Apple's been balking at adding USB 3.0 to its product lineups for some time now. "We don't see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example," Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly replied when asked about USB 3.0 in an e-mailed question by a customer last year.
If you're looking for some decent discounts on Apple products straight from the horse's mouth, you should head on over to the Apple Store Black Friday one-day sale event. Some of the products they've got on sale don't offer much of a discount at all, however you can get an iPad for $41 off, or a new 13-inch MacBook Air for $998, which is $1 less than the 11-inch $999 model. There are also discounts on the iPod touch, MacBook Pro, iMac, and a bunch of accessories.
Oh, and you should also be aware that MacMall has their Black Friday sale going on, and they're offering a bunch more discounts and prices lower than Apple on a bunch of items!
Read More | Apple Black Friday 2010 sale
Read More | Etsy
Paul Rodriguez has accomplished a lot in his skateboarding career. He was the 2002 Trans World Skating Rookie of the Year, won an X-Games Gold medal in Street Skating in 2005 and also became the first pro-skater to be sponsored by Nike. Combine all of these things with the fact that his father is famous comedian Paul Rodriguez, Sr. and it is not surprising that P-Rod is branching out to areas beyond grinding rails and landing kick-flips. Enter Incase and the Paul Rodriguez Signature Collection. Started in 2008, the current line features a new version of his signature skate pack that can accommodate up to a 17” MacBook Pro. Featuring a reinforced notebook compartment, a dedicated iPod pocket with headphone port, a concealed back panel zippered pocket to secure important documents and heavy-duty, water-resistant YKK zipper pulls with closed-seam construction the P-Rod Skate Pack ensures that whatever you put inside it will be protected from most anything that you or any inevitable multiple-crashes can throw at it.
Read More | Incase
Hey, so you know those new Core i5 and i7 MacBook Pros that launched yesterday? If you are looking to pick one up, you should definitely check Amazon, as they’ve got a nice discount on all models, across the board. Here’s the breakdown:
- 13-inch MC374LL/A - $1,159.99 ($40 off)
- 13-inch MC375LL/A - $1,449.99 ($50 off)
- 15-inch MC371LL/A - $1,739.99 ($60 off)
- 15-inch MC372LL/A - $1,929.99 ($70 off)
- 15-inch MC373LL/A - $2099.99 ($100 off)
- 17-inch MC024LL/A - $2199.99 ($100 off)
Definitely not bad at all, even on the least expensive models - especially when you factor in the fact that Amazon doesn’t charge sales tax to a majority of locations that they ship to.