updated 01:45 pm EDT, Mon June 8, 2009
MacBooks at WWDC
In an unusual turn for WWDC, Apple has announced a new 15-inch MacBook Pro. While similar to the existing unibody model, the notebook now has a sealed battery with seven hours of runtime, capable of lasting five years, or 1,000 recharge cycles. The display is said to produce more vivid colors, but the ExpressCard slot is being replaced with the SD format, due to the proliferation of digital cameras. Configuration options run up to a 3GHz Core 2 Duo with 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.
The new Pro should be available today, beginning at prices of $1,699, which includes a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and GeForce 9600M video. The mid-range model boosts figures to include a 2.66GHz CPU, a 320GB drive and a GeForce 9600M GT video card, and is now $300 less than before at $2,299. The 17-inch Pro has also dropped $300 to reach $2,499, and is unique in retaining its ExpressCard slot.
Apple has also radically reorganized its MacBook line, making a 13-inch, $1,199 system a part of the Pro series. A base configuration incorporates a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM, 9400M video and a 160GB hard drive, as well as a backlit keyboard and connections for SD cards and FireWire 800 devices. As with the new 15-inch system, display colors should be more vivid, and battery life now extends to seven hours. All basic MacBooks are being discontinued with the exception of the white plastic model, which was recently updated.
The entry-level MacBook Air is now $1,499 instead of $1,799, with CPU speed starting at 1.8GHz. A $1,799 Air adds the SSD drive.