Apple Introduces Intel-based MacBook

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Apple introduced the successor to the iBook, dubbed the MacBook, on Tuesday. The new consumer focused laptop is available in black as well as white. The MacBook is available with either a 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor, and includes a 13-inch wide screen display with 1280x800 resolution, 512MB RAM, built-in iSight camera, MagSafe power adapter, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, Front Row and Apple Remote, one FireWire port, and optical digital and analog audio in/out ports.


The new MacBook.

The 1.83GHz model is available in white and has a 60GB 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drive, a Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW), and is shipping in one to five business days. It is priced at US$1,099.

The 2.0GHz white model includes a 60GB 5400 RPM Serial ATA drive, a SuperDrive (DVD?RW/CD-RW), and is shipping in one to five days. It costs $1,299.

The 2.0GHz black model ships with an 80GB 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drive, SuperDrive, and ships in three to seven business days. It is priced at US$1,499.

All of the models include the usual assortment of applications, including Mac OS X 10.4, Safari, Mail, iLife i06, Photo Booth, Comic Life, OmniOutliner, and Big Bang Board Games.

The introduction also marks the end of the 12-inch PowerBook G4. The MacBook is designed to fill the ultra-small business machine niche as well as the consumer market. It also drops the built-in modem, just like the MacBook Pro.

The MacBook now supports display spanning as well as mirroring, meaning you can now use an external display as an extended desktop or to show the same image as the built-in display. It also uses the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of shared memory. A mini-DVI out port lets you connect to Apple Cinema Displays, and the MacBook supports the 23-inch model.

Not including a video card with dedicated memory is likely a move to keep the price down and keep a clear distinction between the consumer and pro product lines.

The MacBook includes a new display, too. Apple calls it a "glossy" display, and says that it offers better color saturation in graphics and movies. Along with the new display, Apple also replaced the traditional mechanical latch with a magnetic latch that has no moving parts.

The last remaining products in the PowerPC product line are the Power Mac G5 and the Xserve. Apple is still on track for its promised total transition to Intel processors by year end. The remaining two G5-based Macs are likely to be retired in August when higher-end Intel processors are available. If so, Apple will probably announce the new machines at the World Wide Developeris Conference, which also is in August.

[This article has been updated with additional MacBook Pro technical specifications]

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