The Apple Store recently released a refresh to the popular MacBook Pro line, and the new MBP laptops feature Intel 2nd Generation Core i processors (codename Sandy Bridge). But are the latest MacBook Pro notebooks worth purchasing, especially since Apple implemented a price increase? Truthfully, there are quite a few benefits in purchasing an early 2011 MacBook Pro laptop over previous models. Here are five reasons to add a 2011 Apple MacBook Pro to your shopping list.
1. Faster Processor
In February 2011, Apple released updated MacBook Pro laptops equipped with Intel 2nd Generation processors. Codenamed Sandy Bridge, these processors feature a new microarchitecture with the CPU and GPU on the same die. The performance boost is impressive with notable speed increases in a variety of environments, including video editing. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available with a dual-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, while the 15-inch and 17-inch models feature a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU.
2. Better Graphics
While the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics on the new Sandy Bridge processors are decent for mainstream use, Apple did go ahead and include a dedicated graphics card in the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops. Equipped with mobile AMD Radeon graphics ranging from the HD 6490M to the HD 6750M, these notebooks offer decent gameplay and a robust multimedia experience thanks to the gorgeous display.
3. Larger Hard Drive
This year’s MacBook Pro line also features more disk space compared to the 2011 model. The hard drive in the 13-inch MacBook Pro has increased from 250GB to 320GB, while the 15-inch and 17-inch models received an upgrade to 750GB from 500GB. More space is especially nice for storing games, music, photos, and applications.
Apple is the first customer to deploy Thunderbolt, a new technology by Intel. Thunderbolt allows peripherals to be connected to one port with data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps. Both display and data run through a single cable making it an exciting advancement in the way high-resolution displays and storage devices are connected to a computer. The benefit of Thunderbolt includes faster video transfer so you can start watching or editing a movie quicker.
The 2011 MacBook Pro lineup now includes a FaceTime HD camera. Featuring three times the resolution of the previous camera, the new webcam lets you interact with friends and family with greater image clarity. In fact, the camera supports 720p HD calls from one 2011 MacBook Pro to another, and you can even make video calls to other Apple devices, such as the iPhone 4 or the latest generation iPod Touch.
As you can see, the most recent MacBook Pro notebooks offer an abundance of improvements over previous models. The greatest performance boost comes with the new Intel 2nd Generation processors, which are available in the entire MacBook Pro line. Whether you choose a dual-core 13-inch MBP or a 17-inch desktop replacement, you’ll find an increase in storage capacity, as well as a Thunderbolt port for easy connection of peripherals. Select systems also include an AMD Radeon HD graphics card for enhanced performance in games.
If you decide to purchase a 2011 MacBook Pro, the Apple Store carries the entire line of these aluminum notebooks. And best of all, all Macs ship for free. Another benefit of shopping directly at the online Apple Store is the ability to customize your computer with more memory or an upgraded hard drive.
You can also choose a variety of accessories and peripherals when shopping at the Apple Store to create the ultimate computing experience. A few options include the vivid Apple LED Cinema Display, which is a 27-inch flat panel monitor that is capable of producing 2560x1440 resolution, as well as a DisplayPort extension cable and, of course, a notebook sleeve. You’ll definitely want to keep the aluminum body shiny and free of scratches.
If you’re worried about switching to an OS X-based Mac, there are also programs that allow you to load Microsoft Windows onto your new MacBook Pro. Parallels is an application that lets you run Windows as a virtual machine. Boot Camp is another possibility that enables you to boot right into Windows for seamless integration.
In the end, purchasing a new notebook is a big decision. It’s best to analyze your current storage usage and budget requirements to determine which MacBook Pro is right for you. Whether you choose a portable 13-inch model or a 17-inch desktop replacement, each MacBook Pro features a sleek aluminum body and 4GB of memory in the standard configuration.