New Macbook Pro photos and specifications leaked

German and French Web sites post pictures of 13in Macbook Pro packaging

A photo of the new Apple Macbook Pro's packaging, showing the 'Thunderbolt' I/O port. <i>Image credit: [[xref:http://www.mac4ever.com/news/60807/la_photo_du_nouveau_port_thunderbolt/|Mac4Ever.com]]</i>

A photo of the new Apple Macbook Pro's packaging, showing the 'Thunderbolt' I/O port. Image credit: Mac4Ever.com

Apple rumour Web site Macrumors has posted pictures of the new Macbook Pro notebook, revealing updated processing and graphics components and a new input/output port called Thunderbolt.

Pictures and information that were originally posted on French site Mac4Ever and German site fscklog were collated on Macrumors, with a translation of the specifications revealing roughly similar specifications to the outgoing model.

Apple Macbook Pro comparison
Model Apple Macbook Pro 13in (late 2009) New Apple Macbook Pro 13in (early 2011)
Price $1449 $ TBA
CPU 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, dual core 2.3GHz Intel Core i5, dual core
Graphics chipset NVidia GeForce 320M, 256MB shared memory Intel GMA HD 3000 integrated graphics, 384MB shared memory
Internal hard drive 250GB, 5400RPM 320GB, 5400RPM
RAM 4GB DDR3 RAM, 1066MHz 4GB DDR3 RAM, 1333MHz
Display resolution 1280x800 pixels 1280x800 pixels
I/O ports Gigabit Ethernet, SDHC card slot, FireWire 800, 2x USB 2.0, Mini DisplayPort, audio I/O Gigabit Ethernet, SDXC card slot, FireWire 800, 2x USB 2.0, 'Thunderbolt' I/O, audio I/O

The photos of the new Macbook Pro show what is believed to be the base 13in configuration, which should have a similar retail price-point to the outgoing $1449 model. The updated model gains a larger hard drive and newer graphics and CPU components, using Intel's Sandy Bridge chipsets. The same 4GB amount of RAM remains, but is rated at a higher clock speed. Pictures on the Mac4Ever Web site show a partial view of the new notebook sporting a trackpad that looks larger than the current model's multitouch setup.

Other notable inclusions in the alleged latest iteration of the Macbook Pro include an SDXC-compatible SD card slot, allowing memory cards of up to 2TB capacity to be used, and an input/output port that the Apple packaging calls Thunderbolt. Visually similar to the pre-existing Mini DisplayPort standard used by Apple, reports indicate that this new connection bus could be based on Intel's high-speed Light Peak technology. The Apple iSight camera has been renamed FaceTime HD.

The new Macbook Pro has already drawn criticism from Ars Technica for its screen resolution — the 1280x800 pixel unit has the same resolution as the outgoing model, whereas the more recently released 13in variant of the Apple Macbook Air has a higher-quality 1440x900 pixel display.

No pricing information is available yet, but Apple is expected to make an announcement on the price of the new Macbook Pro on Thursday.

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