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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
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 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.


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.

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