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Farewell PowerBook, hello MacBook Pro

Farewell PowerBook, hello MacBook Pro

In today's Macworld keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Pro, a 15.4-inch wide-screen laptop that runs on Intel's just-announced Core Duo processor. Jobs claims the new processor results in performance that's four to five times faster than that of the PowerBook G4--a welcome development for Mac users who have felt left behind in the speed race. The one-inch-thick MacBook Pro weighs 5.6 pounds and includes a built-in iSight camera, an ExpressCard slot, and an Apple Remote for navigating the company's Front Row media software. Two models will be available in February: the $1,999 model has a 1.67GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive, while the $2,499 version has a 1.83GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 100GB hard drive.

Jobs made a point of noting that the newest Mac OS, as well as all new Apple software, is "universal"--that is, able to run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Current Mac users who upgrade to the Intel-based models will be able to run most of their old PowerPC apps with no performance loss, he claimed, using the company's Rosetta translation program. We're eager to test all of Apple's performance claims in CNET Labs and will report back as soon as we can get our mitts on the MacBook Pro.