How do you like these apples?

It seems every time Apple upgrades its product line, another upgrade – usually of massive proportions – is soon to follow. Those who shelled out big bucks for an iPod Mini were surprised with the release of the iPod shuffle, which was followed shortly by the release of the iPod Nano and Video. Now Apple is up to its old tricks again, this time with processors.

Those who purchased the new iMac G5 may be frustrated by the arrival of the Intel Core Duo processor, which will power the revamped iMac G5 and Apple’s new notebook, the MacBook Pro.The Core Duo gets its name by having two processors built into one central processing unit, or CPU. The CPU serves as the “brains” of the computer and is responsible for data processing.Intel has also produced Dual Core processors for PCs. However, Apple is advertising that the Dual Core processors in its new Macs will do more than they ever did in PCs, claiming that the MacBook Pro will be four times faster than the PowerBook G4, which was formerly Apple’s high-end notebook offering.

These new Macs are more efficient and leaner than their predecessors. They are tuned to maximize the minimum in the sense that their processors are more powerful yet take up less space and consume less energy than the now superseded PowerPC CPUs. These specifications break the limitations of what was possible to put into a notebook. The result is that the MacBook Pro is just one inch thick.

With processor changes usually come compatibility concerns, but Apple is assuring customers that all older applications will run fine on the newer models.

Many poor students such as myself may ask, “How can I afford $1,999 for a MacBook Pro or $1,299 for an iMac G5?” Frankly, we probably can’t. However, there is good news: As is the way with technology, older or used Macs running on PowerPC technology may become more affordable or less desirable as Apple’s newer models saturate the market. After all, just because Apple has introduced these new computers does not make its previous machines obsolete.

The new models are available for purchase today.