Apple Takes MacBook Pros to Core 2 Duo

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Apple Computer today upgraded its entire line of MacBook Pro notebook computers to Intel Core 2 Duo processors running at 2.16 GHz (for the 15-inch model) or 2.3 GHz (for either the 15-inch of 17-inch model) wit 4 MB of L2 cache. Apple claims the new systems offer up to 39 percent faster performance than the previous generation of 2.16 Ghz Intel-based MacBook Pro notebooks, and up to seven times fastr than the 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4-based notebooks the new Intel-based models replaced. The new machines also add a FireWire 800 port for connecting to high-speed peripherals, and still measure just one inch thick.

“With an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, greater storage capacity and FireWire 800 connectivity, the new MacBook Pro delivers unprecedented performance and mobility in an incredibly thin and light design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We are thrilled that our notebook sales are growing twice as fast as the overall notebook market, and we hope these new MacBook Pro models continue that success.”

The new MacBook line is available with either 15-inch (1,440 by 900 pixels) or 17-inch (1,680 by 1,050 pixels) screens, 1 or 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (expandable to 3 GB), ATO Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics with up to 256 MB of video memory, and a dual layer DVD burner. Also on board: 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi networking (AirPort Extreme, in Apple parlance), Bluetooth 20+EDR, gigabit Ethernet, FireWire ports (old-style 400 and the new 800), DVI video ouput, an ExpressCard/34 expansion, close, analog and digital audio input and output, built-in iSight camera for video conferencing, and USB 2.0 (two ports on the 15-inch model, 3 on the 17-incher). The systems ship with Apple’s MagSafe power adapter that connects to the computer using magnetism, so the adapter can slip away when bumped or tugged without damaging the adapter or computer’s power jack. Of course, the systems ship with Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger,” Apple’s iLife ’06 lifestyle application suite, plus a remote control with Front Row and Photo Booth. And via Boot Camp—or virtualized environments—you can even run Windows on them…if that’s your thing.

The 15-inch MacBook Pros are available now at prices starting at $1,999; the 17-inch models will be available next week at prices starting at $2,499.

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