2010 MacBook Pro: IPS, Core i7

Geekbench (via MacRumors) reported benchmark performance numbers for what seems to be an unreleased MacBook Pro running a 2.66GHz Core i7-620M (dual-core) CPU, which sport Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading. The final Geekbench score of 5260 is quite a bit higher than a current MacBook Pro running at 2.66GHz with scores in the range of 3700 – 4000. It is about time Apple updated its unibody MacBook Pros. A quad-core MacBook Pro is probably not in the works as it poses two challenges: heat & battery. It has been reported that HP’s Envy 15 sporting a quad-core i7 CPU generates enough heat to make the underbelly uncomfortably hot. Battery life is dismal too. Although I believe Apple has superior ability to develop hardware with better thermal & battery management, I don’t think the end result will meet the company’s minimum specifications for its MacBook Pro line.

More importantly I would like to see Apple continue its focus on using high-end display panels. I believe the 9.7-inch IPS LCD is the smallest in quite some time and so size is not a limitation. With the development of e-IPS (read LG Display 23-inch e-IPS 1080p LCD Monitor Panel and LG Display e-IPS LCD Panel Update), LG Display was able to reduce the design complexity, lower component costs (especially of the backlight unit) and lower power consumption. Best of all prices are not much more than run-of-the-mill TN displays. By combining exceptional viewing angles, lower power consumption with the benefit significantly outweighing the additional cost, I expect the entire MacBook Pro line to transition toward IPS LCDs.