Apple speeds up MacBook, MacBook Pro lines

But where's the iPhone software kit?

By Farhad Manjoo
Published February 26, 2008 4:13PM (EST)

A bit later than many Macheads had expected and wished, this morning Apple announced a few improvements to its notebook lineup, adding speedier versions of Intel's latest chips and a handful of new features.

The biggest changes are in the MacBook Pro line, which starts at $1,999 for a 15-inch model and goes up to a spit-take-worthy $2,799 for the 17-inch version. The two 15-inch models now come with processors that run at either 2.4 or 2.5 GHz, and both notebooks include screens that are powered by LEDs. The 17-inch model runs at 2.5 GHz, and has an LED-backlight as an option.

All the MacBook Pros now ship with a Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics unit for speedier pictures. The Pro line also has something previously found only on iPhones and the tiny MacBook Air -- "multi-touch" gestures (two-finger pinch to zoom, etc.)

The entry-level 13-inch MacBook line also got a slight bump in speed. The $1,099 version now sports a 2.1 GHz chip; that goes up to 2.4 GHz on the $1,499. No LED screens or multi-touch for these, though.

Also absent from Apple's announcement today: An SDK, or software developer kit, for the iPhone. Apple had promised to put out this tool -- which helps third-party programmers create applications for the phone -- sometime in February. Tick, tock....

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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