Apple outs 17" MacBook Pro

Written by Wil Harris

April 24, 2006 | 19:23

Tags: #17 #17quot #core-duo #dvd #g4 #las-vegas #mac #macbook #powerbook #pro #x1600

Companies: #apple #ati #intel

Apple has released the 17" version of its Intel laptop, the MacBook Pro.

Apple is showing off its professional products at the Network of Associated Broadcasters show in Las Vegas this week. The previous generation 17" laptop has been a favourite amongst creative professionals engaging in video and graphic design work.

The new 17" MacBook Pro is very similar to the 15" version in terms of specification. The graphics card is the same, an ATI X1600. The processor is slightly uprated - 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo rather than the 2GHz in the 15". The latest model sports 120GB of SATA storage rather than 100GB, and the DVD burner is 8x rather than 4x. The new MacBook also has a Firewire 800 port, which professionals lamented the omission of from the 15" model. Both models come with 1GB RAM as default.

The screen is 1680x1050 resolution. The machine itself is almost exactly the same dimensions and weight as the 17" PowerBook G4 that it replaces, at 6.8 pounds.

We have to confess to finding the spec of the new MacBook a little disappointing. We were really hoping for a top end graphics chip in there, especially given the price - something like a 7800 GTX mobile chip would definitely be a lot better. Given that creative professionals require hard disk space like no other profession, getting something bigger - perhaps even finding room to slot in a second drive - would have been a really good move. We also think that 2GB would have been a good amount of RAM to have in there by default.

Given the price difference between the 17" and the 15", the 15" really looks like better value right now, unless you have to have that extra bit of screen space. The 17" is now at $2799 / £1999 and the 15" is at $1999 / £1429.

You can check out the new MacBook Pro over at Apple.com/macbookpro. What are your thoughs on the new model, especially given our article today on gaming on the Mac? Let us know over in the forums.
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