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Apple Notebooks Get Faster Processors, Expanded Storage

Apple Tuesday rolled out updated versions of its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebook systems. The new models sport faster processors and expanded memory. The MacBook Pro models also add Apple's multi-touch trackpad technology.

Faster Entry-Level Systems
On the lower end of the spectrum, the new 13-inch MacBook lineup continues to include three models. The base $1,099 MacBook includes a 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 120 GB hard drive, and 1 GB RAM. The other two models in the lineup ($1,299 for the white model, $1,499 for the black model) sport 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors and base 2 GB Ram. The new lineup is as follows:

  • 2.1 or 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (dual core) with 3 MB shared level-2 cache and an 800 MHz frontside bus;
  • 1 GB or 2 GB RAM base (667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2 GB);
  • 120 GB to 250 GB internal SATA drive (5,400 RPM, with sudden motion sensor);
  • Slot-load 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking built in;
  • Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
  • FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;
  • Built-in iSight video camera;
  • Digital optical audio in and out;
  • Analog audio in and out; and
  • Mini DVI out (adapters for DVI-I, VGA, and S-video sold separately).

Faster MacBook Pros, Added Multi-Touch Trackpads
On the high end, the new MacBook Pro models now start at 2.4 GHz and go up to 2.5 GHz in their stock configurations, with a 2.6 GHz build to order option also still available. All models now come stock with 2 GB RAM and increased hard drive capacity. They also feature Apple's Multi-Touch trackpad, introduced in the MacBook Air.

The three stock models in the new lineup include the entry-level 2.4 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro ($1,999); a 2.5 GHz 15-inch model ($2,499); and a 2.5 GHz, 17-inch model ($2,799). Specs for the new models are as follows:

  • 2.4 or 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (dual core) with 3 MB or 6 MB shared level-2 cache and an 800 MHz frontside bus;
  • 2 GB RAM (667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM), expandable to 4GB;
  • 200 GB or 250 GB internal SATA drive;
  • Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT with 256 MB or 512 MB GDDR3 memory
  • Built-in gigabit Ethernet;
  • Built-in 802.11n wireless networking;
  • Slot-load 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • DVI out port (support for dual-link) with VGA adapter;
  • FireWire 400 and 800 connectivity;
  • Two USB 2.0 ports;
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
  • Built-in camera and mic;
  • Optical and analog (line) audio I/O; and
  • Scrolling trackpad and illuminated keyboard.

All MacBooks and MacBook Pros come with iLife '08 and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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