updated 11:10 pm EDT, Sat April 10, 2010
MacBook Pro to get cheaper 17-inch model
A MicroCenter staffer tonight posted new Apple model numbers that point directly at long-anticipated MacBook Pro updates. While just listed as "Mac systems" with Good, Better and Best trim levels, they have completely new model numbers and roughly correlate to the three 15-inch and single 17-inch MacBook Pros that currently exist. They also hint at price changes: while the base MacBook Pro would climb $100 to $1,799, the top-end 15-inch model would drop to $2,199 and the 17-inch would fall $200 to $2,299.
A mid-range MacBook Pro would stay in place at $1,999.
It's known that the MacBook Pro line should get Core i5 and Core i7 processors that may sport similar stock clock speeds but should be substantially faster than the outgoing Core 2 Duo models. Also likely on top of these is the use of NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching to save energy; the higher-priced entry model may reflect this as Apple would have to use a discrete graphics chip instead of the integrated GeForce 9400M used today.
A MacBook Pro update could come as soon as Tuesday and may also include a refresh of the white plastic MacBook and MacBook Air.