updated 01:30 pm EST, Tue January 6, 2009
Unibody 17in MacBook Pro
Apple at Macworld introduced a new version of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. The new model uses the same unibody aluminum construction of the 15-inch version and is just 0.98 inches thick -- enough to make it the thinnest 17-inch notebook ever, the company boasts. It now revolves around a 17-inch, LED-backlit 1920x1200 standard display that is much more accurate than in the previous generation: it claims a 60 percent larger color gamut, a clearer 700:1 contrast ratio and wider 140-degree horizontal and 120-degree vertical viewing angles.
The extra space is also used to ramp up performance and gives the system up to a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo as well as room for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory. Battery life has also been dramatically improved, Apple claims: the stock model now lasts for up to eight hours of wireless use on a charge and has a lifecycle of up to 1,000 charges, making it more environmentally friendly than past notebook batteries. The feat is accomplished through a new intelligent system that adjusts the current to each battery cell on the fly to maximize the charge.
Expansion ports include a single FireWire 800 port, three USB ports, Ethernet, ExpressCard/34 and a Mini DisplayPort connector.
A single stock configuration at $2,799 is available and comes with a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of memory, 320GB of hard drive space and a 512MB GeForce 9600M GT for video. Users can custom-order the system to swap the hard disk for a new 256GB solid-state drive and to pick a new, $50 anti-glare display option for professionals who need to stress absolute accuracy. The system should be available today from the online Apple Store.