Apple Updates MacBook Pro Line

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Just a few weeks after refreshing its line of MacBook notebook computers, Apple has beefed up it’s MacBook Pro line of notebook computers aimed at professionals and (of course) media junkies, adding faster Core 2 Duo processors, support for up to 4 GB of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics to speed up animation and gaming. And the 15-inch model gains the industry’s first LED-backlit display, doing away with traditional fluorescent backlighting and the mercury it entails.

“With Intel Core 2 Duo performance, more memory and state-of-the-art graphics, this MacBook Pro is a portable powerhouse for creative and professional users,” said Apple senior VO of worldwide product marketing, Philip Schiller, in a release. “Apple’s notebooks have always led the industry in innovation with features like built-in 802.11 and the MagSafe Power Adapter, and now the industry’s first 15-inch LED-backlit display is another step toward completely eliminating mercury from our displays.”

Three MacBook Pro models are available: two models sporting a 15.4-inch LED-backlit screen and intel Core 2 Duo processors running at 2.2 and 2.4 GHz, respectively, and the larger 17-inch model with a 2.4 GHz CPU but without LED backlighting, but available with an optional 1,920 by 1,200 pixel display. Apple says the new MacBook Pros are up to 50 percent faster at applications like Final Cut Pro and 6 Logic Pro 7.

All models are built on Intels new Santa Rosa notebook platform, and sport 4MB of L2 cache, and 800 MHz frontside bus, and 2 GB of RAM (expandable to 4 GB), a slot-loading 8× dual layer DVD burner, DVI video output, an integrated iSight video camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire ports (one 400, one 800), and an ExpressCard/34 expansion slot. Build-to-order options include larger capacity hard drives, USB modems, and application packages.

All three new MacBook Pro models are available now, the 15-inch, 2.2 GHz model starts at $1,999, while the 2.4 GHz 15-inch model starts at $2,499. The 17-inch 2.4 GHz unit is prices at $2,799.

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