Apple Announces New Notebooks and Displays

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally announced its new line of notebooks. The new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook — along with a brand new 24-inch cinema display — were all revealed at the company’s mystery-shrouded event in Cupertino, Calif. today.

The New MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro has an unibody enclosure made from a single sheet of aluminum — the much discussed “brick” build — and is once again the thinnest ever model, coming in at only 0.95 inches. All connectors are on one side, including the speculated mini-DisplayPort for home theater connection. As expected, the back side of the casing can be removed to access the battery and hard drive.

When it comes to graphics, the MacBook Pro features a brand new graphics processor from Nvidia that incorporates both the chipset and GPU into a single die. The Nvidia GeForce 9400M performs five times faster than the current MacBook Pro systems, Steve Jobs said. The notebook also comes with the Nvidia 9600M GT, described as a “state-of-the-art graphics” system. It offers 512MB of video memory and can be activated by switching to “turbo mode” within the settings. The 9400 provides five hours of battery life, while the 9600 drops down to about four.

The new MacBook Pro also boasts a large multi-touch glass trackpad. It’s 39 percent larger than its predecessor, and the entire thing functions as the button. It recognizes several gestures that perform functions such as zooming, panning, and app switching.

The cheapest model, at $1999, includes a 15.4-inch LED backlit display. 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB L2 Cache, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Memory, the two GeForces, and a 250GB hard drive and SuperDrive. The top-of-the-line model, at $2499, gets you up to 2.53GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 4GB memory, 512MB video memory, and a 320GB hard drive. Both will be shipping today.

The New MacBook

Not to be left behind, the MacBook is getting a makeover as well. There will be three versions, all available starting tomorrow:

  • A $999 “Next Generation” model, featuring the same aluminum unibody enclosure as the Pro, a corner-to-corner glass LED-backlit display, the new multi-touch glass trackpad, an added mini-DisplayPort connector, and the Nvidia 9400M graphics system
  • A $1299 model with a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display, 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3MB L2 Cache, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 memory, the Nvidia 9400M graphics system, a 160GB hard drive and SuperDrive
  • A $1599 model that adds a 2.4GHz processor, 250GB hard drive, and backlit keyboard

The New MacBook Air

A souped-up MacBook Air is on the way in November. It will get the 9400M graphics system, along with a 120GB hard drive or 128GB SSD and an added mini-DisplayPort. The notebook will be offered in a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo version for $1799 and a 1.86GHz CPU version (with the 128GB SSD) for $2499.

The New Cinema Display

Finally, Jobs and his team announced a new 24-inch LED-backlit Cinema Display. It offers 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and features three connectors: MagSafe, USB, and mini-DisplayPort. The display also has built-in iSight, microphone, and stereo speakers. It’ll be available in November for $899 — presumably making it the rumored $800-range product first reported here last week.

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