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A hands-on look at the new MacBook Pro

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I had a chance at a special Apple event last week to get a closer look at Apple Computer's new MacBook Pro, the renamed Intel-based successor to the PowerBook unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs two weeks ago. In fact, I had some real "pick it up and use it" hands-on time.

The good news is that the MacBook Pro, which comes in two models and starts at $1,999, feels and looks just as solid and well built as its aluminum-clad predecessor. The better news is that it outperforms and is better engineered than any G3- or G4-based laptop models Apple has sold.

First, I should say up front that I don't know whether the model I had in my hands was a prototype or an example of the final product, which is due to ship officially next month.

Having said that, I can tell you this laptop is fast. Really fast. I am hesitant to say it's exponentially faster than the G4 version, but subjectively, this baby cooks.

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