By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
February 26, 2008

For once the rumor mills had it (mostly) right: the new lineup of MacBook Pros that many had expected Steve Jobs to introduce at Macworld last month did indeed arrive today, Feb. 26, as anticipated.

What was not anticipated, until this weekend, was that the MacBook line, which had been given a speed bump late last year, would also get refreshed.

The main headlines are that Apple (AAPL) has installed the latest family of Intel Core Duo 2 Penryn processors across its entire notebook line and given the MacBook Pros the new Multi-Touch trackpad introduced in the MacBook Air, with gesture support for pinch, rotate and swipe and all that good stuff.

All the machines also got larger hard drives and all but the low-end MacBook come installed with 2 GB RAM standard.

Otherwise, the machines look and feel the same. The giant trackpads that Apple devotees had spent hours photoshopping onto the MacBook form factor did not materialize.

The new price points:

  • 2.1 GHz, 13-inch white MacBook, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB hard drive: $1,099
  • 2.4 GHz, 13-inch white MacBook, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive: $1,299
  • 2.4 GHz, 13-inch black MacBook, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive: $1,499
  • 2.4 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, 2 GB RAM, 200 GB hard drive: $1,999
  • 2.5 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro: 2 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive: $2,499
  • 2.5 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro: 2 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive: $2,799

All five systems are available to order immediately from the online Apple Store. For more detail, see Apple’s press release here.

Although Wall Street seemed unimpressed (the stock was down more than 3 points in early trading, but recovered and ended the day down about half a point), the reaction from users has been mostly positive. “Looks like a solid update to me,” reads a typical response on Ars Technica‘s
Infinite Loop
. “For the base model at the same price of the previous one, you get double video memory, 80 GBs of HDD extra and a faster processor just 0.1GHz less than the top of the line model. And of course the new touchpad. Not bad at all in my book.”

One slightly sour note: the little white Apple remote that used to come bundled with the MacBooks and MacBook Pros, now has to be purchased separately for $19.99.

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