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Steve Jobs defends lack of i3, i5 CPUs in 13" MacBook Pros

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Tue April 13, 2010

Exec claims 10-hour battery life more important

Steve Jobs allegedly sent a personal response to an e-mail inquiry regarding the lack of Intel Core i3 or i5 CPUs in the refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro. The executive suggested that "far faster graphics and 10 hour battery life trump 10-20% faster CPU," according to the e-mail posted on 9 to 5 Mac. The company chose to stick with Core 2 Duo components for the smallest MacBook Pros.

Despite the decision not to move up to Intel's i-series processors, the 13-inch device still offers several improved specs. Standard configurations are available with 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz CPUs, a step up from the 2.26GHz to 2.53GHz offerings. NVIDIA also confirmed that the new 320M graphics chipset was custom-designed specifically for Apple, likely a more expensive option for the company.

It is unclear if Apple is attempting to leave a larger gap between the 13-inch variant, which was added to the Pro lineup just last year, and the 15- and 17-inch models which now boast Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. The company was also able to maintain a $1,200 entry point for the smallest aluminum-unibody device.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm not buying this...

    I don't believe for a minute that Steve Jobs is responding to random emails, now or in the recent past either.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It is unclear if Apple is attempting to leave a larger gap between the 13-inch variant, which was added to the Pro lineup just last year, and the 15- and 17-inch models which now boast Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs.

    What exactly is unclear about this? They did this with the ol' powerbook G5 12" as well.

    The company was also able to maintain a $1,200 entry point for the smallest aluminum-unibody device.

    Oh, thank goodness for custom graphic chips! For a second I'd thought they might have to reduce the price by using off-the-shelf components.

  1. drumrobot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Incorrect info

    "a step up from the 2.26GHz and 2.4GHz offerings."
    I have a 2.53 GHz MBP (13 inch) that I got near the end of last year... these numbers are obviously incorrect (unless I have a very-limited-edition model).

  1. Darchmare

    Joined: Dec 1969


    For what it's worth...

    Years ago (2001? 2002?) I emailed him about something and got a terse response not unlike the ones being reported recently. I think he does actually respond to feedback from time to time.

    Doesn't explain why there have been so many recently, though, or preclude the possibility that half of these are from people just trying to get attention. But he _has_ done it.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Defending much?

    Steve has been doing a lot of "defending" recently. Now, if your company's behaviour didn't require such action, you wouldn't have to send snotty e-mails to your customers.

    BTW - Apple never put a G5 core of any kind in a laptop! The first Intel based Core Duo MacBook Pro was announced in January 2006 following the final G4 Powerbook as follows:


    Introduced in October 2005, the PowerBook G4 (DL-SD) would be the last Apple portable machine to carry the PowerBook name, and was an odd upgrade: though it included faster RAM, higher screen resolution, and a dual layer SuperDrive, the processor speed was left alone, most likely because a faster G4 processor would have run too hot. The PowerBook G4 (DL-SD) was available in two configurations: the 15.2" model was $1999 and the 17.1" model was $2499. The previous 12.1" model was not upgraded. The 15.2" model was discontinued in February 2006, following the release of the intel-based MacBook Pro, and the 17" model was discontinued in April 2006, with the release of the intel-based MacBook Pro (17-inch).

    Comment buried. Show
  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Repeating my self... BAD UPDATES!!!

    No i5 Core for the 13''

    No USB 3 for any Macbook PRO.

    Let me ask you all something. If you buy today one of this laptops, and I stress the 13'', do you think is an good investment?

    If you think, that it is. Them I ask you to remenber that in the end of 2010, when i2 Dual Core are just out of date, and when most devices begin to use USB 3. By the end of the year you will beginning to think in buy another computer. I cannot afford that! Maybe some of you can, then good luck!

  1. chas_m



    Steve has a point ... kind of

    If Apple was going to spend X amount of budget on features for the 13" MBPs, then Steve is correct. The iCore series are not that much faster than the C2Ds, the money is better spent on improving the graphics.

    IxOsX is *DREAMING* if he thinks any Apple devices will offer USB3 in 2010. DREAMING. You heard it here first. There's ZERO chance of that happening. Apple was THE LAST computer company to offer USB2 and they will be THE LAST to offer USB3, since its a) expensive, b) untried in the market and c) hasn't won mass acceptance. I know they took a chance with USB1 back in the day but those days are over.

  1. rkevwill

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    My laptops in the past have become a tool, and only a tool when traveling. Kinda like driving a golf to get to work, instead of a Porsche. (I save the Porsche for the desktop). After reviewing the specs, it looks like shopping in the refurb section of the Apple Store for me :) I need to replace my g4 12 inch ibook, so looks like I am headed to the refurbed 13 inch MBpro.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Even worse...

    There are no 7200 rpm hard drive BTO options for the 13" MBPs!

    That would give a quick, cheap and dramatic performance bump!

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree with Apple

    As to USB 3, what do we really need it for at this point (or in Q1 2011 for that matter)? USB 2 is fine for peripherals and FW800 is superior for audio and for external mass storage.

    As to MBP 13" the C2D boxes are very strong for such a small box at the much lower price point. Of course there are a very few folks who actually would be willing to pay i5 prices for a desktop replacement in 13" size, but my guess is that most 13" purchasers will be satisfied with the low price point and C2D performance.

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