In Pictures: Apple Refreshes MacBook Line

We find a lot to like in Apple's new laptop lineup--faster graphics chip sets, a sturdy new aluminum chassis, multitouch trackpads, and new solid-state hard-drive options. Here is a look at what's new.

The New MacBook Family

Meet the new Apple laptops--a new generation of the MacBook, the MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro. Each of these notebook lines features a sturdy aluminum "unibody" shell, nVidia's fast new chip sets, a glass multitouch trackpad, and LED-backlit displays. New MacBooks start at $1299, with MacBook Pros starting at $1999, and an entry-level MacBook Air priced at $1799 to start.

Note: You can read more on Apple's announcement.

The "Brick" Revealed

Rumors of a new Apple "brick" device turn out to be true. The "brick" refers to a new Apple-designed notebook chassis for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook. The body of many of the new MacBook notebooks are made from a single block (or brick) of aluminum, making MacBooks lighter and more durable.

MacBook Pro Power-Saving Graphics

Apple's new MacBook Pros start at $1999 and go as high as $2499. Each model features a new graphics architecture that allows you to switch between a power-hungry mode (where the notebook relies on a discrete nVidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics card) and a second, power-saving mode where the MacBook Pro switches to the nVidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor.

MacBook Pro for Power Users

Apple's new 15-inch MacBook Pro weighs in at 5.5 pounds and is 0.95-inch thick. The MacBook Pro uses Intel's Core 2 Duo 2.8-GHz processors. A notable addition to the MacBook Pro is a trackpad, allowing Apple to add iPhone-like gesture capability to the Pro notebook line for the first time. The new MacBook Pro is available in two models: a 2.4-GHz version with a 250GB, 5400-rpm hard drive, and a higher-end 2.53-GHz model with a 320GB, 5400-rpm hard drive.

MacBook Air Jumps Higher

MacBook Air reaches new heights with the introduction of a 17-inch MacBook Pro that costs $1799. This latest MacBook Air notebook measures between 0.16 inch and 0.76 inch in thickness and weighs 3 pounds. Like the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air notebooks come with nVidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics. The $1799 MacBook Air has a speedy 120GB, 4200-rpm hard drive; alternatively (and for the first time), you can choose a 128GB solid-state drive. Apple has also added a Mini DisplayPort capability to the MacBook Air.

A Better Basic MacBook

Apple has shined up its MacBook line with an all-new aluminum enclosure, an nVidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor, and an LED-backlit display. Prices start at $1299 for these MacBooks, which measure 0.95 inch in thickness, weigh 4.5 pounds, and sport a 13-inch display. The new MacBook is available in two models. The entry-level version features a 2-GHz processor and a 160GB hard drive. The second, higher-end version has a 2.4-GHz processor and a 250GB hard drive, and comes with a backlit keyboard.

Green Apple Machines

Apple has previously made strides in designing its products to be more environmentally friendly. With this new lineup of notebooks, it continues to go green. All the new MacBooks introduced today, the company says, meet Energy Star 4.0 requirements. And its notebooks, Apple says, are made of recyclable aluminum and do not contain toxic chemicals such as brominated flame retardants or PVC. Apple also claims that the LED-backlit displays on its new MacBooks are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass.

Think Big With 24-inch LED Cinema Display

One part of Apple's announcements was the addition of a 24-inch LED monitor to its Cinema Display offerings. The display boasts 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution, along with built-in stereo speakers, an iSight camera, a microphone, and a three-port USB 2.0 hub. The LED Cinema Display runs $899 and "requires" a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with the new Mini DisplayPort.

Note: You can read more on Apple's announcement.

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