The 13″ versions retain the Core 2 Duo processors even though they are approaching end of life. Why? Well, the Core ix series of processors contain built-in Intel GPUs. Problem is, they are limited enough to not support the 3D accelerated interface features of Mac OS X. On the other hand, there’s the combined problem of making room for separate video RAM on the mainboard, and Apples policy of nerfing their cheaper products to not interfere with their more expensive product lines. A more powerful 13″ MBP would probably interfere with sales of both the Air and the base 15″ MBP.
The 15″ MacBook Pro series gains Arrandale Core i5 and i7 processors and a slightly more powerful graphics adapter. New for this update, is that even the base model has dedicated graphics memory, and that switching between the integrated and the dedicated adapter is automatic and doesn’t require relogging into the system. The new series also have the option of a high-res display – not HDTV-style 1080p resolution, but a work-friendly, and, if you ask me, “good enough for most things” 1680×1050.
My thoughts on this?
Well, this hasn’t really scared me away; I wouldn’t exactly mind owning a base- or midrange 15″ with the hires screen. We’ll simply see what happens. Also, I really like the bump in battery time. A claimed “up to 10 hours” on the 13″ models and “up to 8 hours” on the bigger ones, means these machines are actually usable even when you don’t know if you can get hold of a power cord during the day.