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New Mac Laptops - Read All About It

As expected, Apple today revamped its notebook computer line, with updated versions of its entry-level MacBook, business-class MacBook Pro, and executive MacBook Air.
As expected, Apple today revamped its notebook computer line, with updated versions of its entry-level MacBook, business-class MacBook Pro, and executive MacBook Air.The new MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks look similar to the MacBook Air. The new models have unibody (one piece) aluminum cases with square black keys. They also have LED-backlit displays that should be both brighter and more energy-efficient.

The big disappointments: No Blu-ray drive options, no 500GB hard drives, and no quad-core processors. Also, the new models have a big all-glass multi-touch trackpad that doesn't have a separate click button any more. To click, you tap the trackpad. I haven't tried it yet.

Here's a quick look at the three new models.

MacBook:

Measures 0.95 x 12.78 x 8.94 inches, 4.5 pounds. This is both smaller and lighter than the older polycarbonate plastic model, which was 1.08 inches thick and weighed 5.0 pounds.

It still has a 13.3-inch display, but now sports a fast NVIDIA graphics chip that can drive a 30-inch monitor. Previously, the MacBook used an Intel graphics chip.

Two standard configurations are a 2.0GHz processor (slower than before, which started at 2.1GHz), with 2GB RAM and a 160GB hard drive, for $1,299, and a 2.4GHz model (same as before) with 2GB RAM and a 250GB hard drive, for $1,599.

Surprisingly, the company is still selling the base version of the old white polycarbonate MacBook, with a 2.1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, an Intel graphics chip and a 120GB hard drive, for $999.

Configure-to-order options include hard drives up to 320GB, a 128GB solid-state drive, and up to 4GB of memory.

MacBook Pro:

Another surprise: there is no "redesigned" version of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, though you can buy one of the old-style ones, with a 2.5GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, for $2,799.

The new MacBook Pro comes only with a 15.4-inch display. It measures 0.95 x 14.35 x 9.82 inches, and weighs 5.5 pounds. That's about the same size as the old one, and it's a tiny bit heavier  the old model was 5.4 pounds.

There are two standard configurations. The base unit has a 2.4GHz (same as before) processor, 2GB RAM and a 250GB hard drive, for $1,999. There's also a 2.53GHz model (same as before) with 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive, for $2,499.

I expected to see a 500GB hard drive option for the MacBook Pro, and possibly a quad-core processor option. Nope. You can get it, however, with a 128GB solid-state drive.

MacBook Air:

There isn't much change to this model, beyond a size increase of the solid-state drive to 128GB and an upgrade of the graphics chip. There are two standard configurations: The base unit has a 1.6GHz processor (same as before), 2GB RAM, and a 120GB hard drive, for $1,799. The other version has a 1.86GHz processor (same as before), 128GB solid-state drive, and 2GB memory, for $2,499.

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Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer