Apple have announced the 17″ MacBook Pro at their US Store that should be shipping within the next 7-10 days (early May).
The machine is almost identical to the 2GHz models of the 15.4″ MacBook with the following differences;
- Processor is no longer an option – Core Duo 2.16GHz only
- Screen resolution changes from 1440×990 to 1680×1050
- FireWire 800 port
- USB 2 ports up from 2 to 3
- Battery power increase from 60-watt-hour to 68-watt-hour
- Battery life increase from 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours
- Hard drive options are limited to 100GB 7200rpm or 120GB 5400rpm
- Superdrive recording for DVD-R and DVD+R up from 4x to 8x
- Superdrive can now burn double-layer DVD+R
- Width and height increase to accommodate larger screen
- Weight increase from 2.54kg to 3.1kg
It’s good to see the FireWire 800 port make a comeback which should quiet some critics of the 15.4″
The larger resolution doesn’t share the same aspect ratio as it’s smaller sibling – adopting for a much wider display – indeed the 17″ only boasts an addition 60 vertical pixels against the horizontal increase of 240.
The battery life is interesting – there’s no way I get near 4.5 hours on my 15.4″ MacBook and Apple had been very quiet on battery life with little or no mention until recently. I’m hoping that the batteries for the 17″ will be compatible with the 15.4″ to perhaps boost up from my current 2-2.5 hour battery life running just simple non-3D apps.
The hard drive options still lack Seagate’s 160GB Momentus option – very strange when you consider they already use the Momentus line and the 160GB has the same physical and environmental attributes. Unlike the previous Titanium PowerBook models it seems replacing the hard drive is not a do-it-yourself task and would, I imagine, invalidate your warranty.
Still you can’t argue about the price – the Apple US store currently puts the price of the standard 17″ 2.16GHz/120GB model at just $300 more than the 15.4″ 2.0GHz model.
Upgrade the 15.4″ 2.0GHz model to 2.16GHz/120GB and it’s actually $100 more than the 17″… despite being a smaller screen, 4x Superdrive and no FireWire 800…
Oh well, perhaps I’ll upgrade to the 17″ when it gets the 64-bit Merom. Unless my MacBook is already 64-bit…