New MacBook Pro Gets Built-in Battery, Better Display [Updated]

| Product News

Apple introduced a new version of its unibody MacBook Pro during the World Wide Developers Conference on Monday. Like the 17-inch MacBook Pro, the new 15-inch model sports a built-in battery that Apple says can last up to seven hours. The new MacBook Pro is shipping today.

The laptop includes a MagSafe power port, Gigabit Ethernet, one FireWire 800 port, two USB 2.0 ports, combo optical digital audio in and out ports, AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, Mini DisplayPort, and built-in iSight camera and microphone.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro with SD card slot.

According to Apple, the built-in battery can handle up to 1,000 recharges before reaching 80 percent of its original capacity, just like the 17-inch MacBook Pro's built-in battery.

Pricing starts at US$1,699 with a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and Nvidea GeForce 9400M graphics. The 2.66GHz model costs $1,999 and ships with 4GB DDR3, a 320GB hard drive, and Nvidea GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT graphics. The 2.8GHz model is priced at $2,299 and includes 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and Nvidea GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT graphics.

Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Hello from the single digit percent that uses the SD card slot. I’ve got a Sierra Wireless data card from Sprint. I dread the idea of going USB with that as it seems likely to break off while I’m on the road. A 17” laptop is out of the question. Been there, done that, hated it.

All in all, it’s going to be an expensive summer. Despite them ditching the SD card slot, I’ll likely get a new 15” MBP. Plus, as much as I don’t want AT&T, I’m probably gonna have to get an iPhone. Doesn’t anyone at Apple know that we’re at the beginning of a depression?!?

dennis

@bosco:

Well, it’s your money. Apple isn’t making you buy anything. Obviously you’re not doing too bad if you plan to buy a laptop and a high-end phone. Also, they added the SD card slot. They dropped ExpressCard.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Thanks for the correction on ExpressCard/SD card, dennis. I guess it just proves the point about the market. The < 10% of us who use ExpressCard don’t know the difference between the two!

And you have no idea how bad it is here! I may have to cut back on K-cups and start using the reusable filter in my Breville to afford these new gadgets.

Joy

Great! More disposable electronic products from Apple. Didn’t Steve Job said it was going green last year. Now we know he was talking about the Benjamins.

Apple site claims the built-in battery last up to 5 years or 1000 charges. It doesn’t mention anything about how the battery would only run at 50% or less of its capacity towards the end of its life. Which means you can only run the MacBook less than a couple hours.

These built-in battery products are all about forcing the consumers to buy a new one, instead of get a new battery. Shame on you! Apple.

It’s time to Think Different. Go real green, switch to PC companies who are doing a lot more dealing with environmental issue. Not to mention you get the more outta of your dollars.

Sure most PCs are from the uglyville. These days, everyone is too busy making themselves look good and looking at themselves. Do you really think people would look at you more just because you have a slick MacBook?

SlowFlight

Did they “fix” the hinge?  The 15” MBPs had a purposely built hinge that would result in the screen folding when the base was tilted 45+ degrees (making it slam shut when using it in bed, on the couch; or, come closed on the plane in light turbulence).  Hopefully the hinge is as tight as the new 17” MBPs, which don’t shut even if you hold the base at 90 deg and the screen perpendicular.

acdc1174

These built-in battery products are all about forcing the consumers to buy a new one, instead of get a new battery. Shame on you! Apple.

No, it means it is a way to drive traffic into your local Apple Store in the hopes of enticing you to spend more. (and yes, I know not everyone has an Apple Store cose to them.)

gslusher

Schiller made an error when he said that DSLRs have standardized on the SD card. That’s true only for the cheaper,  consumer-oriented DSLRs. The “prosumer” and professional cameras mostly use Compact Flash cards because, despite what Schiller said, CF cards offer at least as high capacity (up to 32GB—and CF cards have always been the first to get bigger) and higher speed. The newest UDMA CF cards are capable of 45+ MB/sec; the best SD cards are in the range of 30 MB/sec. That makes a major difference, somewhat in the camera—try taking 10 10-megapixel RAW+JPEG images per second. (That would be about 14 MB/shot, or 140 MB/sec.) The maximum burst is a function of the camera’s built-in memory (buffer), but the card affects how quickly the buffer is cleared, especially the UDMA cards in UDMA-capable cameras.

Even more important is downloading the photos. If you usually download 40-50 5MB JPEGs, the card isn’t going to make a lot of practical difference, as long as it’s not a very slow el cheapo card. Download several GB at a time, though, and the difference is significant. Last weekend, in two days at a horse show, I shot just over 300 photos totaling almost 4GB—and my Canon 30D has “only” 8 MP. The latest Canon “prosumer” camera, the 50D, has 15.7 MP, so that could have been about twice as much.

No pro would download from the camera—it’s way too slow and uses the camera’s battery. Instead, they’ll get a high-speed card reader, like SanDisk’s FireWire 800 reader. (Which, fortunately, will now work with all three sizes of the MacBook Pro, though few pros will likely use the 13”—the display is just too small.)

Another factor is that a lot of photographers already have a lot of CF cards! I certainly do! grin

Examples of current cameras that use CF cards only include the Canon 50D & 5D and the Nikon D3, D300 and D700. Canon’s top cameras, the 1Ds and 1D, can use both CF and SD cards at the same time.

gslusher

Apple site claims the built-in battery last up to 5 years or 1000 charges. It doesn?t mention anything about how the battery would only run at 50% or less of its capacity towards the end of its life. Which means you can only run the MacBook less than a couple hours.

Ah, someone who didn’t listen to the keynote. What Schiller said was that the majority of laptop batteries get about 300 full recharge cycles “before they start to have diminished ability to retain a charge.” Do you have data that supports your contention?

The built-in batteries (e.g., like in my Palm TX) can be “greener,” as Schiller said, because 1) they last longer, so fewer will be needed and 2) because replacing them is not “user-friendly,” they are more likely to be replaced by pros who will recycle the batteries, instead of dumping them in the trash.

Zach Bitting

Some people are really just Apple haters. Joy: most of your comments are irrelevant. You said something about more Benjamins, when all the price points for MacBook Pros actually decreased. On Apple’s website it says that the battery life will be at 80% at the end of those 1000 recharge cycles - which is still greater than the battery life on the previous generation MBPs. The batteries are still replaceable - just by the Apple Store. PCs aren’t more bang for the buck - go spec out a 15 inch Dell to the power and storage space, as well as graphics power and screen and battery life of my new MBP. Can’t be done for less. Plus the Dell is thicker and heavier. Do your homework.

Joy

“On Apple?s website it says that the battery life will be at 80% at the end of those 1000 recharge cycles?”  Wow, that’s either a true technology break thru or pure magic aka marketing bs. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Isn’t most of laptop batteries are made by Sony anyway?

I’m not gonna get into the whole “Us vs Them” ad campaign crap. They are computers!! and they all do the same stuff. Apple is slick and expensive, other brands are not so pretty but cheaper.

I just bought a Dell Precision M4400 last week. Three reasons I went with Dell instead of Apple
1. M4400 has 1920x1200 on 15.4” screen (sweet!), Apple doesn’t.
2. M4400 comes with CAD GPU which I need to run CAD. MBP comes with gaming GPU. Plus, M4400 can swap out DVD drive for a secondary hard drive, which is great for Photoshop scratch disk. And M4400 can be upgrade to a 8 cores CPU.
3. Price, Dell M4400 costs about $1600 with taxes and shipping. The same specs on MBP is about $2200.

Yes, M4400 is thicker and uglier than MBP, but it’s also $600 cheaper and more powerful. The choice was really between look and functions.

My biggest beef with Apple is their environmental practices. Check out this article from Wall Street Journals http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123066532721343231.html Apple uses green as a marketing tools. Which makes me skeptical about the new battery claim.

As a product designer, I know built-in battery saves companies a lot of money in manufacturing, inventory controls and drive new sales. But at the cost of environment and our pockets.

I have no problem with people who willing to pay more to look good, everyone does it in some degrees. But companies shouldn’t be making slick products at the expense of the environment, which we’re all living in.

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