The Bottom Line
- Thinnest and Lightest 17-inch Notebook
- Unibody Aluminum Case Very Durable and Stylish
- Very Long Battery Life
- Doesn't Have Access To Battery or Hard Drive
- Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 17" WUXGA (1920x1200) Wide Screen LCD With iSight 1.3MP Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT Discrete Graphics with 512MB and GeForce 9400M Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth 2.1
- Three USB 2.0, FireWire 800, ExpressCard/34, Mini-DisplayPort
- 15.5" x 10.5" x 1" @ 6.6 lbs.
- Mac OS X 10.5, iLife '09 Suite
Guide Review - Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jul 14 2009 - Early adopters of the new unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro are probably upset with Apple. Just a few months after its initial release, Apple has upgraded the processor and hard drive and thrown in a three hundred dollar price reduction as well. This isn't uncommon with Apple's products as iPhone users would attest. Still, it is a great benefit to those that want a highly portable yet powerful 1-inch laptop.
The big feature of the MacBook 17-inch is the new lithium-ion polymer battery that essentially takes up the lower third of the system. This massive battery is supposed to provide up to 8 hours of battery life and last for a larger number of recharges compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries. Apple's claims are a bit inflated, but the real world battery life of four to five hours is still some of the best in the desktop replacement world.
There is a big downside to the new battery design though. The MacBook 17-inch does not feature the lower body panel that allowed for users to easily swap out the battery pack or hard drive. This is somewhat disappointing as this was a major feature of the MacBook and MacBook Pro 15-inch models. It is still possible to access the battery by removing the entire bottom panel, but not something that many users can do easily.
Apple's MacBook Pro 17-inch is a powerful system thanks to the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors and the ability to use the faster DDR3 memory. In fact, the MacBook Pro 17-inch is the first of the Apple laptops to officially support up to 8GB of memory although most will find the 4GB just fine.
One complaint that many people had of Apple's new laptop designs is the exclusive use of glossy screens. This makes using the laptop is some lighting conditions more difficult than the older versions anti-glare screen.