Confirming the rumours, Apple has updated its entire 17- and 15-inch MacBook Pro range of notebooks to include new Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

The company claims the move offers users performance that is up to 39 per cent faster than the previous generation. Apple has also doubled the amount of installed memory it ships with the new machines, increased hard drive size, and implemented the fast FireWire 800 standard across the range.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pros ship today; the new 17-inch MacBook Pro will ship next week.

"With an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, greater storage capacity and FireWire 800 connectivity, the new MacBook Pro delivers unprecedented performance and mobility in an incredibly thin and light design," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. "We are thrilled that our notebook sales are growing twice as fast as the overall notebook market, and we hope these new MacBook Pro models continue that success."

Every MacBook Pro features the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB of shared L2 cache. Apple has enhanced Mac OS X to take advantage of the technology advances from Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, resulting in increased performance in professional applications.

The MacBooks use 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable up to 3GB, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics with up to 256MB of dedicated GDDR3 graphics memory, and a double-layer SuperDrive.

Every new MacBook Pro includes built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), a FireWire 800 and a FireWire 400 port, combination analogue and optical digital audio I/O, an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot, and a DVI video output to connect a 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display.

MacBook Pros also feature an illuminated keyboard, Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor that is designed to protect the hard drive in case of a fall, and a Scrolling TrackPad. They ship with Mac OS X and iLife '06.

The 2.16GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, ($1,999) includes:

- 15.4in widescreen 1,440-x-900 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness
- 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
- 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB
- 120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5,400 rpm
- A slot-load 6x SuperDrive
- Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port

The 2.33GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, ($2,499), includes:

- 15.4in widescreen 1,440-x-900 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness
- 2.33GHz Intel Core 2Duo processor
- 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB
- 120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5,400 rpm
- A slot-load 6x SuperDrive
- Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port

All 15-inch MacBook Pros feature: Sudden Motion Sensor; DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adaptor included, Composite/S-Video out adaptor sold separately); built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display; built-in iSight video camera; Gigabit Ethernet port; built-in Airport Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR; one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio; Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard; an Apple Remote; and an 85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adaptor.

The 2.33GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,799. Features include:

- 17in widescreen 1,680-x-1,050 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness
- 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
- 2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB
- 160GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5,400 rpm
- A slot-load 8x SuperDrive
- PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory
- DVI-out port for external display
- Built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display
- Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
- ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot
- Three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port

Additional features include: built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display; built-in iSight, Gigabit Ethernet; AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+ EDR; one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio; Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard; an Apple Remote; and an 85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adaptor.

Additional build-to-order options for the MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to a 200GB (4,200 rpm) or a 160GB (5,400 rpm) hard drive, up to 3GB DDR2 SDRAM, Apple MagSafe Airline Adaptor, Apple USB Modem, glossy widescreen display, and the AppleCare Protection Plan.