During his keynote address this morning at MacWorld Conference and Expo 2006 in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macs to incorporate a processor from Intel: the iMac and a new laptop called the MacBook Pro.
Both the 17 inch and 20 inch iMac models get the Intel treatment. The specifications, design and prices for the two iMac models are identical to previous iterations, except that the G5 processor has been swapped for an Intel Core Duo and they sport a beefier video card. The Intel processor, claims Jobs, makes them 2-3 times faster than before. The new models are shipping as of today, he said.
The MacBook Pro is a new laptop from Apple that uses the Intel Core Duo processor and that Jobs described as being 4-5x faster than a current Powerbook G4. It includes a 15.4 inch wide aspect ratio display that is as bright as one of the company's desktop Cinema Displays. There are two configurations initially: each includes an ATI Radeon X1600 video card, an ExpressCard slot (the replacement to PC Card that has been slowing making its way into laptops) and an Intel Core Duo processor (running at either 1.67GHz or 1.83GHz). It also features a built-in iSight video camera, a built-in infrared sensor to work with an Apple remote and is thinner than the current 15-inch Powerbook. Though it has the full complement of ports and connectors, the MacBook Pro incorporates a single FireWire 400 port, operating at FireWire 400 speeds, and appears to lack a built-in modem. The MacBook Pro will ship in February 2006.
Apple MacBook Pro (Photo courtesy Apple)
In addition, Apple's pro applications, including Aperture, are to come available as Universal Binaries in March 2006 (though for a US$49 upgrade fee). Universal Binary versions of an application are designed to run natively on Intel-based Macs as well as PowerPC Macs, owing the inclusion of code optimized for both processor types. Mac OS X 10.4.4, including all its applications, as well as the applications that comprise iLife '06 and iWork '06 (also announced today), are all Universal Binaries.