The New Sandy Bridge MacBook Pros Are Here, Starting At $1199


Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 9.01.22 AM

Along with announcing Thunderbolt, Apple has also officially outed the new MacBook Pros

Starting at prices of just $1199, these new MacBook Pros make the leap to Intel’s new architecture, Sandy Bridge, starting with the 13-incher’s 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU and stretching all the way up to the $2499 17-incher’s 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.

Overall, the bumps are pretty modest. Apple has shifted away from NVIDIA GPUs this generation and embraced AMD’s RadeonHD graphics in the 15- and 17-inchers, with the low-end 15-inch Pro boasting an AMD RadeonHD 6490M GPU with 256MB of GDDR5 memory, while the high-end 15-and-17-inchers pack in an AMD Radeon HD6750M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.

4GB of RAM is ubiquitous across all models. While an option, SSDs are not ubiquitous, and storage ranges between 320GB and 750GB stock.

Contrary to rumor, the displays also did not get a resolution bump, which is just weird: the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a lower-resolution display now than the entry-level MacBook Air that costs $200 less.

All models of MacBook Pro pack an advertised “up to” 7 hours of battery life.

Not bad, but nothing groundbreaking… except for Thunderbolt, which — when all is said and done — I’m guessing will end up being the most important product Apple ships this year.

  • Geoff

    Under whelming indeed

  • Clark

    Apple is just too expensive – the value is not present in these laptops! The entry into the Sandy Bridge unit with updated graphics is really the 15 inch model and its $1800 dollars – more here in Canada (and our dollar is worth more than the US dollar so who knows why it costs more!). The price point for this same 15 inch model should be $1200 to even consider it over a PC i5 intel unit. (which you can buy for under $800 as a PC unit). Apple please stop gauging your customers!

  • Jim

    From what I was expecting, I would agree. I at least expected updated displays. Now, the idea of Thunderbolt is pretty exciting, I would like to see that in action downloading video.

  • Chris

    but you can’t get design from a PC

  • Joshua Douglas

    Can anyone explain how the new Sandy Bridge 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 is better then the previous macbook pro 2.66ghz intel core i7 which I have? Is it because its quad-core instead of the older core (4 better then 2)?

    Just surprised it would be so low GHz.

  • Jseattle1982

    I’m guessing the added expense is due to import tarrifs, as apple is a US held company… but it’s just a guess. And as christoph says, with apple you’re paying for design and reliability… I used my old ibook G4 until a year ago… over 4 years. Only thing I ever had to replace? Tha battery, which they replaced for free under apple care. I’ve never heard of a pc laptop be that solid for that length of time.

  • Haroon

    I think apple is going to announce a major update around Sept 2011 incorporating the SSD and liquid metal body.
    I agree with Olson that the prices are a little high but this is what u get by paying higher at apple = “satisfaction” & “great support”

  • CharliK

    The quad core is dividing up the work to more ‘workers’. It’s the old digging a hole math problem. Team A’s two workers can only dig 5.32 feet a minute while Team B’s four workers can dig 8.8 feet.

  • CharliK

    It is a good guess. and 99% likely to be true. A lot of countries have import tariffs that force prices up. Apple and a few other companies are trying to get that changed. For the sake of the local buyers

  • Joshua Douglas

    makes sense. Thanks!

  • Michael H.

    What @lucascott said is correct. The new processor is also more efficient at the same clockspeed. Endgadget has a review copy and ran Geekbench on it, and it scored ~9600 — compared to the previous gen laptop score of ~5600. Huge improvement.

  • Orzaljordan

    stop complaining about no liquid metal.this is the first and only computer to have light peak(thunderbolt) and is the fastest thing ever for data transfer up to 2 times more than usb 3.0 and it hasnt even really been released and also it has i5 sandy bridge which is also brand new technology plus an hd camera built in so i think because its two times faster than the old one is a great refresh

  • Shameer Mulji

    As cool as that would be, I highly doubt Apple will announce a major update to the MB Pro line later this year. It looks like Apple are on a year refresh cycle for most of their products with the exception of Mac OSX and their pro apps which are on two year cycles.

  • Will

    Liquid Metal isn’t ready for mass production on the scale of notebooks. If at all, it will be on iOS devices.

  • Will


  • Will

    What PC has a quad-core Sandy Bridge i7 for $800-$1,200?

  • Download

    Interesting and useful post

  • Dave

    Surprised there is no USB 3.0