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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Apple Rolls Out New MacBook Family Designs
1:35 PM | Eddie Park | 22 comments

The long-anticipated refresh of Apple's line of MacBook laptops finally happened, and brings with it not just the usual speed updates, but a whole new architecture that seems to be aimed at pleasing just about everyone, environmental groups included.

All new MacBooks and MacBook Pros are now cut from single blocks of aluminum, creating a stronger, thinner casing that also allows for a better fitting. Also new is the new Multi-Touch trackpad, a buttonless sheet of glass that supports the multi-touch features made famous by the iPhone. In keeping with the glass theme are the new glass-covered LED screens, which Apple says use 30% less power than the older screens.

Apple has also made an effort to keep things green:

The entire new MacBook family meets stringent Energy Star 4.0, EPEAT Gold and RoHS environmental standards, and leads the industry in the elimination of toxic chemicals by containing no brominated flame retardants, using only PVC-free internal cables and components, and using energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass.
Another welcome change is the increased graphical power being brought to both regular and Pro models. Included with every new MacBook is Nvidia's new GeForce 9400M integrated chipset. It features 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM, 16 parallel processing cores, and 54 Gigaflops of graphics performance. Apple claims it's up to 5x faster than the older Intel integrated graphics chipsets.

For those looking for more power, the new MacBook Pros also come with an Nvidia 9600M GT, which has 32 parallel graphics cores, 120 gigaflops of performance, and either 256 or 512MB of DDR3 SDRAM depending on CPU configuration. Users can choose to use either GPU depending on their needs, which allows them to save battery life.

The new MacBook, which sits in the 13" size bracket, starts at $1,299 and comes with either a 2.0 or a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The new Pros, which occupy the 15" bracket, start at $1,999 and come with 2.4, 2.53, or 2.8GHz processors.

No major changes have been made to the 17" MacBook Pro as of yet, though Apple now offers an LED display and either a larger hard drive or a solid-state drive. The MacBook Air also received an update, including a larger hard drive and the inclusion of the GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chipset, with a starting price of $1799.

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