Intel leaks next gen MacBook Pro

Core i5 inside

TRADITIONALLY APPLE HAS been pretty good at keeping a tight lid on things when it comes to leaks about upcoming products, with the odd slip here and there. That doesn’t stop its fans from coming up with some wild speculations as to what Apple is going to launch next as soon as Apple announces that it is about to host an event. The next such event is on January 27th and the interweb has been full of speculations about what Apple is going to announce.

Thanks to Intel we now know that Apple is planning a refresh of the MacBook Pro line, as Intel let slip some details about a Core i5 based MacBook Pro in an email to its Retail Edge promotional program partners. Most of the email talks about how great Intel’s Core processors are and how fantastic the new Intel HD graphics technology is and then invites the Retail Edge partners to take part in a training program.

However, the interesting part is towards the end where Intel is having a prize draw. Those that pass the training program have the chance to win one of two MacBook Pro laptops “with the accelerated response of an Intel Core i5 processor”. Considering that Apple has only Core 2 based MacBook Pro’s this is pretty big news, although not entirely unexpected.

What is interesting here is that it seems like Apple might even be considering using Intel’s integrated graphics solution, although time will tell if this really is the case. The current MacBook Pro’s uses Nvidia’s chipset, akin to Ion, and the higher-end models feature a discrete Nvidia 9600M GT. As the Core i5’s come with an IGP built into the CPU it’s likely that Apple will take advantage of it due to its low power characteristics. That doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing models with discrete graphics cards and we’ll most likely see machines that can switch on and off the discrete graphics solution on the fly, which Intel demoed at CES.

We can only speculate on what other new features Apple might or might not have added, but it will be interesting to see how power efficient Apple has managed to make its new Core i5 MacBook Pro’s. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a 13.3-inch model with a Core i5 processor, but we’re expecting a refresh of the 15 and 17-inch lines. All will most likely be made clear in less than two weeks time, unless Apple decides to sit on the new machines a bit longer just because it can. It’s also possible the whole thing is a mistake on Intel’s part, but we highly doubt it.S|A

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