Apple has finally gotten around to launching a new 17in MacBook Pro, but it doesn't really have a lot of exciting new features, as internally it's very similar to the 15in MacBook Pro. The real seller is the claimed 8h battery life which we're sure some people will jump on.
At 2.5cm thickness there's no denying that this is a very slim 17in notebook and at 2.99kg it weighs less than most 15in notebooks. The display has been given a major overhaul and now you get a 1,920x1,200 LED backlit unit. Sadly it's got a reflective coating, but for US$50 Apple will replace it with a matte coating.
Compared to the 15in MacBook Pro, the 17in model has one extra USB 2.0 port, making it a total of three and the remaining ports are identical with mini DisplayPort, FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet and two audio jacks. The graphics solution is also the same with the Geforce 9400 chipset and a discrete Geforce 9600 GPU with 512MB of GDDR3 memory.
The CPU options are between a 2.66 and a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo processor, both with 6MB L2 cache and a 1,066MHz bus. 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 memory comes as standard, but this can be upgraded to 8GB for a hefty fee. The default hard drive is a 320GB 5,400rpm SATA drive with a 7,200rpm upgrade option. You also have the choice of going for a 128 or 256GB SSD drive, but at a very steep upgrade premium.
Other features include a slot loaded SuperDrive as Apple likes to call them, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR. However, the biggest selling point of the 17in MacBook Pro is the new battery which Apple claims can last up to 8h on a single charge. It's not removable, as Apple has had it custom made to fit the slim chassis of the 17in MacBook Pro. If you enable the discrete graphics the battery life is meant to drop to 7h, but this is still very good compared to most notebooks. Apple also claims that this new battery can be recharged 1000 times and they offer a trade in program once it's time to swap the batter out.
The new 17in MacBook Pro starts at US$2,799, although in Europe it goes for €2,499 and in the UK for £1,949. It actually makes the UK pricing cheaper than the European pricing by a fair bit due to the drop in the Pound compared to the Euro. It seems like most Europeans gets shafted once more, as from a quick check at the Apple store, this is the highest price in the world at the moment for the 17in MacBook Pro. Even Sweden with a 25 percent VAT rate gets away with paying €2,389 for it. For those lucky enough to live in Spain, the price is €2,399 and if you fancy a trip to Luxembourg you can get it for €2,375.
You can find the product page here