Apple Introduces Cheaper, Better 15-inch Macbook Pro

Apple will launch a brand new 15-inch MacBook Pro that is significantly cheaper and better than the previous generation, hinting at the fact that the company is taking steps to minimise the impact of recession on sales.

The new device will come with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 3.06GHz. The CPU is likely to be a Penryn-based T9900 with 6MB L2 cache and a FSB of 1.066GHz. First disclosed only a few days ago at Computex, the 45nm part boosts a mere 35w and is the first Penryn-based part to go beyond the 3GHz barrier.

Other specs include a 15-inch LED-backlit screen that can display up to 60 percnt more colour gamut, the same aluminium unibody chassis, a SD card slot - a first from Apple - as well as a 7 hour battery life that, according to Apple, will last 5-years or 1000 charges. Note that the battery is not removable though and the Expresscard has been ditched.

That's a staggering 40 percent improvement over the previous models and Apple claims that the newly launched model will be more eco-friendly than any other notebooks available. The new Macbook Pro still maintains its illuminated keyboard, the multi-touch trackpad and a Firewire 800 port.

The entry level model costs only $1699 and comes with a 2.53GHz CPU, 4GB RAM and a 250GB. The 2.66GHz model has a 320GB hard disk drive and adds a 9600MGT dedicated graphics card for an extra $300. Finally, the 2.8GHz model goes to 500GB and costs $2299.