Apple Refreshes Macbook Pros, Unveils Thunderbolt I/O with Intel

It’s been quite a busy tech morning! Apple has announced the annual refresh to the Macbook Pro line, adding a new camera capable of HD video calls (3x the resolution of the old line), and a lot of internal stuff. First off, the graphics cards are now AMD made, replacing the NVIDIA ones previously used. A huge change, and a trend you’ll see with many new high-end laptops, is the processor. All models are using Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, which show a huge bump in graphical performance and increase battery life substantially. The other big change that you might be seeing elsewhere is the addition of the Thunderbolt input/output port. This new technology, developed by Intel, promises 10GB/s transfer rates, both to and from the device. This will allow for full length HD quality movies to transfer in a matter of seconds, and will have applications in ethernet, display, and file transfer.

There are two variants of the 13 inch and 15 inch models, and just one 17 inch model. The prices range from $1200 for the lowest 13 incher to $2500 for the high end 17 inch. They are available for purchase online now.

Also launching for Apple today is the Mac OS X Lion developer preview. The full version of the new OS isn’t out for a couple months, but you can expect to learn a lot more about the iPad-ification of the Mac in the coming months. Also, March 2nd is an Apple keynote which will inevitably announce the iPad 2. You can definitely expect to see that covered here as well. Stay tuned!

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