2011 Apple MacBook Promodels were released yesterday and offer many improvments over the 2010 MacBook Pros, yet are still available in same 3 different screen sizes: 13 inch MacBook Pro, 15 inch MacBook Pro and 17 inch MacBook Pro models
The first being the cheapest Apple MacBook Pro you can buy today with a MSRP of just $1199, this cheap MacBook Pro might be one to consider instead of a MacBook as it offers a lot more performance for about $200 more than what you would spend if you were to buy a MacBook instead.
The entry level MacBook Pro is a 13 inch configuration and offers the following as the main specifications:
2.3 GHz dual core Intel core i5 processor
4GB of DDR3 1333Mhz Memory installed
320GB hard drive running at 5400 RPM
Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics card
A built in battery that lasts up to 7 hours
If you buy the MacBook Pro 13 inch 2.3 GHz from the Apple Store directly there are more options allowing you to customize your 13 inch MacBook Pro by adding more RAM, hard drive options include both serial ATA drives and newer SSD hard drives that offer much faster performance than what traditional hard drives offer.
You can also buy an Apple Display and an Apple Mouse and Keyboard for the times you do need more screen real estate than what the smallest Apple MacBook Pro can offer.
Lastly, the 13 inch Apple MacBook Pro 2.3GHz is available with extended AppleCare, One to One membership and accessories such as cables and MacBook Pro cases all at additional cost.
**13 inch Apple MacBook Pro 2.7GHz
13 inch Apple MacBook Pro 2.7 GHz is the faster 13 inch MacBook Pro and offers a faster processor with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor and bigger hard drive at 500GB being the two main differences between the 2.3GHz and 2.7Ghz 13 inch MacBook Pro. All else stays the same as the cheapest MacBook Pro except for the price which is $300 more than the low end model with a MSRP of $1499.
The Apple 15 inch MacBook Pro is another new Apple MacBook but with another two inches of screen real estate when compared to the 13 inch models. You may sacrifice a bit on portability when you compare the two models side by side but for some the 13 inch MacBook Pro is just too small a screen to work with
The cheaper 15 inch Apple MacBook Pro of the two Apple MacBook Pro models available in the 2011 MBP Pro lineup is the 15 inch 2.0 GHz model that boasts the following features as standard equipment:
A 2.0Ghz Quad Core Intel Core i7 Processor
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
500 GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
Intel HD Graphics 3000 AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256MB GDDR5
Built in Battery lasting up to 7 hours
All this is priced at just $1799, which is the suggested list price for the Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch 2.2GHz, but you can get a better deal on the MacBook Pro by shopping online from other various online stores for sales and deals as most others offer a bit better price on the 15 inch MacBook Pros than if you were to buy a 15 inch MacBook Pro from Apple.
The higher end 15 inch MacBook offers a faster processor and runs at 2.2 GHz using the same Intel i7 processor but just a tad faster for power users looking for the fastest 15 inch MacBook Pro Apple makes today. Other features on the 2.2GHz Apple MacBook Pro are:
4GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
Intel HD Graphics 3000
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5
Built in Battery lasting up to 7 hours
The processor is faster, the hard drive is bigger and the graphics card on the high end 15 inch MBP is much faster, and those are the main differences between the 2 MacBook Pro 15 inch models save for the price which is listed as $2199 when you buy a MacBook Pro from Apple, but I you can get a better MacBook Pro 15 inch Price shopping online from other online stores and resources.
The 17 inch Apple MacBook Pro is for a lot of users, a desktop replacement thanks to the big and bright LCD display that graces the MacBook Pro at the high end of the MBP lineup. The 2.2 GHz is the same speed with the same processor than the 15 inch 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro but the 17 incher offers much more real estate in the screen dept. Priced at another $300 more than the 15 inch model but all other specifications being the same it will be up to you whether you deem the added 2 inches of display space to be worth the extra costs.
Apple has come out with an impressive MacBook Pro lineup, but I’m surprised that the maximum memory is not 16GB on these professional Apple notebooks, as the iMac ha been boasting a 16GB ram maximum for some time now. Perhaps this is on purpose so as not to cannibalize the iMac sales, or more likely the technology or space just isn’t there yet. 8GB ram modules in DDR3 1333Mhz would be cost prohibitive at this point anyway so maybe Apple’s on the right track with this latest MacBook Pro lineup.
**What’s new on all MacBook Pros for 2011
A slew of new features across the board make the 2011 Apple MacBook Pros a best buy this year when it comes to the new professional MacBooks:
Starting with the 13 inch MacBook Pro, the slowest MacBook Pro of the bunch still offer dual core Intel i5 Processors and the 15 inch and 17 inch MacBook Pros offer quad core i7 processors making the the newest Apple MacBooks up to twice as fast as the previous models.
Thunderbolt is new technology from Apple introduced first on the MacBook Pro lineup that allows you to use one connector running at up to 10MBps to connect both external peripherals and displays as well, offering less cables and faster speeds when communicating with external devices. USB just got old.
** Newer graphics cards with up to 1GB of RAM eliminate any bottleneck in the processing of graphics. Perfect for grapics professionals such as those using Aperture 3 or Adobe Photoshop.
**HD Face Time
Face Time, Apple’s full screen video call technology goes HD that are sharper and more crisp than the video produced in previous MacBook Pro models
Included when you buy any new MacBook Pro model in 2011 is the MacBook Pro portable computer, the Magsafe Power Adapter, wall plug and power cord and included software dvds and a display polishing cloth to keep your new MacBook Display like the day you bought it.
Lastly the MacBook Pro models, regardless of screen size come with Mac OS Snow Leopard and iLife ’11 which includes iPhoto, iMove, GarageBand, iWeb and iDVD which all allow you to control, create and discover your photos, movies, and music on Apple’s new MacBook Pro professional notebook computers.
I am now tracking and monitoring memory upgrade prices for the new Apple MacBook Pro models released today and as I write this there are just two memory stores who ship and stock RAM upgrades for the 2011 Apple MacBook Pros. Seeing as how the new MacBook Pro models were released just a few hours ago that the two memory stores that tend to specialize in Apple memory are the first to announce and list memory prices online for the new Apple MacBook Pro Models, those two memory sellers being RAMJET and OWC.
I have created two pages for the 2011 MacBook Pro’s as like always over the years if you’re in the market for the best prices on MacBook Pro RAM you need to check for both 4GB MacBook Pro DDR3 Memory Modules as well as 8GB MacBook Pro Memory Upgrade Kits as some stores only ship modules and others carry only the kits so be sure to check both for the best deal on 2011 MacBook Pro Memory Upgrades.
I’m surprised Apple didn’t bump the maximum memory on the 2011 MacBook Pros to a maximum of 16GB as this is what the new Apple iMacs can handle for almost a year now so I really assumed that 16GB of RAM for the MacBook Pros would be the default.
The new DDR3 MacBook Pro RAM for the 2011 MacBook Pros is compatible with the current Apple MacBook Computers and that’s for all versions – 13 inch to 17 inch models.
The day of the release of the new MacBook Pro, Ramjet is the first memory vendor to offer the compatible DDR3-1333 RAM upgrades. Two upgrade options are available. The 4GB single SO-DIMM upgrades the MacBook Pro to 6GB, and an 8GB Kit (2x 4GB modules) which brings the MacBook up to its 8GB memory maximum.
The prices are significantly lower than the Apple price, with the 4GB module at $89.99, and the 8GB kit at $149.99. There is also a $40 trade-in rebate for the original 4GB that comes with the machine, which brings the total cost down to $109.99 for the 8GB upgrade.
All Ramjet memory comes with a lifetime warranty. Modules are in stock, available for immediate shipment.
A deal on an Acer ultrabook I found today reminded me of a question I wanted to ask, and that’s when you think we will see a small portable computer with similar features of the Apple MacBook Air, but for about half the price? My guess is in about six months or so from now, maybe in time for back to school in 2012.
Let’s face it. If you want to buy the best computer online today you buy an Apple notebook. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the best selling notebooks at Amazon where 7 out of ten best sellers in the laptop department are Apple notebooks – not windows PC’s.
But for the rest of us who actually work for every penny we spend, the opportunity to buy an Ultrabook at half the price of an Apple product is too great to ignore for some of us. At least it is for yours truly. I would love to buy a brand new 2012 Apple MacBook Air if and when they are released but when you can get pretty much the same computer capable of the same tasks for half the price, one might argue in favor of the Windows machine.
UltraBooks Cost Too Much
The problem with the first generation ultrabooks, and to some extent some of the new 2012 ultra’s, is that at current retail prices they are too close to the price of an Apple MacBook Air for me to be willing to put up with the Windows experience when can buy a MacBook Air for about the same dough.
For a comparison of Ultrabooks vs MacBook Air’s, I am not going to compare every last detail as there are differnces in the technical specs, but in my mind there’s two reasons to buy this new brand of notebook computer: size and weight, and hard drive speed thanks to the solid state hard drives included in these.
A 13.3. inch Apple Ultrabook costs just over $1100 on sale at Amazon and the Acer Aspire S3 costs $799 from a variety of online vendors including Amazon.
The Air has features the S3 doesn’t have but they both offer SSD hard drives and light weight at about 3lbs each. The difference for the most part is operating system and $300. As I write this, I might be tempted to go with the MacBook Air – assuming I can find the price difference.
Unless I really needed to buy an UltraBook today, I would wait until we see a half price ultrabook. By half price, I don’t mean half the pric of regular price, but at a price point where I can buy two ultrabooks for the price of one MacBook Air and currently that means there has to be a $550 Ultrabook for these lightweight windows notebooks to really take off.
To be fair, it’s hard to buy a full featured notebook for that price, so let’s offer a little wiggle room and say that for me to buy a PC ultrabook over a MacBook Air the ultrabooks need to drop in price to the $500-$700 range. All that’s stopping them is the cost of the solid state drive, and with SSD drives continuing to fall it’s just a matter of time before this happens.
We’re off to a good start with a $100 off Ultrabooks startin to appear, we just need to see the prices drop another hundred dollars at least for these small notebooks to start selling in quantity.
MacBook memory, or MacBook RAM as it is commonly known is in my opinion the very best upgrade you can do on an Apple MacBook. It’s a better upgrade than hard drives, or even software and the best part is that in 2011 MacBook RAM is cheap, in fact, cheaper than it’s ever been in years. Only a few short months ago to max out the ram on a MacBook would cost upwards of one hundred dollars, but now in earkly 2011 the very same DDR3 ram upgrade consisting of a 4GB MacBook RAM kit can be bought for as little as $48.
The MacBook lineup has been refreshed by Apple over the years but the same design hasn’t changed much and the MacBook only accepts two different types of memory upgrades: For older MacBook models such as the Intel Core Processor MacBooks and even some Intel Core 2 processor MacBooks the memory required for these older MacBook model are DDR2 PC5300 DDR sodimms and although not required, it’s recommended that you install the MacBook Memory in pairs.
Some memory vendors suggest that more memory than Apple suggests can be installed in a MacBook and it may very be possible, I recommend you stick to what the maximum RAM for MacBook as suggested by Apple.. For older MacBooks requiring DDR2 RAM that max out at 2GB of memory, it has been suggested that 3GB of RAM will run fine in these Apple notebooks and for those MacBooks that max out at 4GB, it’s been suggested that 6GB of memory will run fine. This could be the case, as when the older MacBooks were released, the larger 2GB and 4GB memory chips were not available.
For the newer UniBody MacBook models, these run a faster motherboard speed at twice as fast as the older MacBooks and require DDR3 memory upgrades running at 1066Mhz. The newer MacBook models max out at 4GB of DDR3 RAM which is more than enough memory for most applications.
Buying MacBook Memory is a fine balance: You can buy the MacBook RAM directly from Apple either when you buy the MacBook, or you can purchase memory from Apple at a later date. Warranty will be no problem as you have Apple memory installed in an Apple product. But, and this is big: RAM from Apple will not be cheap.
What I suggest is buying ram for MacBooks from a trusted third party vendor that offer the same warranty and support as with Apple products, but without the inflated price tag that comes with the RAM when you buy from Apple directly.
Memory for MacBook can either be the cheapest MacBook RAM you can buy, or if you prefer you can spend a few more dollars and buy name brand memory from a vendor such as Crucial Technology. When shopping for RAM, the cheapest RAM is going to be generic RAM, which for most applications is just fine and still manufactured and tested to the Apple Specifications that the MacBook requires when it comes to RAM upgrades.
**Cheapest MacBook RAM Prices
I have created a table or chart of the cheapest MacBook RAM prices from a select few memory stores I can recommend that sell a quality memory product at a fair price: This list of MacBook memory prices change so you will always be sure to get the best prices on RAM for MacBook, regardless of what specific MacBook you have.