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Apple Introduces Faster MacBook, MacBook Pro

Mac sales represent Apple's likely source of growth as projected demand for iPods and iPhones weakens, one analyst group predicts.
Apple on Tuesday refreshed its consumer and professional notebook lines with Intel's faster 45-nanometer Penryn processors, more storage space, and more memory.

The renewed notebooks come at a good time for Apple: BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman on Monday published a research note saying that Mac sales represent Apple's likely source of growth as projected demand for iPods and iPhones weakens.

During a January conference call for investors, financial analysts expressed concern about the prospect of slower iPod sales in the face of a saturated market. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer discounted their assessment of the iPod market. "We don't think that revenue growth like this is characteristic of a saturated market," he said.

In January, Apple reported the highest revenue and earnings in its history.

The updated MacBook comes in three variations: white 2.1 GHz and 2.4 GHz models ($1099, $1299) with 120GB or 160GB 5400 rpm hard drives and a black 2.4 GHz model ($1499) with a 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive. The 2.1 GHz model comes with 1GB of memory while the 2.4 GHz models come with 2GB of memory. All three models can be expanded to 4GB.

The revised MacBook Pro also comes in three variations, with an optional build-to-order processor upgrade: a 2.4 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro ($1999) model with a 200GB 5400 rpm hard drive, a 2.5 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro ($2499) with a 250GB 5400 hard drive, and a 2.5 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro ($2799) with a 200GB 5400 rpm hard drive.

A 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo is available in either the 15-inch or 17-inch MacBook Pro models for an additional $250. Buyers of the 17-inch MacBook Pro also have the option of a hi-resolution LED widescreen display in glossy or matte for $100 more. Those with expecting to do a lot of video editing on their MacBook Pro may wish to consider a smaller but faster 200GB 7200 rpm hard drive for $50 more; a 300GB 4200 rpm hard drive is available for $75 more.

The three MacBook Pro models come with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics cards with either 256MB or 512MB of video memory and a Multi-Touch trackpad, as found on Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone.

All Apple's notebooks include a built-in iSight video camera; a MagSafe Power Adapter, 802.11n wireless networking; iLife '08, Apple's consumer media creation suite; built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet; Bluetooth; analog and digital audio inputs and outputs; USB 2.0; FireWire; and a built-in SuperDrive for recording and reading optical media.