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This was odd but Apple today gave a refresh to its MacBook Pro. The new versions use slightly upgraded processors, up 100MHz on 13-inch models to 2.4GHz Core i5 and 2.8GHz Core i7 chips and 200MHz to 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz on 15- and 17-inch models. Video has also been given a new high. The base 15-inch now uses a much faster Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB of RAM, up from a 6490M with 256MB of RAM, while the higher-end 15-inch and 17-inch models use a 6770M with 1GB of RAM.
Storage has been upgraded on 13-inch systems, which now start out with 500GB (up from 320GB) with the higher-end configuration carrying a 750GB disk. Every system still comes with 4GB of RAM and gets an estimated real-world seven hours of battery life.
The new systems are unofficially considered a way to keep the MacBook Pro competitive before Ivy Bridge, Intel’s 22 nanometer architecture. Intel isn’t expected to roll out the new processors until the early spring and would leave Apple with its early 2011 update for more than a year.