Apple updates MacBook Pros, adds 13-inch model

Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller wasted no time during the keynote of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday morning, unveiling a new generation of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops within minutes of taking the stage.

The new 15-inch model sports processor speeds from 2.53GHz to 3.06GHz, at base prices ranging from £1,130-£1,475 -- depending on how it’s configured. The MacBook Pro can handle up to 8GB RAM, and a 256GB Solid State Disk (SSD) is also an option. Nvidia graphics, both integrated and discrete, are included.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is based on the same 'unibody' architecture that Apple has used on the last round of MacBook Pro designs — a single slab of aluminum used to craft most of the body.

It features a built-in battery similar Apple’s 17-inch MacBook Pro, which provides up to seven hours of run time between charges, according to Schiller -- that’s two hours longer than before, or 40 percent more charge. Like the lithium polymer battery found in the 17-inch model, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro’s battery lasts up to 1,000 recharges before it needs replacing. Apple claims the battery design is more environmentally friendly as a result.

Schiller claims the 15-inch model has the “nicest display [Apple] has ever put in a notebook” with 60 per cent better colour gamut than before. What’s more, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro replaces the ExpressCard slot found on older models with an SD card slot — Schiller said this was done to better accommodate users who have digital cameras, many of which use SD media cards to store photos.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro model also gets a refresh; it now features a 2.8GHz processor, 500GB hard drive and keeps its ExpressCard slot, all for £1,610.

Aluminum MacBook becomes MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook has been improved, as well — so much so that Apple is adding the “Pro” moniker to it.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro gets a lithium polymer battery similar to its 15-inch sibling, that lasts for up to seen hours. It also has the improved display, and it gains an SD card slot. The new 13-inch model can also accept up to 8GB of RAM, and can be outfitted with a 500GB hard disk drive or a 256GB SSD.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro also gets a FireWire 800 port, and a backlit keyboard standard. With prices starting at £781, it’s less expensive than the MacBook model it replaces.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro comes in two models: 2.26GHz, 2GB RAM, 9400M graphics, 160GB hard drive, for £781; and a 2.53GHz, 4GB, 250GB hard drive model for £999. Both models also ship today.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro, 17-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are available now.

The base 13-inch MacBook Pro costs £781 with a 2.26 GHz processor or £999 with a 2.53GHz chip. The base 15-inch model costs £1,130 with a 2.53GHz chip, £1,305 with a 2.66GHz chip and £1,475 with a 2.8GHz chip. The 17-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.8GHz processor and costs from £1,610. All prices exclude VAT.

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