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Apple steps closer to end of Intel chip transition

An Apple Computer MacBook Pro on display at an Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif. includes some very nice touches, such as an impressively bright screen, stylish aluminum body, a video camera built into the display's frame, a keyboard that lights up in a dark room, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmitters.Paul Sakuma / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Apple Computer is a bit closer to completing of its historic shift to microprocessors used by its PC rivals by introducing additional laptops with Intel chips.

The new consumer lineup of MacBook notebook computers, which uses Intel chips, replaces Apple's previous i-Book and 12-inch PowerBook. They had used PowerPC chips from I-B-M and Freescale Semiconductor.

The 13-inch widescreen MacBooks feature Intel Core Duo chips that Apple says make the laptops run four or five times faster than their predecessors.

The MacBook debut leaves only the high-end professional Desktop PowerMacs to switch to Intel chips. Apple has said it'll complete the chip transition by the end of the year.

The new notebooks come in time for the back-to-school shopping season, a critical sales period for Apple.