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Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple\'s flagship MacBook Pro to arrive at NAB

Apple Computer at the National Association of Broadcasters conference next week will unveil its most poweful Intel notebook yet, a 17-inch MacBook Pro strung with a few bells and whistles, AppleInsider has learned.

The flagship Apple notebook is expected to debut at speeds faster than the company's 2.0GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro and pack additional storage capacity, well-placed sources have said.

The over-sized portable, which will be built around a stellar 17-inch TFT widescreen display and look very similar to its 15-inch counterpart, will round out Apple's professional line MacBook Pro notebooks, those sources have said.

In the past, Apple has also offered its professional customers a smaller notebook offering in the form of the 12-inch PowerBook G4. However, sources close to the company have been unable to turn up any evidence that Apple will carry the petite notebook design over to its Intel MacBook Pro product line.

Instead, the Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker is expected to supplement its 12-inch model with a pair of "MacBook" consumer notebooks sporting a 13-inch widescreen display and Intel Core Duo processors. Their release, however, is now rumored to have been pushed back to "next month."

Sources have said that Apple will use its extremely large presence at the NAB show to highlight the performance of its recently released Final Cut Studio 5.1 running natively on its new Intel hardware.

Still, there are rumors that the company may also make several new announcements surrounding its Pro application software packages. One such rumor suggests attendees may be privy to the first demonstrations of Final Cut Studio 6.0, which will include updates to popular Pro apps such as Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack, Motion and DVD Studio Pro.

A new version of DVD Studio Pro (5.0) is rumored to include support for burning both Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs, new High-definition DVD formats, the latter of which began making its way to market on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an update to Soundtrack Pro is expected to package support for editing additional high-end audio formats, such as 5.1 channel surround sound.

Fewer details have emerged on Apple's plans for Final Cut Pro 6.0 and Motion 3.0, however the consensus amongst industry sources is that Final Cut will expand to support several new high-definition video formats.

The National Association of Broadcasters conference is set to kick-off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday the 22nd and run through thursday the 27th. The Exhibition hall will not open until Monday the 24th.