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17" MacBook Pro  (Source: Apple Insider)
Apple introduces a new 17" MacBook Pro during its final Macworld

During the opening keynote of the Apple Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Apple unveiled several new hardware and software technologies.  Despite Apple CEO Steve Jobs stepping aside to give keynote duties to Senior V.P. of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller, there was a certain level of anxiety as attendees were still unsure what to expect.

Apple kicked off the event by announcing a new 17" MacBook Pro, which was promoted as the "world's thinnest 17" notebook," as it's just 0.98 inches thick and weighs only 6.6 pounds.  The notebook promises 1920 x 1200 resolution and a new battery technology that is able to increase battery life to about eight hours during a single battery charge.  

The new MacBook Pro will have a Core 2 Duo processor -- 2.66 GHz -- 4GB DDR3 RAM, 320GB HDD, and NVIDIA GPUs, using a 9400M and 9600M GT.  In addition, it offers 3 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, express card, glass trackpad, and a mini display port.  

Apple believes the eight-hour battery is the most innovative new feature of the laptop, as it's the longest battery life ever for an Apple product, with the company able to increase battery life while keeping the size of the laptop small.

Pricing for the latest Apple laptop will start at $2,799.  Apple expects to begin shipping the laptop later this month.


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Small Size
By TomZ on 1/6/2009 4:44:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
with the company able to increase battery life while keeping the size of the laptop small.
Truth be told, a 17" laptop has a large surface area. Even if the product is "thin," there is still a large volume of space available inside due to the footprint driven by the large screen.




RE: Small Size
By diego10arg on 1/6/2009 5:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
Even though, they need to say that it is still small. (?)

By the way, a 17" LCD should be power hungry, that should be why they say that 8-hour battery is still some kind of achievement.


RE: Small Size
By cheetah2k on 1/6/2009 8:46:03 PM , Rating: 1
The 17" LCD is LED backlit. This should cut down a considerable amount of power usage, hence adding to the "claimed" 8hrs battery time

I often wonder how they work out battery life sometimes. I always imagine they base it on "stand-by hours" not actual "real time working" hours...


RE: Small Size
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 5:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
The odd thing is that Apple tends to exaggerate the battery life claims for its notebooks but under-estimates them for the iPod. However, I am more hopeful about the battery claims for the 17" MBP because it explicitly states that this is based on using the integrated graphics and wireless networking. Turning off the wireless networking is usually one of the easiest ways to boost battery life. Perhaps they perform their tests using the screen at its minimum brightness...


RE: Small Size
By andreschmidt on 1/7/2009 7:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's really not that hard to find out how they made the battery test.

"Testing conducted by Apple in December 2008 using preproduction 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo–based MacBook Pro (17-inch) units with a Better Battery Life setting. Battery life depends on configuration and use. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information. The wireless productivity test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing various websites and editing text in a word processing document with display brightness set to 50%."


RE: Small Size
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 7:13:25 AM , Rating: 2
Well, that's good but your own mileage will vary depending on the sites that you visit. Specifically, I am certain that visiting sites running Flash animations will definitely consume more battery life than ones that do not. Still, if the work done was "standard" operations that the user will be doing during use then that's fine with me. Bring on the reviews...


RE: Small Size
By callmeroy on 1/7/2009 4:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
funny I think they exaggerate the hell out of IPOD battery life spans as well, as that as been my experience.


RE: Small Size
By TheSpaniard on 1/6/2009 9:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
check the 8730 which is one of the 2 laptops that HP claims has 24hr life (the other being the 8530)

btw they have quadro 3700 gfx built in as well


RE: Small Size
By quiksilvr on 1/7/2009 12:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
I always wondered why Apple never went with 16:9 aspect ratio for screens. And on top of that, why isn't the battery removable when the 13" and 15" laptops have removable batteries? Doesn't make much sense to me.


RE: Small Size
By BZDTemp on 1/7/2009 3:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it is because 16:9 is rubbish for anything but watching TV!

Fx. I'll take a 30" at 2560x1600 over 24" at 1920x1200 any day due to the increased vertical resolution (and turning the two 24" 90 degrees is not an option then you get an obstruction at 1200 horizontal which is crap for anything graphical).

As for the battery not being replaceable they are able to make more effective use of battery space when it doesn't need to be a module. They claim the battery is real smart and will work well for three times longer* than usual so it should be less of a problem than usual.

*That's longer as in more charges and discharges.


RE: Small Size
By Penti on 1/7/2009 5:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe because Apple isn't a TFT-panel manufacturer and has to buy the same stuff that is offered to everyone else? They simply don't make many 16:9 screens for notebooks. And they would hardly bother making a model exclusively for Apple. So I guess other OEMs would need to be interested in one too.


RE: Small Size
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 5:52:26 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen a lot of derisory comments about the lack of a user replaceable battery and I simply don't understand it. Here's the thing: assuming that the battery life claims are even somewhat accurate then you'll have a battery that will last about twice as long as a normal battery and will maintain its maximum charge for much longer as well. Given this, what do you need a 2nd battery for? They're expensive and just add weight.

Given the choice between longer life and replaceability, I'll take the longer life since it is far more practical. This is not the MacBook Air. 8-Hours of battery life from a pro laptop is bloody amazing.


RE: Small Size
By Johnmcl7 on 1/7/2009 8:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you don't travel with your laptop at all, even though I have a laptop that lasts for 12 hours on its battery I regularly take two batteries with me. That way I can use the laptop as much as I like without worrying when I'll find the next power outlet. Over here there's rarely any available in airports, ferries, planes etc.

Without the second battery it means I can get caught out with an unexpected delay and still have the laptop. Additionally if one battery develops a fault it can be sent back without losing portability as the second battery can be used in the meantime.

Although I tend to travel with the smaller laptop, at times I do use the 17in machine which due to being 7950GTX powered is even more reliant on another battery.

John


RE: Small Size
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 9:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
I travel plenty with my laptop, thanks for asking. 8-Hours is absolutely tons and I have never, ever, had a battery that has developed a fault. Perhaps I am just lucky.


15" MacBook Pro Screen Resolution
By ebakke on 1/6/2009 5:41:27 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously Apple! How long will you go on updating your MacBook Pro line without including the option for a better screen on the 15" models? Cripes! I can buy a Dell with a 15.4" screen that sports 1920x1200, but the best Apple can give me is 1440x900. Weak.




RE: 15" MacBook Pro Screen Resolution
By Smilin on 1/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: 15" MacBook Pro Screen Resolution
By Gzus666 on 1/6/2009 5:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
Not really considering how close you would be to the screen.


By BZDTemp on 1/7/2009 4:09:41 AM , Rating: 2
And even if you weren't that close to the screen the high dpi (resolution versus physical size) makes for a good experience. I would love for a screen with that high a dpi to sit on my desktop only in a bigger physical format.

If it wasn't so damn expensive this would be my screen: http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/02/toshibas-22-inc...

Now imagine that in say 30" where the resolution would be even higher .-)


By kkwst2 on 1/6/2009 11:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for telling me what I want or need. Just because you have no use for it doesn't make it a waste. I'm typing this on a Thinkpad with said screen and can assure you it's not wasted. I use it for modeling and CFD post-processing while on the road and I just can't use one of the low resolution screens like on the 15" MBP.



By otispunkmeyer on 1/7/2009 4:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
agreed... i have a 15.4 mbp and for just casual stuff the 1440x900 is fine. but if i wanna get work done, especially on the move that x900 bit is awfully restrictive.

they should be offering at least 1680x1050 on the 15 incher now. only budget 15 inch laptops come with crummy 1280x800 these days


Too expensive
By suryad on 1/6/2009 11:48:32 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or do others think the price is quite expensive for what you are getting? I think the machine at that price should have the max amount of RAM and the antiglare screen and the 2.93 ghz processor included in it and not to mention a 3 year warranty.




RE: Too expensive
By otispunkmeyer on 1/7/2009 4:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
i dont think the anti-glare screen is gonna happen just because of the way the thing is made... that piece of glass (if it is glass) spans the whole lid, the screen is behind it. i cant see a matte one of those coming. you'd have to try matte like a section of glass, and do it cock-on square for it too look right. probably too much hassle for what used to be an free choice feature because you'd probably have to pay extra for matte.

not sure on the faster CPU, id rather it be slower than faster and getting too hot when you hammer it. these things are wonderfully thin but that does play a bit of havoc with cooling at times.

no excuse on the ram though, u are right....i dont think there is any excuse not to pack top end products will all the ram they can take, ram is so cheap these days


RE: Too expensive
By andreschmidt on 1/7/2009 8:14:43 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, SO-DIMM DDR3 modules are NOT cheap. Especially not 4GB modules.


Good News
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 5:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
I currently own a 17" MacBook Pro that is due for replacement at the end of this year and had been considering a downgrade to a 15" model. However, given this announcement I am thinking that the 17" might be back on the shopping list again. The wonderful battery life and screen are absolutely the primary reason why I'd buy one of these (hopefully with an i7 Mobile processor come the end of the year) and the reduced weight is also a plus.

However, there are a couple of negatives. I couldn't give 2 hoots about the non-user replaceable battery but upgrading the RAM and hard drive looks like it will be more difficult on the 17" than it is on the 15" since there is no removable panel. Rather, you apparently will need to remove the entire rear cover to the laptop and that will expose more than you require. Secondly, I'm disappointed to see that the Firewire 400 port has gone AWOL so you now can only connect a single Firewire device or have to daisy-chain your devices together. Since I have 2 external Firewire drives that neither has additional Firewire ports for the purposes of daisy-chaining, this lack is annoying. Here's hoping that everything lives up to expectations when it comes to the reviews.

Finally, I'm also a bit peeved that Apple is continuing with their policy of removing and selling as extras components that used to come in the box. My old PowerBook G4 not only came with all the adaptors cables but it also included a few extra software packages, such as the excellent Omnigraffle. Even my current MBP came with the a couple of extra applications, adaptors and the Apple Remote. Now you just get the computer, power adaptor, OS and iLife; the rest of it you have to buy separately. This policy sucks, particularly given the price premium that customers are paying.




Mini
By Visual on 1/7/2009 9:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
What, no Mac Mini update?
Damn you, Apple! Just when a post got my hopes up the other day...
Oh well, I guess it is OK. If they had made a decently spec'd Mini, they'd have also probably priced it higher than a Mac Pro, or something similarly ridiculous anyway. And I'd still not have gotten one.




Yawn.
By Smilin on 1/6/2009 5:18:55 PM , Rating: 1
That's it. Yawn. Overpriced I suppose but mostly just Yawn.




Apple innovation!
By TheSpaniard on 1/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple innovation!
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/6/2009 4:39:59 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know of ANY notebook that gets 24 hour battery life, I think you are blowing smoke here....


RE: Apple innovation!
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/6/2009 4:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I found the article but they CLAIM, and it's an HP 6930P


RE: Apple innovation!
By SlipDizzy on 1/6/2009 4:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
Batteries aside, did you see that price tag? $2,799 ?!?!? I really hope that thing also comes with a 37inch external monitor.


RE: Apple innovation!
By Gzus666 on 1/6/2009 4:48:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Batteries aside, did you see that price tag? $2,799 ?!?!? I really hope that thing also comes with a 37inch external monitor.


And maybe a hand job as well. Talk about expensive!


RE: Apple innovation!
By corduroygt on 1/6/2009 6:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
For $100 LESS, you can get a 13.3 macbook + 20" imac...17" pro must be the worst deal you can get on an apple product.


RE: Apple innovation!
By Rodney McNaggerton on 1/6/2009 7:02:00 PM , Rating: 4
For 300 less than your initial 100 (so 2399) you could get two HP touchscreen laptops with "multitouch" screens that you could use to play with windows 7.

OR you could just buy one laptop and spend the remaining 1800 on blow, go on a binge, mess up a couple of hookers and use the remaining money as bail money so that you can go home and have the worst hang over ever in the morning.


RE: Apple innovation!
By robinthakur on 1/7/2009 8:54:49 AM , Rating: 1
The price is not a lot of money to those who can afford it. If you can't afford it, and are worried about a piffling $3k then this is clearly not for you. Buy a more affordable brand like HP or Lenovo. The principle thing you are paying for is the Apple design/look and feel and that new battery tech and this model is the most premium model. Besides if it were cheap and everybody could easily afford one, Apple's target market wouldn't want it anymore.


RE: Apple innovation!
By Gzus666 on 1/7/2009 9:16:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Buy a more affordable brand like HP or Lenovo.


Unlike with Apple, Lenovo gives you something for your money. As far as I'm concerned, their ThinkPad is unrivaled. Apple charges a premium for their name and some shine. Lenovo charges a premium for features and quality. Their customization is surely unrivaled by the likes of Apple. Not to discount HP by any means, their laptops are swell. I don't complain about price if you are getting something for it, in this case I don't see it.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/we...

That line up is expensive, but pretty damn impressive for what you pay.


RE: Apple innovation!
By SlipDizzy on 1/7/2009 9:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The price is not a lot of money to those who can afford it. If you can't afford it, and are worried about a piffling $3k then this is clearly not for you. Buy a more affordable brand like HP or Lenovo. The principle thing you are paying for is the Apple design/look and feel and that new battery tech and this model is the most premium model. Besides if it were cheap and everybody could easily afford one, Apple's target market wouldn't want it anymore.


As Gzus just pointed out, other brands also have high end models that come with a hefty price tag. When I see a big price tag, I expect to see equipment to back up that price tag. When I look at this new Apple laptop, I don't see the specifications that make me believe they should be charging as much as they are.

The Apple "look and feel" that you speak of doesn't automatically add on another 1k more by my standards. I've never doubted that Apple does very well in designing an aesthetically pleasing device, but I'd expect their "premium" products to have a little more under the hood.


RE: Apple innovation!
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 9:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
If the display is colour accurate and has a high overall gamut, I think you're paying your premium for that.


RE: Apple innovation!
By MADAOO7 on 1/7/2009 9:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point. A $3k Civic with 15k in upgrades can outrun a $217k Ferrari. Bet, you'd rather have the Ferrari if price wasn't an issue, right? So on some level, we all are willing to pay more for "look and feel." Perceived value is always in the eyes of the individual consumer.

You are also missing the intangible fact that Apple's run a completely different OS. Not to start arguing which is better, but you can't put a value on preference.


RE: Apple innovation!
By really on 1/7/2009 7:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
I really hate to blast people but this statement is about one of the most asinine statements I have ever read. Do you really think that this "premium model" is really worth the money that you will pay? Is your self-esteem really that low that you need Apple to design a laptop that will make you look and feel better? The only reason Apples prices are so high are because of asinine people like you who are willing to pay exorbitant prices to feel better about themselves. Go shop around on HP, Lenovo and Dell's sites and find a laptop actually worthy of that money or even cheaper and use what is left over to pay for some good psycotherapy.


RE: Apple innovation!
By SavagePotato on 1/6/2009 4:50:33 PM , Rating: 3
Oh tut tut, the mac zealots would have you believe that the overpricing of apple hardware is just a myth. (except for the fact you could get even an overpriced sony with similar if not better specs for less.)


RE: Apple innovation!
By MScrip on 1/6/2009 7:36:32 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
did you see that price tag? $2,799 ?!?!?

The previous 17" Macbook Pro was $2799. Nothing new here...


RE: Apple innovation!
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 6:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
Whether it is expensive or not depends on what you are doing. If you are using it for the likes of playing games (please, try not to laugh) or office work then the money is probably a waste. However, if the display provides a high colour gamut comparable to a pro desktop display (like those produced by LaCie and NEC) then this is damned useful to the likes of photographers where accurate colour reproduction is essential. Pro desktop monitors are damned expensive so having a colour accurate display on your laptop will be very beneficial to those people working "in the field", in addition to the wonderful battery life. I want to see the reviews but I think this computer combined with Aperture is a match made in heaven.

Evaluate the price based on your personal requirements.


RE: Apple innovation!
By SavagePotato on 1/6/2009 4:45:01 PM , Rating: 3
At close to 3000 bucks I'll take the 17 inch led backlit dell with a blu ray drive and similar specs, that just ordered for half the price.

They can keep it with the time bomb is it faulty, or is it one of the new non faulty Nvidia hardware lottery parts. For which the "fix" for is usually an update to clock it down so it doesn't overheat as much.


RE: Apple innovation!
By aj28 on 1/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: Apple innovation!
By Commodus on 1/6/2009 5:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
The HP EliteBook claim is more than a little misleading -- to get the 24-hour claim you need to order the best-possible battery configuration, which actually involves two batteries and a swap in between. The stock battery is still good but nowhere near the 24-hour mark.

Apple's claim is very impressive for a notebook with a 17-inch display and (in power-saving mode) 9400M video.


RE: Apple innovation!
By monomer on 1/6/2009 5:35:29 PM , Rating: 3
While the battery life is pretty impressive, their innovation really isn't all that amazing. Basically, they decided to go with a non-removable battery, allowing them to fit a larger capacity battery as they don't have to waste as much space for the battery enclosure.


RE: Apple innovation!
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 6:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
Whatever. I get about 3-hours from my current 17" MBP for normal use so 8-hours is pretty amazing. When everyone else can claim the same battery statistics, then I'll no longer be impressed.


RE: Apple innovation!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/7/2009 7:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Whatever.

I hear this reply used a lot when people don't have a leg to stand on and they know it.

quote:
I get about 3-hours from my current 17" MBP for normal use so 8-hours is pretty amazing.

Just because your current MBP uses old tech doesn't mean squat. Non-replaceable battery in a 17" enclosure can #1 cram more battery cells into the device, thus adding in more power. #2 the display is LED based this time around leading to less power requirements over old systems. I wanna see this thing run at 8 hours battery life without downclocking the processor and FSB into the ground. Until it can do that, 8 hours is nothing more than a gimmick for word documents.


RE: Apple innovation!
By andreschmidt on 1/7/2009 8:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
By all means, however, it should be reviewed "against" other 17" notebooks out there.

No doubt that this battery, together with the power management of Mac OS X, will make it shine against any other 17" notebook on the market.

Of course the processor downclocks like any Core 2 Duo. It is, afterall, designed that way.

quote:
I wanna see this thing run at 8 hours battery life without downclocking the processor and FSB into the ground. Until it can do that, 8 hours is nothing more than a gimmick for word documents.


RE: Apple innovation!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/7/2009 8:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
Right, but I think its rather screwed up that Apple, and for that matter every other computer company likes to claim long battery lives but the system is running not much faster than a Blackberry in most cases.


RE: Apple innovation!
By kelmon on 1/7/2009 9:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
Pardon? Correct me if I am wrong but you know bugger all about how the battery is constructed beyond what you have read. Given this, what honestly makes you think that the battery life delivered (and let's not forget that this refers to the length of a single charge and the total lifespan of the battery itself) is simply due to its physical size and using an LED screen?

Wait until the reviews come in and then you can jump down my throat. I too am interested to see what the real-world performance is but the attitude that this is some sort of sleight of hand without any knowledge of the product itself is just annoying.


RE: Apple innovation!
By kattanna on 1/6/2009 5:45:02 PM , Rating: 5
RE: Apple innovation!
By Gzus666 on 1/6/2009 5:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
That video was so hilarious, saw that last night.


RE: Apple innovation!
By WalksTheWalk on 1/7/2009 9:38:06 AM , Rating: 2
This is a great sendup!!

I love the one guy. "I'll buy almost anything if it's shiny and from apple."

That and: "We make simple...nothing's more simple than a single giant button."


RE: Apple innovation!
By callmeroy on 1/7/2009 4:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
i don't believe apple with batter life quotes -- look at their ipods....I really REALLY want to know what perfect conditions you need to do to get the battery life they claim an IPOD gets....I mean i think its a bit dishonest if you say x product gets 100 hours of battery life...only to find out that means if you have half the features turned off, no backlight on at all....etc.

My classic IPOD supposed gets about 3 TIMES the battery life I see out of it with normal use...and that's w/o the backlight being on most of the time.


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