Apple announces 17-inch MacBook Pro

Apple announces 17-inch MacBook Pro

Summary: Without the fanfare of a keynote address or even a media event, Apple yesterday announced the MacBook Pro 17-inch.


macbook-pro-17-inch.jpgWithout the fanfare of a keynote address or even a media event, Apple yesterday announced the MacBook Pro 17-inch. The new large screen Intel Core Duo-based Apple portable replaces the PowerBook G4 17-inch leaving the 12-inch as the last remaining PowerBook G4 available at the Apple online store.

Specs on the new 17-inch MacBook Pro are:

- 17-inch widescreen display
- 1680 x 1050 resolution
- 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo
- 1GB (single SODIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- 120GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive
- 8x double-layer SuperDrive
- ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory
- One FireWire 400, one FireWire 800, and three USB 2.0 ports
- US$2,799
- Available in 7-10 days

A couple of things that jump right out at me are the fact that the new MBP17 ships with an 8x double-layer SuperDrive. This was a glaring omission in the MBP15 that was announced just two months prior. The MBP15's slower 4x single layer SuperDrive was an issue for some buyers of the new "Pro" machine because the PowerBook G4 it replaced had a 8x DL SuperDrive.

It's also curious that the MBP17 is the same thickness (one-inch) as the MBP15. That pretty much invalidates the theory that the 8x DL SuperDrives were too thick to fit into the case, unless they didn't have the thinner mechanism two months ago and it just became available in quantity now. The MBP17 also has a lot more room in the enclosure than the 15, so it's possible that the 17's dual layer SuperDrive is slightly wider.

Another interesting note is the fact that the new MBP17 marks the return of the Firewire 800 port which also disappeared from the MBP15. My guess is that Apple added it back to the MBP 17 because they had more room inside the enclosure and they also needed a way to differentiate the two models.

I had one of the first generation PowerBook G4 17's because it was the first aluminum PB and the first 17-inch model. I later sold it when the aluminum PB15 became available because I was traveling a lot at the time and found the 17-inch machine to be too big to comfortably use on most commercial aircraft in coach.

I guess that it's time to bring back all those fun nicknames for the new MBP17 like "aircraft carrier" and "lunch tray." My new personal favorite name for the MacBook Pro 17 is "riot shield." What's yours?

What MacBook screen size do you prefer?

Topic: Apple

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  • If money was no question...

    I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

    Unfortunately it is. As much as I love PowerBooks, you can get a very nice ThinkPad T43 for much, much less.
  • iSUV

    Just like its predecessor....
    diane wilson
  • 12 inch powerbook

    If a 12" powerbook pro is announced, I'll be first in line. I use a
    laptop because its easy to carry around. When at work or at home, I
    can attach it to a Cinema display easily enough...and while the 17"
    is only marginally heavier, its size makes it unwieldy.

    My favorite name for the 17" is iSuitcase...
    Ananth Annapragada
  • I call it AWESOME!

    I love the diminutive 12" PowerBook but my work (pro audio)
    would be [i]seriously[/i] hampered on a screen that small. I need
    the biggest screen I can get when I travel (and at home I'm
    moving up from a 23" Cinema HD to the 30-incher). And it is for
    that very reason that last year I traveled to 100 cities carrying a
    17" [b]iMac G5[/b] [i]on my shoulder[/i] (using the iLugger case)!
    G4 PowerBooks were not powerful enough for my applications.
    You can ridicule the 17" MacBook Pro if you must but I, at 6' 7"
    and with a size 15 shoe, could probably carry [i]you[/i] in my
    backpack without too much difficulty. I anticipate my Mactop 17
    will serve me well in my hotel rooms (with King Size beds, of
    course). I'd buy a [i]20-inch[/i] MacBook Pro, were Apple to
    make one.
    • 17 incher

      OK, so I had $3k burning a hole in my pocket, so I went to our
      local Apple Store and picked up a 17 inch pro. Well, after 3 days
      of lugging it around, I gave up. I am back to my 12 inch G4. It
      may be slower than the intel versions, but its too easy to lug
      around. I ended up getting 2 new dual core mini's and an extra
      23" monitor for the same $3k, parked one each at home and the
      office, and am happy carrying my 12" G4 between the two. I'm
      sorry Skydotcom, but I am 6-1, 220, and I cant handle the extra
      weight. On the other hand, if you want to carry me around in
      your backpack, come on over. I am travelling most of next week,
      and having you carry me through airports might take the load
      off these feet that are tired from lugging that 17 inch suitcase
      Ananth Annapragada
  • MAcBook 12 inch

    Nothing beats the 12 inch form factor. Release the 12 inch and
    I'll trade it in my 12 inch G4 on the spot. If you have ever USED
    as 12 inch and carted it arounf, you can't imagine wishing to
    have that surfboard of a 17inch