REVIEW: MacBook Pro 17-inch

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Date: Friday, May 12th, 2006, 09:58
Category: MacBook Pro

17inchestogether.jpgI replaced my 17″ PowerBook (1GHz) with a 17″ MacBook Pro. After half a day with the MacBook Pro, I’ve got almost all good things to say about my new machine (so far).
The one downside is the heat when it is plugged in and set at “Better Performance” it is almost untouchable on the bottom. I was installing all of my applications and copying my files over from my LaCie Big Disk (FW 800) and sitting wide-eyed at the speed at which my iTunes library came over when I decided to check on the heat.
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Contributed by: Bob Fish

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The Problem with Airplanes and the MBP

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Date: Thursday, May 4th, 2006, 09:00
Category: MacBook Pro

airplane-seat.jpegStanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig has started an excellent thread on the Apple Discussion forums about the lack of a good airplane charging solution for the MacBook Pro. It looks like Apple needs to take some action on this issue or risk losing a lot of frequent flying potential MBP sales. Click through to read the rest of the thread.

I’d be interested in whether people think this problem is specific to my machine, or general.

I do too much travel on planes. I therefore couldn’t begin to use my MPB until I could buy 3 batteries (about a month after I got the machine), and I also had to buy an inverter, since I couldn’t find any iGo like tip to connect to the new magnet connection.

The first inverter I got was a Targus. It promised 90w – above the reported 85w drawn by the machine. Four flights, never would it work. Everytime, it would trip because too much power was demanded. I then bought a "CyberPower" inverter, promising 120w. That worked for a good 3 hours on an internatinoal flight, but then it began flaking as well. I then discovered that if I had a fully charged battery (so it wasn’t trying to charge), it worked fine. So the obvious "solution" is either to have a fully charged battery, or to remove the battery — though that’s obviously a bit dangerous, since the cord disconnects from the laptop so easily.

This is a big problem with the machine. Is it just mine, or is it general? And is there any useful way to control how much power the unit draws? Notice, the processor speed control has been removed from the Energy Saver panel.

Apple – Support – Discussions – the problem with airplanes and the MBP …

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The Apple Core: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

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Date: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook Pro

macbook-pro-battery-250.jpgIf it wasn’t bad enough that to have processor and CPU whine, poor Airport reception and solar ambient temperatures, it appears that some early MacBook Pro batteries are now failing.
Christopher Price from PCSIntel.com has uncovered what appears to be a potential issue with the first batch of MacBook Pro batteries.
According to his blog entry “Now The MacBook Pro Batteries…” Chris’ MBP battery fried last night and a bit of prodding from AppleCare got the serial number block. AppleCare said there was a known issue with some early MBP batteries and are cross-shipping out new ones to customers having similar symptoms.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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27dBm Transceiver Available for MBP

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Date: Monday, May 1st, 2006, 20:13
Category: MacBook Pro

QuickerTek announced a new Airport transciever for the MBP today:

QuickerTek on Monday introduced a new 27dBm transceiver that boosts the MacBook Pro’s wireless range by up to 100%. The US$200 product is compatible with 802.11b and 802.11g networks and features 500 milliwatts of RF power.

New Transceiver Boosts MacBook Pro’s Wireless Performance || The Mac Observer

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The Apple Core: Thermal Grease Theory

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Date: Monday, May 1st, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook Pro

MBP-thermal-grease.jpgThere’s a theory making the rounds that the MacBook Pro’s high temperatures are attributed to a misapplication of “thermal grease” that’s applied to the CPU and GPU chips during the manufacturing process.
A post by Interrupting Moss on the Something Awful forums mentions that “it just takes a slight misapplication of thermal grease on a MacBook Pro to make the temperatures skyrocket.”
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Where is my 19-Inch MacBook Pro?

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Date: Wednesday, April 26th, 2006, 09:47
Category: MacBook Pro

Apple has released its latest PowerBook (sorry, MacBook Pro!). Powered by a dual core Intel engine, it runs up to five times the speed of the PowerBook G4 and has eight times the graphics bandwidth. It’s got a built-in webcam and it weighs just over 3kg. So how come I’m not desperate to replace my two year-old 17″ 1.33MHz PowerBook G4?
It is partly because Adobe aren’t going to be releasing their Intel-optimised applications until next year. It is partly because my current PowerBook G4 is plenty fast enough for most situations (and, yes, I know that once I’d used one of the new ‘Books I would soon change my tune on that one).
It is partly because Apple still aren’t implementing the new 160GB hard drives as a CTO option (I installed one in my current ‘Book, and it was like moving into a much larger house! 70GB of iTunes songs, a full suite of apps, and I still have nearly 50GB of free space!).
But mainly it’s because I’d have liked it to be just a bit bigger!
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MacBook Pro Double Layer Conspiracy

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Date: Wednesday, April 26th, 2006, 09:46
Category: MacBook Pro

apple-superdrive.jpgFound tonite on Slashdot:
Public belief:
The 15″ and 17″ are the very same thickness and therefore there is no technical reason for the 15″ not to also have the dual-layer drive.
Reality:
There is a technical reason. The 17″ is both wider and deeper than the 15″. There are things in the 15″ that get in the way, thickness-wise, that do not have in the 17″ like the trackpad and the keyboard. You don’t have to believe it, but it’s not an artificial reason, or to get people to “buy the 17″ by arbitrarily keeping the DL drive out of the 15. The word directly from an engineer at Apple:

Actually the reason for the thinner 9.5 mm optical disc drive (ODD) in MBP15 is because it overlaps the keyboard front-to-back. The 17 is deeper front-to-back, hence the keyboard does not overlap the ODD and it can use the 12.7 mm ODD. This is one reason why the G4 15″ is 1.1″ thick – it uses the 12.7 mm ODD.

Contributed by: Kurt Tappe

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The Apple Core: Bigger = cheaper

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Date: Wednesday, April 26th, 2006, 08:42
Category: MacBook Pro

I can deal with the fact that the 17-inch MacBook Pro has some features that the 15-inch model doesn’t have (FW800, 8x DL burner) but I am baffled by Apple’s pricing model for the MBP nicknamed “riot shield.”
Let’s compare Apples and Apples for a second (pardon the pun.) If you price out equivalent MacBook Pro 15 and 17-inch models on the Apple online store, here’s what you get…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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17-inch MacBook Pro Ships w/FW800 and 8x Dual Layer Drive

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Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 21:40
Category: MacBook Pro

macbook-pro-17-inch.jpgAs expected, Apple today debuted a 17-inch version of the MacBook Pro, the second model in its Intel-based notebook lineup. The system, which retails for US$2,799, includes a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor and is different than the 15-inch in that it ships with a FireWire 800 port (in addition to a FW 400), an 8x dual layer SuperDrive and three USB ports instead of two.

Like many of you, I paid top dollar for my MBP15 with a much slower FW 400 port and a wimpy 4x single layer SuperDrive. The 17-inch is spec’d to be the same thickness as the 15-inch (one inch) so that pretty much negates the argument that there wasn’t enought height in the 15-inch to fit the dual layer burner. And what about all the FW800 drives that I purchased? Bummer.

UPDATE:
I understand that Apple will and should improve their products over time. This is natural. I’m just a little miffed that Apple didn’t ship the MBP15 with the DL drive. After all, the 15 and 17 are the same thickness and that was the main argument I heard about them not being able to fit the DL drive into the MBP15. I can’t help but think that this was part of Apple’s plan to differentiate the MBP17. Some say that it’s wrong, some say that it’s good business.
The Apple apologists who think that Apple can do no wrong should remember that the previous PowerBook G4 was available with FW800 and a DL drive which they removed from the MBP. An obvious downgrade of these features.

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17-Inch MacBook Pro Released

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 24th, 2006, 08:39
Category: MacBook Pro

I’m sure we’ll see a lot more on this later today, but for now, widen your browser window and check it out.
I’m still waiting for a 12-13″ wide-format notebook, personally. Now that the flagship is here, perhaps the more portable version is coming shortly.

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