MacBook Updates - Multi-touch Makes the Rounds

Chalk up another correct prediction for the Mac rumor mill. As predicted on various sites, Apple announced new MacBook Pro models today (and a MacBook update as well). Both sets of laptops got speed bumps courtesy of Intel's new Penryn family of Core 2 Duo processors as well as updated base RAM/hard drive configurations.

However, the biggest news is that the MacBook Pro line (which has been waiting a while any updates), now includes the same multi-touch trackpad functionality as the MacBook Air. It isn't entirely unexpected that Apple would begin to phase the new technology in across the company's notebook offerings, but it is quite nice to see it becoming more mainstream.

One surprise according to Apple's specs is that multi-touch trackpad is only being offered on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air - not the more consumer-focused MacBook line. Whether this is an intentional decision similar to the illuminated keyboards that both the Pro and Air feature to differentiate the pro and consumer lines remains to be seen.

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It is possible that there were technical issues with integrating the multi-touch technology into the MacBook that may have taken more design work to implement. If that is the case, we may see it in future generations. With a newly refreshed MacBook today, those generations are not likely to be immediately around the corner.

The new entry-level MacBook 2.1GHz processor and 120GB hard drive while the higher end MacBook models (white and black) sport 2.4GHz speeds and storage bumps to 160GB and 250GB hard drives respectively. All MacBooks now come with 2GB of RAM standard (expandable to 4GB). No other major changes were made to the MacBook. Though it is a little surprising to note that the low-end model still continues to ship with a CD-RW/DVD read-only combo drive as opposed to the SuperDrive found in the remaining models.

The entry-level 15" MacBook Pro now sports a 2.4GHz processor and 200GB SATA hard drive while the more expensive 15" model and 17" model offer a 2.5GHz processor with a 250GB SATA drive. All models ship with 2GB of RAM standard (expandable to 4GB).

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