Apple Takes the Wraps Off New 17-Inch MacBook Pro

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Apple Vice-President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller on Tuesday unveiled the company's new 17-inch MacBook Pro, which, at 0.98 inches thick and 6.6 pounds, is the thinnest and lightest 17-inch notebook in the world, he said. It features a FireWire 800 port, three USB 2.0 ports, an ExpressCard 34 slot, a SuperDrive, and Gigabit Ethernet and mini DisplayPort connectivity. It also has a glossy display, which can include an anti-glare option for an additional US$50.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro also features the glass trackpad found on the new MacBooks, a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, with capacity for up to 8GB, and a 320GB hard drive, with 128GB and 256GB SSD options. Unfortunately, the new laptop's form factor necessitated the inclusion of a non-removable battery, but Mr. Schiller showed a video that explained how the its battery that can handle up to 1,000 recharges, with adaptive charging that reduces wear-and-tear. It also lasts longer than its predecessor: eight hours with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated video chipset or seven hours with the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics card.

The new laptop will ship in late January with a $2,799 price tag. It's available in one customizable configuration.


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I guess all the complaints about matte screens on the 15” Pro paid off. Hopefully, they’ll now offer a matte screen option on the 15” Pro (or even the 13”).

Non-swappable battery sucks though, so no 17” in my future.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Apple is officially a software company. The 17iMBP sure is a sweet machine, and I don’t think the battery issue will hurt sales. But it’s 17 inch. Too big for most people’s laps, can’t be opened in most people’s cars, too bulky for planes and trains.


Remarkable that Apple is offering a matte screen, if indeed it is a matte screen. According to Apple it is an Anti-Glare Option. If it is a true matte screen, it is welcomed. Now, let’s see one on the 15 inch MacBook Pro!

I would never had thought of purchasing a 17 inch MacBook Pro because it is too big, but the matte screen may change my thinking. May. I’m still going to hold out for a matte display on the 15 inch. For now, my early 2008 MacBook Pro will suffice.

Cheers for Apple if this is truly a matte display and not just something covering the glossy display. If it provides a true matte finish and is clear, who cares how they do it. I’m just glad to see a reversal from Apple! Great news.


I got a bit excited when I learnt about it, but upon further reading, its just a anti-glare film like you have sugested.

Wonder how this compares to a “real” matte screen - Somehow I feel it’s not going to be the same !

It’s not just the reflection that is a problem, but the high contrast of these silly glossy screens - Judging detail/transitions in the highlights and shadow areas of an image ( yes, I am a photographer ) will take a major beating. Even the type of color correction that was possible with the older laptop matte apple screens will now not be possible - What a shame

I prefer Lenovo’s approach as they have introed a 17 in laptop with a Wacom like track pad and dual screens - The 2nd screen can hold all the palettes, leaving the larger screen for the image / art work ! A product targeted towards photographers, videographers and graphic artists. Only that I would prefer to stick with the Mac OS !

Sad, very sad !



This 17” MBP is a new lust object for me—glad to see that Apple is offering a “matte” option, even if they’re going to bone you out of an extra 50 bucks for it. This biggest deal for me is the GPU set up, plus maxing at 8GB RAM. They hadn’t gone into details about how you access RAM & the hard drive though… if we’re back to the complex operation that existed in previous models, that’ll probably be a deal breaker, for me.


Ok - It seems like its not exactly a normal / regular matte screen but there is some hope after all - Seems like there is a way to remove the glossy screen and replace it with a matte screen - This approach maybe better than a-fixing a anti-glare film on top of a glossy screen, but may not be the same as a regular matte screen !

The evidence is noted on the small thumbnail on Apple’s site :

Fingers crossed and that this trickles down to the 15” PBP !!


Lee Dronick

@ Bosco “Apple is officially a software company. The 17iMBP sure is a sweet machine, and I don?t think the battery issue will hurt sales. But it?s 17 inch. Too big for most people?s laps, can?t be opened in most people?s cars, too bulky for planes and trains.”

I have a 17” HP laptop. While it is big, it isn’t too big for the airplane tray, or for my lap. However, it mostly stays at home and I prefer my MacBook even if it has a smaller screen. A bigger problem from my perspective is the weight of the HP and the heat that it puts out, not to mention Windows. This new MacBook is twice as thin and a lot lighter in weight than my HP.


I am beginning to think this is simply the glossy screen with some kind of special non-glare treatment (like you can put over your iPhone), and not a matte finish screen with the properties of the matte finish screen. Some people may be happy at this, but if that is true, it will mean that color calibration and saturation will NOT be the same as the matte finish screen. I feel if had a similar character it would be called a matte finish screen and not anti-glare.  Time will tell, but this is what I suspect will turn out to the be case.

You can say that Apple listens to its professionals and therefore, it’s agreed to offer the matte option, but from my discussions with Apple sales, the people who make these decisions don’t really talk to anyone before making their decisions (and you can tell that even the people working in Austin at Apple Sales Support wish things were different and they were asked for their opinion before these decisions were made.

All this adds up to decisions that aren’t necessary well thought out, and it’s so far looking like this is yet another.  Let’s hope I am wrong in suspecting this monitor will not be color accurate.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Sir Henry… I had a 17” PowerBook. I later realized that I must have been compensating for something when I bought it, because it was just too big. It might work for you if you do iMovie on set or really like to take a desktop with you. Oh, that small thing I must have been compensating for? My imagination. I can’t imagine a 17” notebook being anyone’s everyday computer.


The everyday computer is a Mac Pro. Actually, Bosco, I know at least two people who use the 17” on location. One is musician, and the other is a composer who does soundtracks for film. It’s not his EVERDAY pc either. But the 15” is just not big enough for productivity when recording professionally. I suggest that perhaps that it is entirely possible that you may not know absolutely everything about everyone’s computing needs, based simply upon your own experience.

And this brings up a point, both for Mac owners who like to jam their own preferences down other people’s throats (maybe to justify their own? - I don’t know - nothing personal mind you in the comment), and APPLE who wants to jam Glossy screens down the the throats of of customers without first consulting people in their own sales departments, who could have, if they had ever asked them, explained why glossy screens are not exactly what all photographers want.  They didn’t (and I’ve been told they didn’t by senior sales staff at Apple), and so the public ends up with no matte screen on the 15-inch. 

The world would be a better place if we could just admit that others may have different requirements than we do, and leave it that, instead of trying to tell us that we need a shrink.  No offense, Bosco. I respect the fact that you don’t need a 17” but you need to reflect that for some, a 17-inch in the field has a role to play, and that the added real estate servers a purpose.


APPLE who wants to jam Glossy screens down the the throats of of customers without first consulting people in their own sales departments, who could have, if they had ever asked them, explained why glossy screens are not exactly what all photographers want.

Well… I wouldn’t go as far as to say they’re completely ignorant about that. I would guess that Apple is looking at that sort of thing from a “chasing after the largest sales growth” perspective, rather than throwing their periphery customers a bone. It does feel like we pro customers - who kept the company alive through the 90’s, by the way - are having our heads pissed on a little, though.

As far as the 17/15” argument, I personally don’t believe the extra 500 pixels (or whatever) makes that much of a difference in a portable, but I can certainly understand why some people would want to max out as much as possible. It kind of becomes a moot point when you plug your laptop into an LCD monitor for a larger screen, as most people do when they’re not on the go, anyway.

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