By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Apple has upgraded its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks with faster processors, larger hard drives, more RAM and added the Multi-Touch trackpad from the MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro.

The upgrade, long rumoured on various websites, gives the MacBook and MacBook Pro range a graphical upgrade, thanks to its Intel Core2 Duo ‘Penryn’ chipset and 2GB of memory standard in most models. The MacBook Pro also now comes with the latest 512 megabyte NVIDIA graphics processors.

The MacBook Pro’s new Multi-Touch trackpad is the first application after the MacBook Air in an Apple computer, although many expect the technology to filter through the Apple range.

Users who purchase the 15-inch MacBook Pro model can choose from either a 2.4 GHz processor with 2GB of SDRAM, a 200GB hard drive and 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card (RRP $2699), or a 2.5 GHz version with more L2 cache, a 250GB hard drive and 512MB graphics card for RRP $3399. The 2.5 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro sells for RRP $3799 and has the same specifications as the more powerful 15-inch model.

All MacBook Pros can be upgraded with more SDRAM, a 2.6GHz processor, bigger hard drive, Apple Remote, USB modem, glossy display and MagSafe Airline adapter.

Regular MacBooks are available in either black or white with a 13-inch screen and processors ranging from 2.1 to 2.4GHz. Hard drives increase to either 120 or 160GB, while the black model comes with a 250GB disc standard (previously only an option). Memory also increases to 2GB on some models, with 4GB an option.

The 2.1 GHz, 13-inch white MacBook sells for a recommended retail price of $1499 and has 1GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive. The 2.4 GHz, 13-inch white MacBook sells for RRP $1799 and upgrades to 2GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive. Meanwhile, the 2.4 GHz, 13-inch black MacBook sells for RRP $2099 and comes with 2GB of RAM and 250GB hard drive. Other than hard drive upgrades, all other options are the same as the MacBook Pro.