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Apple debuts new 15" MacBook Pro

Apple revealed details of its redesigned 15-inch MacBook Pro on Tuesday, including a new unibody construction, far more powerful NVIDIA graphics, Display Port output, a new glass touchpad with multitouch gestures, and a revised appearance with similarities to the iMac.

Construction and Ports

Apple detailed a new "unibody" construction method for the MacBook Pro that improves upon the current model's thin aluminum shell, reinforced with an internal frame. The new design is patterned after the MacBook Air released in January, although it appears similar to the MacBooks.

The new construction employs half the structural parts of the former "discrete" MacBook Pro design but provides a case that is stronger, torsionally rigid, 5.5 pounds light, and 0.95 inches thin. It features a MacBook Air-style keyboard recessed into the frame. All I/O ports are located on left side, including: MagSafe, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, Dual USB 2.0, Mini Display Port (HDMI could not drive a 30" display), Analog/digital audio in and out, ExpressCard 34 slot, and a side-mounted battery indicator light.

Graphics and Display

The MacBook Pro includes a new NVIDIA graphics architecture which combines a NVIDIA CPU-supporting chipset and graphics processor on one die. Originally designed for desktops, Apple worked with NVIDIA to develop a mobile version for the MacBook Pro, the company said.

This new technology allow users to switch between the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor for better battery life and the more powerful NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics processor for higher performance.

The GeForce 9400M integrated chipset has 16 parallel graphics cores, delivers 54 gigiflops of graphics performance, while the 9600M GT has 32 cores and 125 gigiflops of processing power. The 9400M is rated for 5 hours of battery, while the 9600M GT provides 4 hours.

The graphics chips also power a new "instant on" 15.4-inch LED display that is 30 percent more efficient with brighter, high intensity colors.

MacBook Pro


Multi-touch Glass Trackpad

The new MacBook Pro also features a new 39 percent larger multi-touch trackpad that supports additional gestures and acts as a single button. The glass surface of the trackpad promises less friction for "silky-smooth travel." The new trackpad supports virtual software buttons, as well as one- to four-fingered multitouch gestures:
  • two finger pinch and rotate
  • three finger slides
  • four fingers bring up Exposé and app switching

New Battery Cover and Easy Access

The new battery cover provides easy access to the hard drive bay, which supports both a standard mechanical hard drive and a new solid state drive option. Locking the system with a security cable also locks the cover on the battery and drive.

MacBook Pro


Side-mounted Battery Indicator Light

The MacBook Pro's new side-mounted battery indicator light means users won't have to turn the machine upside down to see the status of their notebook's battery if the machine is not powered on.

MacBook Pro



Optical Disc Drive, Backlit Keyboard, iSight, Latch and More

The optical drive is located on right edge. It provides a DVD burner but does not support Blu-ray. Jobs said "Blu-ray is a bag of hurt. I don’t mean from the consumer point of view. It’s great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex. We’re waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off before we burden our customers with the cost of licensing."

MacBook Pro



Meanwhile, the new MacBook Pro will continue to supply a backlit keyboard, sudden motion sensor, stereo speakers, iSight camera, mic, and now supply a magnetic latch like the MacBook Air rather than a physical latching mechanism.

The new design features rounded, tapered edges without the series of screws that hold the top bezel to the frame as in earlier designs. There are several screws on the bottom of the machine, however.

MacBook Pro Configurations

The 2.4 GHz, 15-inch aluminum MacBook Pro will sell for $1,999 and include:
  • 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
  • 1066 MHz front-side bus;
  • 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 4GB;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics with 256MB GDDR3 video memory;
  • 250GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • built-in iSight video camera;
  • two USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
  • one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog;
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard; and
  • 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.


The 2.53 GHz aluminum MacBook Pro is priced at $2,499 and includes:
  • 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
  • 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 6MB shared L2 cache;
  • 1066 MHz front-side bus;
  • 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics with 512MB GDDR3 video memory;
  • 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • built-in iSight video camera;
  • two USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
  • one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog;
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard; and
  • 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.


Build-to-order options for the MacBook Pro include a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the ability to upgrade to 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB 7200 rpm, 320GB 5400 rpm or a 320GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple USB Modem, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Both new MacBook Pro configurations are shipping today.