Competitors to Hit Market ahead of MacBook Pro Launch

With the release of Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge CPUs intended for use in the ultrabook category of ultraportable laptop computers, a variety of manufacturers are set to bring to market their competitors to Apple’s laptop range ahead of their rumoured launch date later this month.

Earlier reports suggested that Apple is due to unveil the 2012 edition of its MacBook Pro at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference in California, which starts on June 11. While nothing has been confirmed yet, some rumors claim that these new models will come with a slimmer design, a solid-state drive, a high-resolution Retina display and Intel’s third-generation Core processors, otherwise known as Ivy Bridge.

Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge CPUs are dual-core chips, with slower clocks, half the core count and L3 cache of its quad-core desktop brethren. By all indications, these processors are great performers, beating out their Sandy Bridge forebears in both performance and battery life.

The quad-core Ivy Bridge chips could be the ideal processors for the new MacBook Pros, while the low-voltage dual-core CPUs may be more appropriate for a refreshed MacBook Air.

Intel has also revealed that there are more than 100 ultrabook designs currently being developed by its manufacturing partners. Of the ultrabook designs currently under consideration, Intel says that around 30 are touch-centric, while 10 are convertible, with detachable keyboard docks that may also provide additional connectivity or battery capacity.

A number of these new devices are due to be unveiled at this week’s Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan.

Apple’s MacBook Pro 2012, which is set to ship with Mac OS X Mountain Lion, is due to duke it out with its competitors in an increasingly crowded market. It’s shaping up to be a great year for laptop fans.