MacBook Pro 2011 Roundup: News, Insight and Future

Here at OSM we closely followed the news and also the speculation leading up to the announcement and release of the new MacBook Pro line for 2011, which came last week. We’ve continued to provide details about the new MacBook Pros and thought our readers might be interested in a roundup of news, insights and even future developments for the latest Apple refresh.

As we give our roundup we’ll link to our previous articles so if you wish to find out more about particular points that we mention you can simply click the links for more detail. We first wrote about the new MacBook pro line in the middle of February when they were speculated to arrive in March so it’s nice to see that some products are actually released earlier than expected and then told of the rumored Light Peak technology we were hoping to see on the new Pros. We then found the likely release date was February 24 which thankfully proved to be correct as we speculated when the online Apple store was down early that day.

When the MacBook Pros were officially announced and released later that day, we gave details of the full lineup with prices and then the confirmation that Light Peak technology, now to be known as Thunderbolt, had indeed come to the latest Pros. We then gave some news of the first hands-on look and following that gave more information about the new FaceTime HD camera, enabling video at 720p. We then asked the question of whether readers felt the pricing for the new MacBook Pros was too expensive before turning our attention to the specs of the 13-inch new Pro compared to the current 13-inch MacBook Air.

We noted an awful lot of people were interested in the new Thunderbolt technology from Intel so took a look at that, particularly Thunderbolt-equipped peripherals. Although 6 peripherals can be daisy-chained to the new MacBook Pros through the Thunderbolt port there are no peripherals for it available yet, such as keyboards, external hard drives and docking stations, and we wondered how long we’d have to wait until we saw them start arriving and what Thunderbolt-capable peripheral would come first.

We moved on to look at a teardown on a 15-inch new MacBook Pro which found some minor quality issues, and then took a look at performance speeds for the refreshed lineup, which showed significant speed improvements. After that we gave our readers some news on updated Apple requirements for running Windows 7 on the new MacBook Pros. All-in-all there has been a lot to discuss about this latest impressive lineup of updated MacBook Pros. So what of the future?

In another of our articles we told how future MacBooks could have hidden touch controls in the lids, which would allow some functions to be controlled even when the notebooks were closed. This news came from an Apple patent that had been revealed. Finally we come back to Thunderbolt with news that we gave earlier today about the first announced Thunderbolt peripherals from Promise Technology (a hardware RAID solution called Pegasus) and LaCie (an external hard drive, a new Little Big Disk), both due in the second quarter, so there’s really not too long to wait before Thunderbolt-capable peripherals start hitting the shelves.

We can’t wait to find out for ourselves just how much of a difference this Thunderbolt technology makes. We hope this MacBook Pro roundup has given you plenty to think about and wonder which is the standout new feature of the latest Pros for you? If you have any thoughts about the new MacBook Pros then please send us your comments using the box below.