The new Apple MacBook Pro is finally here

After weeks of rumouring in the blogosphere, Apple has officially launched its new MacBook Pro lineup. Disappointingly, besides the inclusion of Thunderbolt – a new I/O technology – these new models aren’t exactly revolutionary with the same basic unibody casing, layout, and batteries. But with prices set at the same levels as the previous models, there’s no reason for resentment – you’re getting more computing bang for your buck.

The latest range sports next generation Intel Sandy Bridge processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Featuring the very latest dual-core and quad-core Intel Core processors, Apple claims the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

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Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays.

Starting at £832.50 (ex. VAT) the 13-inch MacBook Pro features Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The 15-inch (from £1, 290 ex. VAT) and 17-inch (from (£1, 749 ex. VAT) MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for video editing and graphics intensive applications.

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The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation for widescreen video calls. With Apple’s FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone 4 and the current generation iPod touch.

FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for £0.59. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature a glass Multi-Touch trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and claimed 7-hour battery.

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Every Mac laptop achieves EPEAT Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements. Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminium and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac laptops contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed with recyclable materials.

Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.