Apple's latest MacBook Pro range comes with a price cut

APPLE has confirmed its new notebooks are cheaper, greener, have longer battery life and smarter features.
The new range comprises 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models and a revamped MacBook Air.

Apple has endowed the three MacBook Pro models with LED display screens, glass multi-touch trackpad, backlit keyboard, SD or ExpressCard slots, FireWire 800 port and upmarket NVIDIA graphics.

The MacBook Pro models use Apple's swish one-piece aluminium unibody chassis.

But Apple's approach to battery design is sure to get a mixed reception.

Each has a non user-replacable inbuilt battery said to last seven hours on a single charge in the 13 and 15 -inch models and up to eight-hours in the 17-inch model.

Great in theory but when a batter glitch arises the notebook could disappear into an Apple service centre for a couple of weeks.

And if you haven't backed up to an external hard drive ...?

Apple also says the inbuilt batteries have a lifespan three times longer than conventional batteries.

The MacBook Air which is available in two models gets a price cut and more grunt.

The $1899 entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.26 GHz Intel Core Duo system and comes 2GB of RAM and a 180GB hard drive.

An extra $500 boosts this to 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and a 2.53GHz processor.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in three models and each has 4GB of RAM.

The cheapest is $2699 and offers a 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo processor with a 250GB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce 9400m graphics.

The upgrade to a 2.66 GHz and a 320GB hard drive and 9600M GT graphics costs $3199.

Dearest of the trio is the $3699 2.8GHz model which has a 500GB hard drive.

Apple's 17-inch MacBook has been revamped and now features a faster 2.8GHz Intel Core Duop 2 processor and a 500GB hard drive, ExpressCard slot, NVIDIA 9400M and 9600M GT graphics.

The MacBook Air which weighs 1.36 kilograms costs $2399 for a model with a 1.86 GHz Intel Core Duo system with 120GB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics. Spend $2799 and you get a 2.13GHz processor and a 128GB solid state hard drive.

Every Mac notebook runs the Leopard operating system.

BY Peter Familari

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