The move to Intel Core Duo chips has also helped Apple cut costs and offer the entry level 1.83GHz MacBook for £749 including VAT, and the top-of-the-range 2GHz system for £1,029.
"Until we had Core Duo you had to buy a dual-processor PowerMac to get that kind of performance," Todd Benjamin, director of worldwide product marketing for portables at Apple, told vnunet.com.
"Now we have that in a greater number of our systems it brings it to consumers at a much better price point."
Apple said that the new range is designed for consumers and students, with the higher specification model aimed at mobile professionals.
"At the top of the line we wanted to do something special and make it an ultimate configuration, so that has a 2GHz processor and comes in a matt black enclosure for a more professional look," said Benjamin.
The laptops are 20 per cent thinner than the iBook, at just over 1in. The screens have moved to a widescreen display from the previous 4:3 ratio and have increased brightness.
Benjamin claimed that the biggest benefit for users is the increased speed. "There's a great bump in performance that is immediately noticeable if you're switching from a G4-based portable to one of these Intel Core Duo systems," he said.
However, the laptops do not offer any HD capabilities and Benjamin refused to be drawn on whether Apple would back HD-DVD or Blu-ray. "I can't get into formats on upcoming products," he told vnunet.com.
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