As expected, Apple has launched its new consumer laptops, under the MacBook brand. The new models all share one case design, a 5.2-pound box available in black or white, with a 13.3-inch, 1280x800 display and full-size keyboard. All are based on Intel's Core Duo processor, at speeds from 1.83 GHz to 2.0 GHz. Apple claims a six-hour battery life for the new models, though we imagine that's reduced substantially if you spend that time watching DVDs. Like other recent models from Apple, the MacBook also includes an integrated iSight webcam, a remote control, gigabit Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth. The new models are available immediately from Apple's online store at prices from $1,099 to $1,499. If you want black, you'll have to pay more: the $1,499 model is the only one one in the color scheme; other than the case color and an 80GB drive, its specs are identical to a $1,299 white model (the 80GB drive is available as a $50 upgrade for the white version, making the price for the black case $150). And, yes, you can now bid farewell to the iBook name. Now, what on Earth is Apple going to announce at Thursday's press event?

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