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....