February 25, 2011

Apple Unveils New Line Of MacBook Pro Notebooks

Apple Inc. released a new lineup of MacBook Pro laptop computers on Thursday, which feature next generation processors and graphics, Intel's Thunderbolt technology and a new FaceTime HD camera for video chat and other applications.

"The entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation," the company said in a statement.

"The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The updated line features Intel's "Thunderbolt" technology, which supports high-resolution displays and devices through a single port.

"Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard, which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro," Schiller said.

Pricing for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which includes a full-size keyboard, seven-hour battery life and an aluminum casing, starts at $1,199, while the 15-inch version starts at $1,799 and the 17-inch is priced at $2,499, Apple said.

The company also released to software developers a preview of its next generation operating system named "Lion," which it said "takes the best ideas from iPad and brings them to the Mac."

Lion for Macintosh is expected to be released sometime this summer, Apple said.

Lion software available at the online Mac App Store aims to allow outside developers begin writing new programs to help drive the popularity of Apple gadgets.

"The iPad has inspired a new generation of innovative features in Lion," Schiller said.

"Developers... can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps."

Apple has sold more than 15 million iPads since its launch last April.

The Cupertino, California-based company has a history of releasing new products each year, and is expected to introduce a second-generation iPad during a March 2 press event in San Francisco.

The debut of the new MacBook Pro models coincides with the 56th birthday of Apple's CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave but remains involved in running the company.

Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Apple's Mac Hardware Engineering group, praised Intel's Thunderbolt technology.

"We're thrilled to collaborate with Intel to bring the groundbreaking Thunderbolt technology to Mac users," he said.

"Thunderbolt is a breakthrough for the entire industry and we think developers are going to have a blast with it."

Intel demonstrated the technology on Thursday at its California headquarters, saying it moves media faster and simplifies connections between devices.

"Working with HD media is one of the most demanding things people do with their PCs," Intel general manager Mooly Eden told the AFP news agency.

"We've taken the vision of simple, fast transfer of content between PCs and devices, and made it a reality."

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