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Mac Tutorial: Multi-Touch Trackpad

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Uploaded on Nov 3, 2008

NEW Mac Tutorial: Multi-Touch Trackpad (Macbook/Macbook Pro), released by Apple Inc.

Actually it's not so much the 15-in. MacBook Pro you're going to be swiping -- it's the new multitouch trackpad it features. The trackpad, which represents the biggest change from earlier MacBook Pro models, borrows some of the same hands-on -- maybe I should say fingers-on -- user interface touches that premiered in the iPhone. The change to a multitouch trackpad means you can use the trackpad to perform a number of functions that heretofore required key combos or trackpad taps and clicks. (See video across of the multitouch trackpad in action.)

Late last month, Apple unveiled an incremental update to its popular aluminum-clad MacBook Pro line and its entry-level MacBooks. Apple's professional-level laptops now sport 45-nanometer Penryn processors from Intel, the latest versions of the Core 2 Duo chips that have been in use since 2006.

Other improvements include a switch to an LED screen in the 17-in. model instead of the fluorescent LCDs used until now; 200GB or 250GB hard drives (depending on model); up to 512MB of video RAM; and the multitouch trackpad. (And no, according to Apple officials, the new trackpad functions won't be ported back to earlier models; they can't be, since the multitouch trackpad requires a combination of software and new hardware.)

If you're jonesing for multitouch, head out to the Apple store and plan on coughing up some money. The 15-in. model starts at $1,999, which nets you the 2.4-GHz processor, a 200GB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm and an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card with 256MB of video RAM. For $500 more, Apple gives you a 2.5-GHz processor, a 250GB hard drive and 512MB of video RAM. If you want to upgrade to an optional 2.6-GHz chip, that is a built-to-order option that will cost you an extra $250.

That same hardware, including the 2.5-GHz processor, underpins the basic $2,799 17-in. model -- with the added benefit of the larger display. The 2.6-GHz processor is available for an additional $200 -- $50 less than it costs to order that same processor in the 15-in. model. (Bias alert: A 17-in. model with the high-resolution screen is my personal fav and the one I have at home.)

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