∞ MacBook Pros gain faster processors, more

Apple on Tuesday unveiled new MacBook Pro models with faster processors, new graphics chips and other changes. The 13, 15, and 17-inch models have all been refreshed, with prices starting at $1,199.

Apple claims that the integrated Nvidia 320M graphics processor found on the 13-inch is the fastest integrated graphics processor on the market. What’s more, the 15-inch and 17-inch models run up to 50 percent faster than previous models.

The new $1,199 model 13-inch MacBook Pro touts a 2.4GHz processor (up from 2.26GHz), along with Nvidia 320M integrated graphics, 4GB RAM (up from 2GB) and a 250GB hard drive (up from 160). Standard features include an 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort, AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, iSight video camera, two USB ports, one FireWire 800 port, SD card slot, headphone/line in, multitouch trackpad and illuminated keyboard, and a 63.5 WHr battery.

A 2.66GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro model equipped with 320GB hard drive costs $1,499.

The refreshed 15-inch and 17-inch models have two graphics processors – a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 330M and integrated Intel HD graphics. The GeForce GT 330M is purportedly more than twice as fast as the 13-inch model’s graphics; the Intel HD graphics can be used to conserve power.

All 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros come standard with 4GB RAM, 8x SuperDrives, Mini DisplayPort, AirPort Extreme 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, iSight video cameras, two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, audio line in and audio line out/headphone. The 15-inch models sport SD card slots.

The new MacBook Pros also support “inertial scrolling” using their trackpads, which Apple says enables users to more intuitively scroll through large libraries, documents and Web sites.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro comes in three models: a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 with 320GB hard drive for $1,799; a 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 with 500GB hard drive for $1,999; and a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 model with 500GB hard drive for $2,199. The 15-inch models sport standard 1440 x 900 pixel displays; a 1680 x 1050 pixel version is optional.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro now features a standard 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive for $2,299, along with a 95WHr battery and ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot. Build-to-order options include a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 500GB 7200RPM hard disk drive. 128GB, 256GB and 512GB Solid State Drives (SSDs) are also optional.