MacBook Pro Core i7 unboxing and preview

So we've just gotten our cold, live hands on the new MacBook Pro -- you know, the one with the Core i7 CPU? We're obviously going to be taking this puppy for a spin around the block (a 15-inch version with a 2.66GHz CPU), but we wanted to show you what it looks like (exactly the same as always), and mention a few takeaways from our conversation with Apple about the product. As you already know, the 15- and 17-inch models have a new GPU configuration, utilizing Intel's integrated HD graphics alongside NVIDIA's GeForce GT 330M. What you might not know is that the new laptops have done away with the previous method of switching from integrated to discrete graphics, that is, forcing you to select one or the other and then logging you out and back in for the switch. This process is hugely streamlined in the new versions, providing switching on the fly from integrated to discrete, and requiring zero input from the user (similar to NVIDIA's Optimus). The switches take place on an app-by-app basis judged on what kind of resources that particular application you're opening requires -- so this should be interesting to see when it comes to third-party titles. Apple is also only providing two options here; keep the automatic GPU switching on, or switch to only discrete graphics. So if you're planning on running these babies just in integrated mode, you're out of luck.

Other additions to the laptops include "inertial scrolling" (a la iPhone), which feels like a software change to us, but is apparently related to new trackpads on these models, and new configuration options when buying, such as getting yourself a 1680 x 1050 high res display (yes, please) or opting for a 512GB SSD (clocking in, weirdly, at $1,400 for the 2.4GHz models, but $1,300 for the 2.53GHz and 2.66GHz versions). Speaking of money, you may have noticed that Apple bumped the cost of the base 15-inch MacBook Pro from $1,699 to $1,799 -- not a welcome change in today's bummer of an economy, though they've brought down the entry to the 17-inch to $2,299. At any rate, you can check out some snaps of the new system below, and hang tight for a full review coming soon.