MacBook Pro refresh tips Bluetooth 4.0 and faster CPUs incoming

Oct 14, 2011
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Apple is readying a refreshed range of MacBook Pro notebooks, it's rumored, with Bluetooth 4.0 and faster processors each tipped to be included in the new line-up. Supplies of the existing versions are currently constrained, 9 to 5 Mac's source tells them, but the updated versions have already shown up in Apple's inventory systems ready for imminent release. It's possible that Apple's changes could pave the way for broader Siri voice control support across the desktop.

There are no huge changes planned: the new MacBook Pro models will look the same, and there will still be two 13-inch, two 15-inch and one 17-inch pre-configurations on offer. However, although unconfirmed, the changes are expected to be faster Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, with Apple keeping pace with its PC notebook rivals, along with Bluetooth 4.0 as found in the iPhone 4S launching today. Internally the new versions are known as K90IA (13-inch), K91A (15-inch) and K92A (17-inch).

Bluetooth 4.0 is special because it marks a shift to far lower power requirements. Thanks to that extreme frugality - and new profiles which allow devices to wake each other wirelessly - a persistent link is possible without instantly running down the battery. The current Mac mini desktop and MacBook Air ultraportable already come with Bluetooth 4.0 support.

Apple's updates, therefore, could well be a precursor to Siri gaining a foothold on your OS X desktop. Those with an iPhone 4S - which comes with the intelligent voice control system - could use their smartphone as a gateway for the AI to also take control of their computer, with Bluetooth 4.0 being the low-power glue that holds the whole ecosystem together. That's unlikely to happen straight away, however.


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