Apple unveiled three upgraded versions of its popular line of Macbook notebooks at the highly anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, including new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros running on the fastest processor a Mac has been shipped with yet.
The aluminum unibody MacBook Pro line includes 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models starting at $1,199 (and topping out at $4,500 for a loaded 17-inch) and all include an improved built-in battery Apple claims lasts 40 percent longer. The battery lasts for up to seven hours on a single charge without adding thickness or weight. All members of the MacBook Pro line include an LED-backlit display, a glass multitouch trackpad, an illuminated keyboard, an SD card or ExpressCard slot, a FireWire 800 port and Nvidia graphics. Eco-conscious consumers get attention with EPEAT Gold status and Energy Star 5.0 compliance.
The 13-inch Macbook Pro is available in two versions, one with a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive ($1,199), and another with a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip, 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive ($1,499). The 15-inch version, which starts at $1,699, comes in three versions, with the top 500GB hard drive version listing for $2,229.
Apple has cut the base price for the 17-inch MacBook Pro by $300 to $2,499 while upgrading the machine with a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 500GB hard drive and an eight-hour battery. For the first time all MacBook Pros can be upgraded with up to 8GB of RAM, and up to a 500GB hard drive or up to a 256GB solid state drive. The 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models can also be upgraded to a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
“Across the line, all of our new MacBook Pro models now include Apple’s innovative built-in battery for up to seven hours of battery life, while staying just as thin and light as before,” says Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Philip Schiller. “Starting at just $1,199, the aluminum unibody MacBook Pro is more affordable than ever and sets a new standard for environmentally friendly notebook design.”
On the green side, each unibody enclosure is made of recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient, mercury-and-arsenic-free LED-backlit displays. Apple says all MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models contain no brominated flame retardants and use internal cables and components that are PVC-free. The built-in battery design results in less waste and depleted batteries can be replaced for $129 or $179, which includes installation and disposal of the user’s old battery in an “environmentally responsible manner.”
Apple also updated the thin, lightweight MacBook Air, dropping the cost and adding power. The notebook measures 0.16 to 0.76-inches thin and weighs three pounds. The Air is available in two models starting with the entry price of $1,499 for a 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system and a model powered by a 2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system for $1,799.