Today the 17 inch MacBook Pro joined its younger siblings with a unibody construction. While many of the improvements were expected — based on the existing unibody models — and there are some worthwhile performance enhancements, Apple also had a couple of nice surprises in store. Let’s take a look…
Expected Unibody Improvements
First and foremost, for the same base price of $2,799 as yesterday, the new 17 inch model provides the following:
- Solid unibody construction. We’ve learned the unibodies are indeed very solid and seem like tanks. The 17 inch takes that even a step further, as we’ll see below.
- Dual core processor at 2.66GHz (up from 2.5) on a 1066 MHz bus (up from 800MHz)
- Utilizes fast DDR3 memory at 1066MHz.
- It is actually about a tenth of an inch smaller in width and depth, and also two-tenth of an inch thinner. Yes, these are pretty small improvements, but for a device so big any relief is better than none. (Recall that the 15 inch model actually got slightly bigger in unibody trim.)
- The wonderful glass track pad with gesture support.
- The improved 9600M mobile graphics with 512 MB video memory (same as the high-end 15 inch model).
- 9400M mobile chipset and graphics for very good performance while saving an hour of battery life.
On the down side, the new model loses the separate FireWire 400 port, getting by with just the one 800 port (which supports 400).
Further, the new model uses the mini Display Port, which means to use it with your existing screen you’ll need to by a new adaptor.
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