After a brief blackout at Apple Stores worldwide, it turns out that the Macbook Pro series has been given a few upgrades. Most notably, even the “entry-level” MBP 15 has been given a better video card–the AMD HD 6750M–same one as in the former top model but with just half a gigabyte of VRAM. The more expensive version of the MacBook Pro, on the other hand, has been upgraded with a Radeon HD 6770M, which is the same GPU as in HP’s quad-core Pavilion laptops. The hard drives have also been given an increase in standard capacity, but in spite of all these upgrades, the MaBooks stay at the same price points, which is only about twice as much as a quad-core dv6t or dv7t with similar specifications.

In terms of design, the new MacBooks look identical to the previous models, with an aluminum chassis, backlit buttons and the large glass touch pad. They have also been given the new Intel processors that we mentioned recently (which Intel sells at the same price as the ones they replace).

The priciest MacBook Pro now comes with a 2.4 GHz Core i7 processor, compared with the previous version’s 2.2 GHz, and the graphics card is now an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory. That means that the high-end MacBook Pro is quite capable in the gaming department, assuming you run Windows on it.

The upgrade was expected, but most thought it would have happened about a month ago. It’s been seven months since the last upgrade, and Apple laptop upgrades tend to roll out steadily, twice a year, but to venture a guess it might have something to do with the simultaneous release of new Intel silicon.

Apple’s Macbook Air (pictured) was just updated with new Core i5 and i7 ULV CPUs, so no news there. Actually, that particular update was not a welcome one for gamers looking to play on a miniature laptop, since the Nvidia ION 2 (320M) had to go to in favor of integrated Intel graphics.

All sarcasm aside, the new MacBook Pros still look as great as ever and if I had money to burn I could certainly go for one. It’s just that the $1,000 apple tax is something of a deterrent. Plus you have to fork over extra for yet another Windows 7 license.

Posted by David

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