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Apple Releases More Laptops with Intel Chips

Intel chips sweep through the Mac landscape; what's left to complete the transition are high-end Macs.

(San Jose, Calif.) Apple Computer Inc. introduced additional laptops with Intel Corp. chips Tuesday, inching closer to the completion of its historic shift to microprocessors used by its PC rivals.

The new consumer lineup of MacBook notebook computers replaces Apple's previous iBook and 12-inch PowerBook, which used PowerPC chips from IBM Corp. and Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

The 13-inch widescreen MacBooks feature Intel Core Duo chips that Apple says boost the laptops' performance by four to five times compared to their predecessors. They come in black or white and range in price from $1,099 to $1,499.

The MacBooks share many of the features as the more expensive MacBook Pro editions, such as the built-in webcam and Front Row media software, but they have a smaller display and lack some of the higher-end components and the aluminum casing.

The MacBook debut means the only remaining Macintosh computers to switch to Intel chips are the high-end professional desktop PowerMacs. Apple has said it will complete the chip transition by the end of the year.

The new notebooks also come in time for the back-to-school shopping season, a critical sales period for Apple.

Shares of Apple were down $1.91, or more than 2.8 percent, at $65.88 in midday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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