What Does The New Macbook Pro Mean For You?

So, at WWDC Apple completely revamped the Macbook line. I could spend this post recapping the features, but I’m not going to do that. I’m going to answer some questions I’ve gotten on whether the new Macbook Pros are worth getting for you, and what this means for computing. Tomorrow I’ll cover the details of the 2012 Retina Macbook Air, but for today it’s just 2012 15 inch Macbook pro- Apple’s new Mac flagship notebook.

Key Fact- There are two Versions

This is a key fact that needs to be clearly established. Apple released not one but TWO new Macbook pro models. The cheaper one has no Retina Display, and is not as thin, but does feature more hard drive options, bumped up ivy bridge processors, more RAM, and USB 3.0 among other upgrades. The model I’m talking about here is the NEW Macbook Pro. This is Apple’s new flagship and starts at a crazy high $2100.

Is the lack of a disc-drive a deal breaker?

For most people, absolutely not. My digital life is so intertwined with the cloud that I forgot that some people actually watch DVDs. I was loudly reminded today while debating the new feature set with a friend. If you’re a casual user who loads music from CDs, or software, it’s not a problem. You can use any windows or Mac machine and Apple’s free disc utility to remotely transfer the files or music to your mac. If you use it more often, Apple does offer a $50 (around there) external DVD drive which you can plug in whenever. If you really NEED your disc drive, then you’re one of the few and you should buy an old refurb macbook while they’re still available. I’m warning you to change your ways. The disk drive is going the way of the floppy drive (D.E.A.D).

What about the lack of a firewire and ethernet on the Macbook Pro?

Apple sells adapters for both to thunderbolt, and firewire is so much slower than Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 that you should switch if you can afford it. Apple’s cheaper model 15 inch Macbook pro I mentioned above still has the ethernet port if you REALLY need it. It’s honestly not a problem. Based on past adapters, I’d imagine the adapters don’t cost more than $30 which pails in comparison to buying a new Mac ($1000-3000).

Should I buy the 2012 Macbook pro now, or wait until they release Mountain Lion in July?

I’m waiting until July to purchase mine. It saves $20 on purchasing the new operating system, and any possible bugs that arise in the Macbook pro (it happens) will have been resolved by then. Waiting a few months and researching also means you’ll make the best personal decision on configuration of your new Macbook pro.

Where will I see the improvement in performance in the new model?

You’ll see improvements across the board. Gaming and watching videos, as well as editing photos, music, and sound will be far faster. Games and will be smoother thanks to improved frame rates due to the graphics which was bumped up 66%. The new, faster RAM will mean you can have several programs running and not worry about too much of a slow down, and the processor means faster rendering and processing (I hate reusing a word in a definition- sorry) in photo and video editing, and just the computer all around. The SSDs will make everything feel snappy as well.
You’ll also definitely feel an improvement in back pain.  The new 15 inch macbook pro which is only .75 inches thick (25% thinner) is also 1/2 a pound lighter than the 13 inch macbook pro I lug around every day. One of the biggest concerns with traveling with a 15 inch computer in the past has been weight and space, and Apple seems to have remedied both. 
Overall, it should be a great experience. For more on the new line, see the video of the keynote here. Warning: It’s long.
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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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