Apple has very quietly bumped the specs on its Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro lineup ahead of the holiday shopping season - all models see small clock speed bumps (0.1 GHz in the 13" and 0.2 GHz in the 15" and 17" models), while the 13" models get bigger hard drives and the 15" and 17" models get a GPU upgrade. Base prices remain the same for all configurations - see the updated spec table below for details.

Late 2011 MacBook Pro Lineup
  13-inch (low end) 13-inch (high end) 15-inch (low end) 15-inch (high end) 17-inch
Dimensions 0.95 H x 12.78 W x 8.94 D 0.95 H x 12.78 W x 8.94 D 0.95 H x 14.35 W x 9.82 D 0.95 H x 14.35 W x 9.82 D 0.98 H x 15.47 W x 10.51 D
Weight 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg) 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg) 5.6 lbs (2.54 kg) 5.6 lbs (2.54 kg) 6.6 lbs (2.99 kg)
CPU 2.4 GHz dual-core Core i5 2.8 GHz dual-core Core i7 2.2 GHz quad-core Core i7 2.4 GHz quad-core Core i7 2.4 GHz quad-core Core i7
GPU Intel HD 3000 Graphics Intel HD 3000 Graphics Intel HD 3000 + AMD Radeon HD 6750M (512MB) Intel HD 3000 + AMD Radeon HD 6770M (1GB) Intel HD 3000 + AMD Radeon HD 6770M (1GB)
RAM 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 (8GB max) 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 (8GB max) 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 (8GB max) 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 (8GB max) 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 (8GB max)
HDD 500GB 5400 RPM 750GB 5400 RPM 500GB 5400 RPM 750GB 5400 RPM 750GB 5400 RPM
Display Resolution 1280x800 1280x800 1440x900 (1680x1050 optional) 1440x900 (1680x1050 optional) 1920x1200
Ports Gigabit LAN, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, 2x USB 2.0, SDHC slot, combined audio in/out jack Gigabit LAN, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, 2x USB 2.0, SDHC slot, combined audio in/out jack Gigabit LAN, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, 2x USB 2.0, SDHC slot, separate audio in/out jacks Gigabit LAN, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, 2x USB 2.0, SDHC slot, separate audio in/out jacks Gigabit LAN, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, 3x USB 2.0, separate audio in/out jacks, ExpressCard 34 slot
Price $1,199 $1,499 $1,799 $2,199 $2,499

The refresh also replaces the AMD Radeon HD 6750M in the high-end 15" and the 17" MacBook Pros with the 6770M, which has the same number of shaders but faster core and memory clock speeds (Notebookcheck.net says that the core/memory speeds are 725MHz and 1600MHz, compared to the 600MHz and 900MHz of the 6750M, though Apple's clocks may differ slightly). The 256MB 6490M in the low-end 15" configuration has now been replaced with the 6750M, as well.

Those looking for a more substantial upgrade to the lineup will likely have to wait until next year, when in all likelihood the laptops will receive Intel's forthcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs and chipsets.

Source: Apple

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  • michaelheath - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I'm an informed consumer. I've built custom desktop computers for 8 years, worked in IT support for 11, and have been using computers for almost the entire 30 years I've been on this Earth, and I know exactly what I'm getting when I buy a Mac. Anyone who happens to ask me, "Who makes the best laptops?" will typically get the response, "Apple," followed by a number of manufacturers in the order of which one pisses me off the least. (Dell, HP, Acer, and Sony can suck it; Lenovo seems to know what they're doing for now.)

    Modern Apple computers are computer-idiot-proof, and computer-idiots will gladly pay the price for the convenience of not having to think about how to make their computer work the way they want it to (most people have other things to do with their time, it seems). Hell, I like the fact that I go home, after a day of making Windows computers work, to a Mac that doesn't require me to prod it into doing what I want it to.

    Also, I beg to differ about how hot Macs run. I have a 3 year old MBP 15" and a 6 month old MBP 13", and neither get anything more than mildly warm under load. Also, they both get 5-7 hours of battery (3-4 hours if you push them) without some giant, heavy, extended-life battery.

    Sony Vaios are awful, and HP Envy's are a slightly more palatable flavor of awful. It seems your preference leans towards, "Power first, portability and battery life second." Which is fine, I suppose, if you don't carry the thing with you everywhere like most people I know do (because that's what they're for... or so I've been lead to believe over the last few decades).

    Finally, before anyone hauls off making fun of my comments as that of another Apple lemming, may I remind you that Anand himself prefers Mac laptops for daily use. If that doesn't convince you that you might be a tinge jaded on this subject, I don't know what will.
    Reply
  • quiksilvr - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Your thoughts may have been valid in pre-Windows 7 days but not anymore. Of all the Windows OS's, Windows 7 gave me the least amount of grief.

    And I'm not just talking about external case heat issues. I am referring to the internal water boiling temperatures the CPU chips endure in the systems themselves.

    My preference leans towards give me the power I want when I want it regardless of whether or not its plugged in. If I want to save power, I'll switch to Power Saver myself. But when I want performance, I want 100%, not 80-90%.

    And I trust Anand's judgement when it comes to testing CPUs, GPUs, screens, etc. He has a right to his own opinion when it comes to laptops and desktops. He formulates his opinions very well. I just don't agree with him. Just because Anand likes it doesn't mean its blasphemy to disagree with him.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    The difference between you and Anand is that his opinions are based on logic and reason, while your arguments are almost always based on personal rhetoric and emotion. Reply
  • robinthakur - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    You think that only because like me you have used Windows forever. For the average computer user, Windows 7 is too complex to use, and the interaction with the OS seems dated. Your demand of 100% power all the time is pretty irrelevant to 99% of buyers in the real world because they are trying to get something done, not run benchmarks. My point is that you have alot more interest in computers themselves than the average person, so don't assume everybody feels the same way. Those that want a mac have no other options, they either pay the money or they don't, leave them to it. I personally use Macs because they are simply better designed, and I'm not bothered abcout the price. I run windows 7 on them as well as OSX, and they are decent systems. If you are poorer or on a budget, then a mac holds its value far more than the equivalent pc, which tells you everything you need to know. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    Um, why would you buy these "Pro" models if you aren't doing something CPU/GPU intensive such as video/audio editing/rendering or game testing? So your defense against not having adequate batteries or ac adapters that can take 100% of the load is "Oh well, most don't care so you don't get it?"

    That's the most asinine thing I have ever heard and the number 1 thing I hate about Apple (and people that buy it). They just put up with the bullshit and think it's their only option. News flash! There is a third option: BUY SOMETHING ELSE.
    Reply
  • AnotherHariSeldon - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    What a refreshingly good post from michaelheath.

    I get SO tired of everyone trying to tell MBP owners they've been ripped-off because you can get XYZ spec cheaper from Dell or one of the other box shifters.

    So what? Value doesn't always equate to price. If you can find a laptop that can run some random game at max everything and last 30 mins on battery I'm really happy for you, but for ME who earns a living from being productive on the move, I'll take a MBP every day of the week, the ROI is made in a couple of weeks, the screen and battery life by themselves justify the cost.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I'm a pretty die-hard Windows user, to the point where I look at Apple products with a hint of disdain. I also happen to review and handle a lot of Windows laptop, and as the Dell XPS 14z review I posted today points out, Apple wins out on design and build quality in many comparisons. I would very much prefer a solid aluminum laptop over a plastic laptop, and Apple provides that. They also seem to be one of the few companies that really understands just how important a high quality display is to an enjoyable experience -- only the regular MacBook has gone with a cheap, low quality panel in the past three or four years.

    Where they do tend to miss the boat is in their cooling capability -- either the MBPs run too hot under load, or they get too loud; choose one. This is simple physics of course. If you have a smaller pathway for air to flow through, it will take more force (re: fan speed) to get air through it. So, for running heavy loads or playing games, the MacBook Pro can get uncomfortably loud/hot, but for everything else they do great.

    All that said, I still can't stand OS X. It's better than running Linux, but I'm far happier with Windows. It's just a bunch of little things that irritate me. I also dislike Apple's touchpad a lot, but perhaps if I made a full switch to OS X and an MBP for a while I could adapt. Unfortunately for Apple, I'm not willing to spend that much time adapting to a new OS, a new laptop, and a change in my day-to-day applications. (Actually, it's mostly that I'm unwilling to spend the money to repurchase some very costly apps that I have for Windows.)
    Reply
  • jamyryals - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    That's funny, like you - I'm mainly a windows user. When I use my wife's mac I'm very jealous of the touchpad. I'm not sure if it's the size, response, or gestures of the mac touchpad that I like so much. Probably a combo of all. The despicable quality of the dell latitude touch pad ruins me. Otherwise, it's been a quality laptop. Reply
  • FITCamaro - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Well I beg to differ. Even guys at work who run OSX on the new MacBook Pros with Sandy Bridge chips comment all the time how hot these things get when running our two IDEs, database, web server, and a virtual environment. Definitely runs hot when running Windows under which they don't provide a driver for the integrated graphics. Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    <quote>Going from a 6750 to a 6770 (the low and high 15") is NOT worth something.</quote>

    True, but going from the old 15" low end machine that had a 6470M to the 6750M in the "new" low end 15" is worth something, at least in terms of a significant change for the lineup. The other models (going from the old mid version to the new mid version, and going from the old high version to the high new version) aren't really noteworthy (minor speed bumps).
    Reply

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