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Quick Hits: Apple Throws "The Brick"

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

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Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs and company took center stage to unveil the company's new line of MacBooks.

After COO Tim Cook's brief rundown of Apple's growing market share and latest success stories, Jobs got things rolling by introducing a new manufacturing process for all Apple laptops: All future notebook casings will be carved from a single block of aluminum (rather than from pressed aluminum), which allows for a stronger and lighter body.

Guess we now know what "The Brick" rumors were regarding.

Jobs went on to unveil what's under the hood for the new MacBook Pros. Apple's highest-end laptop was the main focus of the event, and its hardware did receive some hefty updates. The highlight was a new, more powerful graphics card from NVIDIA (NVDA): 9400M GPU + chipset -- and upgradable to 9600M GT -- the new card is reportedly 2.3 times faster. The touchpad has been enlarged and the dedicated button excised in favor of the touchpad "tap." The brick unibody casing offers an easier-to-access hard drive, keeping the entire laptop at an impressive .95-inch width.

Following updates to the MacBook Air and a 24-inch LED monitor, Jobs delivered his infamous "And one more thing": In this case, the new basic MacBook line. Touted as the best-selling Mac ever, the MacBook will now have an introductory price of $999, though it still can be upgraded to the same specs as the new MacBook Pro - only in a smaller package.

The new casing, graphics card, glass touchpad and LED screen were big hits with the crowd -- as was Jobs's joke about his blood pressure -- but the after-show Q&A had some difficult questions about Blu-Ray and touchscreens. There's currently no indication as to when (or if) these 2 features will be implemented.

Oh well. There's always next year.
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