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Bigger = cheaper

I can deal with the fact that the 17-inch MacBook Pro has some features that the 15-inch model doesn't have (FireWire 800, 8x double-layer burner) but I am baffled by Apple's pricing model for the MBP17 nicknamed "riot shield."

I can deal with the fact that the 17-inch MacBook Pro has some features that the 15-inch model doesn't have (FireWire 800, 8x double-layer burner) but I am baffled by Apple's pricing model for the MBP17 nicknamed "riot shield."

Let's compare Apples and Apples for a second (pardon the pun.) If you price out equivalent MacBook Pro 15 and 17-inch models on the Apple online store, here's what you get:

MacBook Pro 17-inch:

- 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo
- 1GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- 120GB 5400RPM Serial ATA hard drive
- 8x double-layer SuperDrive
- One FireWire 400, one FireWire 800, and three USB 2.0 ports
- US$2,799

MacBook Pro 15-inch:

- 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo
- 1GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- 120GB 5400RPM Serial ATA hard drive
- 4x single-layer SuperDrive
- One FireWire 400, two USB 2.0 ports
- US$2,899

In other words if you Configure To Order (CTO) the MBP15 with the 2.16GHz processor (+US$300) and switch to the 120GB HDD (same price) to match specs with the MBP17, the 17-inch model is actually US$100 cheaper than the 15-inch. So for US$100 less you get a MacBook Pro with a 17-inch display, FireWire 800 and an 8x double-layer SuperDrive. Huh?

This tells me that either a) Apple is going to drop the price of the MBP15 by US$100-300, or b) they'll speed bump processors a tick and upgrade the SuperDrive to 8x. Either way, Apple needs to take a closer look at the price gap between these models and come up with a better pricing model.

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