He also said the new laptops are seven times faster than the Power PC-based PowerBook G4s offered by Apple a year ago.
"Where the rubber really hits the road is in professional applications," Benjamin said. "With Final Cut Pro, in rendering and encoding testing, this application is running up to 39 percent faster, and with Aperture -- for images [both] raw and JPEG -- it's 25 percent faster in our benchmark testing."
The new laptops come with double of the RAM of the previous models. The 15-in. version ships with 1GB of PC2-5300 (667-MHz) Double Data Rate 2 memory. The upgraded 15-in. and 17-in. models come with 2GB of RAM. All three support up to 3GB of RAM, but adding that memory boosts the price by $575 when bought through Apple.
Apple has also added FireWire 800 ports to all MacBook Pro models and increased the maximum size of the hard drives available. The entry-level model ships with a 120GB hard drive that spins at 5,400 rpm. The 17-in. version ships with a 160GB hard drive that also spins at 5,400 rpm. Apple also offers a smaller but faster 100GB hard drive that spins at 7,200 rpm and a larger 200GB hard drive that spins at 4,200 rpm.
"As far as the large drive technology, that's the largest available on the market today," Benjamin said, referring to the 200GB hard drive.