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After months of speculation, Apple is bringing Intel Core i5 and i7 processors to its popular 15 and 17” MacBook Pros. If you’re a photo or movie editor, this could translate to a 50% speed boost in common processor-intensive tasks. Of course CPU flex ain’t the only thing Cupertino’s packed into these sleek, unibody beauties. Read on for more about the latest and greatest in Apple’s portable pro line up.
Like the PowerBook before it, the MacBook Pro has been the go-to laptop of professional creatives for years. Past generations have seen powerful innovations such as advanced graphics, multi-touch trackpads with gesture support, durable unibody enclosures, environmentally friendly LED backlighting (for both the display and the keyboard), and hundreds of other hardware and software features.
The deployment of Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are certainly the focus of the latest MacBook Pros. Both chips boast Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies. Turbo Boost over clocks the processor based on the demands of running applications. Consider transcoding DSLR video footage while editing stills in Photoshop. Turbo Boost can push a 2.66GHz MacBook Pro into 3.33GHz territory. What’s the word I’m looking for? SCREAMER.
Hyper-Threading runs multiple threads over a single core. This creates up to 4 virtual cores for efficiently running multiple applications. If you’re a video editor running Final Cut Pro while simultaneously watching Vimeo in your browser and fielding questions in a mail client, multiple cores keep you working, inspired, and connected with zero performance lag. Of course, simply replacing the processors in their new machines would be very un-Apple like.
Leveraging the latest graphics chipsets with the power of OSX, Apple has reinvented graphics efficiency. Mobile editing, gaming, and media consumption are an ever-expanding part of the day to day. Unfortunately these trends are also extremely resource-intensive and power hungry. A few years ago, it would be unheard of to get more than a couple hours of battery life out of a power laptop. By automatically switching between discrete and integrated graphics processors in the 15 and 17” MacBook Pros and employing a proprietary battery with power management software, Apple is offering 8-9 hours of productivity on a single charge. The integrated graphics on the new 13” model matches the iPad with up to 10 hours of battery life.
The 15” MacBook Pro also gets some custom display options. Standard models ship with a glossy 1440 x 900 pixel LED backlit screen. For a premium you can upgrade to a 1680 x 1050 high resolution panel in your choice of glossy or antiglare (matte).
The latest 13, 15, and 17” models are available for preorder from B&H today. Custom screen options for the 15 and 17” MacBook Pros will be available soon.
David Flores is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York City.