"17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"
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Old 07-01-2008   #1
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Default "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

The latest review:

Quote:
The Houston Chronicle; June 30, 2008,

17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold
By BOB LEVITUS

For the past two months I've been testing a new 17-inch MacBook Pro and have come to prefer it over my 15-inch MacBook Pro in almost every way.

The base model sports a 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6 megabytes shared L2 cache; 800 megahertz front-side bus; 2 GB of RAM expandable to four; 250 GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm with Sudden Motion Sensor; slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support; NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 512MB of memory; Multi-Touch trackpad; illuminated keyboard; built-in iSight video camera; Gigabit Ethernet port; AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking; Bluetooth 2.1+EDR; ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot; and built-in support for a second display up to 30 inches.

The system I tested was decked out with the optional high-resolution glossy widescreen display.

I ran my usual suite of applications and, not surprisingly, everything ran more briskly than on my 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro. Even demanding programs such as Aperture 2, Logic Studio and Final Cut Pro ran beautifully, though some Final Cut Pro effects that play back without rendering on Mac Pro desktop systems required pre-rendering on this one.

Even so, it's the fastest, most powerful and most capable notebook I've tested.

But while performance was impressive, the thing that really blew me away was its high-resolution glossy display.

All I can say is, "Wow!"

With its bright, deeply saturated colors and rich, dark blacks, full-screen HD video is mind-boggling, making my 15-inch MacBook Pro with just 1,440 x 900 pixels pale by comparison.

While it's the same physical size as the standard display, it delivers 30 percent more pixels (Standard: 1,680 x 1,050; hi-res: 1,920 x 1,200). Put another way, this hi-res 17-inch display has the same number of pixels as a 23-inch Apple Cinema HD desktop Display.

And, unlike the standard model, it has LED backlighting, which makes it somewhat brighter and gives it greater power efficiency up to an additional 30 minutes of battery life.

The only possible hiccup is that although everything is brighter, sharper, and more detailed, everything is also around 30 percent smaller. I got used to it fairly quickly and found I could switch to a lower resolution (1,680 x 1,050 pixels) on the rare occasions when I found it bothersome.

At 15.4 inches wide, 10.4 inches deep, and 6.8 pounds, it is noticeably bigger and heavier than the 15-inch MacBook Pro I'm used to, which is 14.1 inches wide, 9.6 inches deep, and 5.4 pounds. But after a couple of months with the high-resolution display, I would replace my 15-inch MacBook Pro with one in a heartbeat if I could only afford it.

What: MacBook Pro
Size: 17-inch display
Price: starting at $2,799
Web site: Apple - MacBook Pro

Bob LeVitus is the author of over 50 computer books including Mac OS X Leopard For Dummies, and a Mac consultant, troubleshooter, and trainer. Visit his Web site at www.boblevitus.com; e-mail comments to doc@boblevitus.com.
Article: 17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold.

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Old 07-01-2008   #2
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

It's certainly a dream machine . I want...
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Old 07-02-2008   #3
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

I wonder how the 1920x1200 looks on the 17" screen? Anyone tried it? Seems like a fairly cheap upgrade to get that resolution, but does it make the fonts pretty small? I have an IBM Thinkpad 15" at WSXGA+ (1680x1050) and it's sometimes a struggle with reading 8pt fonts.
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Old 07-07-2008   #4
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

It's about the ultra sharp/small size. If you struggle now you will struggle then.

I have thought from time to time about the 17'' but I value portability. I wish they offered 1600x1200 on the 15''

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Old 07-07-2008   #5
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Default A word of warning though:

Nvidia 8xxx Go series laptops are having their GPU's die. This affects both PC's and Macs. I would stay away from that until it gets sorted out. In fact, I want Apple to bring ATI back, as the new architecture of ATI is very power efficient... not sure if they got the mobile parts yet or not.

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Old 07-07-2008   #6
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raist3d View Post
It's about the ultra sharp/small size. If you struggle now you will struggle then.

I have thought from time to time about the 17'' but I value portability. I wish they offered 1600x1200 on the 15''

- Raist
Yeah, a 1600x1200 would be great for 4:3rds editing . I have a 20" Formac screen at that resolution and it's as good a screen as I've ever used.
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Old 07-07-2008   #7
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

I've got the 17" MBP running at 1,680x1,050. If the characters are too small I pump them up. E.g. for PhotoCamel. It's a tacksharp screen. Rich and deep colors, no glare. Absolutely gorgeous. It hasn't got the 1.920x1,200 option though. Just 1,680x1,050, 1,440x852 or 1,280x1,024. I never use the last two.
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Old 07-11-2008   #8
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

I've got the loaded up High Res 17" MBP.....I love it. The small text is not an issue as it has the same technology as the iPhone where quickly you can increase text size in most applications.

Great Color, Amazing Speed, and the size is not an issue on portability.
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Old 08-06-2008   #9
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Default Re: "17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing to behold"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Shields View Post
I wonder how the 1920x1200 looks on the 17" screen? Anyone tried it? Seems like a fairly cheap upgrade to get that resolution, but does it make the fonts pretty small? I have an IBM Thinkpad 15" at WSXGA+ (1680x1050) and it's sometimes a struggle with reading 8pt fonts.
Looks great, but if you're older and your eyes are going, you might want something a bit lower res. I've had a few clients who are in denial about needing to wear reading glasses and have bumped the character size for them.

The screen in the macbook is "glossy" which helps with image quality and readability at high red. You can even scale down further - I have a Dell XPS with a 15" screen at 1920x1200 - beautiful and quite usable. It's also running OSX
Lenovo offers 15" thinkpads w/ HD screens, but since they are non glossy, the high res is a bit of hindrance - of course, you get to use it outside.

A 17" laptop is a bit of a pain - doesn't fit with most bags, etc. The 17" macbooks are nice and slim as opposed to some of the 17" behemoths on the PC side, but if you travel, you'll probably want to stick with a 15".
Shame Apple doesn't offer the HD screen in the 15"s.


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