Apple Updates MacBooks, MacBook Pros
Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller wasted no time during the keynote of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday morning, unveiling a new generation of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops within minutes of taking the stage. (See PC World's live blog coverage of the WWDC keynote.)
The new 15-inch model sports processor speeds from 2.53GHz to 3.06GHz, at prices ranging from $1,699 - $2,299 depending on how it's configured. The MacBook Pro can handle up to 8GB RAM, and a 256GB Solid State Disk (SSD) is also an option. Nvidia graphics, both integrated and discrete, are included.
The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is based on the same "unibody" architecture that Apple has used on the last round of MacBook Pro designs -- a single slab of aluminum used to craft most of the body.
It features a built-in battery similar to Apple's 17-inch MacBook Pro, which provides up to seven hours of run time between charges, according to Schiller -- that's two hours longer than before, or 40 percent more charge. Like the lithium polymer battery found in the 17-inch model, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro's battery lasts up to 1,000 recharges before it needs replacing. Apple claims the battery design is more environmentally friendly as a result.
Schiller claims the 15-inch model has the "nicest display [Apple] has ever put in a notebook" with 60 percent better color gamut than before. What's more, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro replaces the ExpressCard slot found on older models with an SD card slot -- Schiller said this was done to better accommodate users who have digital cameras, many of which use SD media cards to store photos.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro model also gets a refresh; it now features a 2.8GHz processor, 500GB hard drive and keeps its ExpressCard slot, all for $2,499.
Both the new 15-inch and 17-inch models ship today.
Aluminum MacBook becomes MacBook Pro
The 13-inch MacBook has been improved, as well -- so much so that Apple is adding the "Pro" moniker to it.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro gets a lithium polymer battery similar to its 15-inch sibling, that lasts for up to seen hours. It also has the improved display, and it gains an SD card slot. The new 13-inch model can also accept up to 8GB of RAM, and can be outfitted with a 500GB hard disk drive or a 256GB SSD.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro also gets a FireWire 800 port, and a backlit keyboard standard. With prices starting at $1,199, it's less expensive than the MacBook model it replaces.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro comes in two models: 2.26GHz, 2GB RAM, 9400M graphics, 160GB hard drive, for $1,119; and a 2.53GHz, 4GB, 250GB hard drive model for $1,499. Both models also ship today.
MacBook Air also improved
Lest we forget, the MacBook Air also gets a refresh. The $1,499 model comes equipped with a 1.86GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and a 120GB hard drive. For $1,799 you get a 2.13GHz MacBook Air equipped with a 128GB SSD. Prices have come down -- that's $700 less than before.
Macworld will update this story with more details about the new MacBooks presently.