Report: Speedier MacBook Pros on the Way

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After rolling out new models in February, Apple is reportedly planning a marginal speed bump to its line of MacBook Pro notebooks before the end of the year.

That’s according to a rumor from Apple Insider, which quotes not the standard “people familiar with the plans” but “people with proven insight into Apple’s future product plans.” In other words, take this news with a grain of salt, as with all rumors, but maybe make this particular salt grain a bit coarser and larger than normal. Perhaps a grain of sea salt if you’ve got one handy.

(MORE: New Lighter, Faster MacBook Pros Have Landed)

Anyhoo, here’s the supposed skinny:

Word of the new models comes just one week after Intel quietly refreshed its Sandy Bridge lineup of processors, adding four new Core i7 chips suited for adoption by the MacBook Pro in addition to slashing prices on some other chips, while phasing out a handful of others.

In particular, the chipmaker introduced new 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7 processors that could replace the 2.0GHz, 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz versions offered in the current 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, in addition to a 2.8GHz dual-core Core i7 that could serve as an upgrade path for the current 2.7GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro.

As for the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, Intel continues to list a couple of Core i5 chips at speeds of 2.5GHz to 2.6GHz that Apple could elect to use to bump 2.3GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro for little to no cost increase.”

As for timing, these mysterious product-plan-insight people say that the new models may be introduced as early as the end of the month. Hmmm, if only Apple had something else to announce soon. Something smaller and capable of making phone calls and whatnot. My, wouldn’t that be convenient to announce everything at the same event sometime in the not-too-distant future?

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