Apple bumps MacBook Pro specs, adds SD card slot, new battery

Not the biggest news from today's Apple WWDC keynote, but the MacBook laptop line has gotten a few noteworthy spec bumps.

James Martin/CNET

Not the biggest news from today's Apple WWDC keynote, but the MacBook laptop line has gotten a few noteworthy spec bumps. We've already seen recent tweaks to the popular (and relatively budget-priced) $999 white MacBook, so now it's time for the aluminum 13, 15, and 17-inch models to follow suit.

First up is a revamped 15-inch MacBook Pro. Built into the same unibody construction as the current model, this new Pro promises improved battery life with a new "revolutionary" li-polymer battery that offers up to seven hours of life. These new batteries, according to Apple, will last for 1,000 recharge cycles, up from about 300 on the current models.

Even more exciting, the Express Card slot is being replaced with a standard SD card slot -- something we've held Apple's feet to the fire about for years.

The CPU is being bumped to a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (and it can handle up to 8GB of RAM), making this Apple's fastest laptop to date. Even better, the starting price for a Pro is down to $1,699, from $1,999. The $2,499 17-inch MacBook Pro is also getting bumped, with a 2.8GHz CPU and 500GB HDD, but it's keeping the ExpressCard slot instead of the new SD card slot.

Also worth noting, Apple says all the MacBook systems meet EPEAT Gold standards, as well as the new Energy Star 5.0 specs for power efficiency.

These new updates are available starting today, and Scott Stein has the updates to Apple's 13-inch laptop lineup, including the standard aluminum unibody 13-inch MacBook joining the "Pro" family.

James Martin/CNET

 

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