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Macworld '09: new 17-inch Macbook Pro features 8 hour battery life

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January 6, 2009

Macworld '09: new 17-inch Macbook Pro features 8 hour battery life

Macworld '09: new 17-inch Macbook Pro features 8 hour battery life

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January 6, 2008 In what might be seen as somewhat of an anticlimax by those still yearning for a Mac entry into the netbook space, the key hardware announcement to emerge from this morning's keynote address at Macworld 2009 is a new 17-inch MacBook® Pro featuring a built-in battery that delivers up to an impressive eight hours of use and up to 1,000 recharges. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduced the new flagship notebook along with a number of new software innovations including the new iLife® ’09, which brings major upgrades to iPhoto®, iMovie® and GarageBand®.

The new 17-inch MacBook features the unibody aluminum enclosure and glass Multi-Touch™ trackpad introduced with the MacBook family in October 2008 and its slimline (0.98-inch) profile and weight of just 6.6 pounds make it the world’s thinnest and lightest 17-inch notebook according to Apple. It's also the most powerful Mac® notebook yet - 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors and 8GB DDR3 main memory at its highest spec, plus a graphics architecture that allows users to switch between the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor for better battery life and NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor for higher performance. The standard hard drive is 320GB/5400 rpm with the option of a 320GB 7200 rpm hard drive and 128GB and 256GB solid state drives.

The high-res (1920 x 1200), instant-on LED-backlit display boats 78 percent more pixels and a 60 percent greater color gamut than the 15-inch MacBook Pro and uses up to 30 percent less energy. There's also no mercury in the backlight which, along with the waste-saving long battery life and the use of arsenic-free glass and recyclable materials such as the aluminum enclosure, bolsters the green credentials of the new 17-inch.

Also in-line with the new MacBook family unveiled in October, the 17-inch Pro includes a Mini DisplayPort to connect with the new Apple LED Cinema Display featuring a 24-inch LED-backlit widescreen display with a built-in iSight® video camera, mic and speakers.

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro will be shipping at the end of January starting at USD$2,799. It's also worth noting that depleted batteries can be replaced for $179 which includes installation and environmentally responsible disposal of your old battery.

Aside from the standard specs listed below, there's also several build-to-order options including the aforementioned 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 8GB 1066 MHz DDR 3 memory, 320GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB or 256GB solid state drive, plus an anti-glare display (USD$50), Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

    The new 17-inch MacBook Pro in brief:
  • 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200, glossy display;
  • 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 6MB shared L2 cache;
  • 1066 MHz front-side bus;
  • 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics with 512MB GDDR3 video memory;
  • 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
  • built-in AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • built-in iSight video camera;
  • three USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
  • ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
  • one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog;
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
  • built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; and
  • 85 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

As to the hopes for a Netbook offering, Apple CEO Steve jobs has previously been quoted as saying the company has no interest in the sector at this stage (despite its incredible growth in the past 12 months). We'll just have to wait a little longer to see what form a future downsized mobile computing platform from Apple might take.

This morning's address also marks Apple’s last keynote at the Macworld Conference & Expo.

"Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways."

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan
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