New MacBooks drop ExpressCard and removable battery

Sporting new displays, a new non-removable Lithium Polymer battery with a promised 7-hour charge, an SD card slot in place of ExpressCard slots, and offering a new 13" option, Apple's 2009 notebooks comprise its "most affordable lineup ever."

At the bottom of the revised lineup is the new 13" aluminum unibody MacBook Pro, with a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB and SD card slot for $1,199. This can be upgraded to a 2.54 GHz Core2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, and 250 GB of storage for $1,499.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro line can be configured with a 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo, 250 GB HDD, and Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics for $1,699; a 2.66 GHz CPU with 320 GB HDD and Dual 9400M/9600M GT Nvidia GPUs for $1,999, or 2.8 GHz, 500 GB HDD and dual GPUs for $2,299. The 15-inch line comes with 4 GB RAM across the board and dropped $300 in price.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro also dropped $300 in price, and offers most of the same specs as the top-of-the-line 15-inch model, but it is the only of the new MacBook Pros to retain the ExpressCard slot.

All of the new MacBook Pros can be upgraded to 8 GB of RAM, and either a 500 GB HDD or 256 GB SSD; and the 15" and 17" models can be upgraded to a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU.

Additionally, the MacBook Air platform was upgraded slightly in power while dropping in price. Equipped with a 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo and 120 GB SSD and Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor, the baseline Air will run $1,499. A 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo and 128 GB SSD model will cost $1,799.

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