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Featuring a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, the 17-inch MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than its predecessor as well as stronger and more durable. But Apple didn't stop innovating with the body's design. The MacBook Pro also includes a new high-resolution LED-backlit widescreen with a 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution, a greater color gamut for more vibrant colors, and a 700:1 contrast ratio that makes whites brighter and blacks blacker. It also includes the new glass trackpad that does away with the trackpad button (for larger tracking area) and features Apple's Multi-Touch technology. And the non-removable battery lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge and can be recharged up to 1000 times--compared with only 200 to 300 times for typical notebooks.
The 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro (see larger version).
Other hardware features include a 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB of installed RAM (which can be upgraded to 8 GB), an 8x combo Superdrive (for burning dual-layer DVDs as well as CDs), built-in Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort video output (for DVI and VGA connections), and an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot for expansion solutions such as 3G cellular networking.
It comes pre-loaded with Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system--an operating system custom-designed for the advanced technology inside--and it also comes with the iLife '09 suite of applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, and iTunes.
The Unibody MacBook Pro Design
Traditionally notebooks are made from multiple parts. With the MacBook Pro all of those parts with just one part--the breakthrough unibody enclosure. Every MacBook Pro starts its life as a single block of aluminum, which is precisely machined into the basic unibody design. Another pass and the unibody takes shape. Another, and the integrated keyboard emerges. When you pick up a new MacBook Pro, you immediately notice the entire enclosure is thinner and lighter. And it feels strong and durable--perfect for life inside (and outside) your briefcase or backpack.
The keyboard has also been improved, with the rigid aluminum keyboard webbing cut precisely to hold the keys, which are curved to perfectly fit fingers. And it's illuminated, so when you're in low-light settings, such as airplanes or conference rooms, you can always see what you're typing.
With the high-resolution LED-backlit widescreen display on the 17-inch MacBook Pro, you get desktop-quality color in an Apple notebook for the first time. The moment you open your MacBook Pro, you're greeted instantly by full, corner-to-corner screen brightness. The 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution (133 pixels per inch) means you can view more palettes and windows or watch HD video in its native 1920 x 1080 resolution. Perfect whether you're working in the studio or out in the field, the display offers a 60 percent greater color gamut than previous generations for richer, more vibrant colors and a 700:1 contrast ratio that makes whites brighter and blacks blacker. In addition, the seamless glass enclosure makes the display stronger and more durable. Because it's power efficient and the glass is mercury- and arsenic-free, it's also greener than ever.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a newly engineered lithium-polymer battery that that lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge thanks to advanced chemistry, intelligent monitoring of the system and battery, and Adaptive Charging technology. The battery is built right into the computer, eliminating the space-consuming mechanisms and housings that standard removable batteries require. This non-removable battery also provides a longer battery lifespan of up to 1000 recharges--meaning fewer depleted batteries and less waste, which is better for the environment.
Giving it a lifespan of up to 1000 recharges required breakthroughs in battery technology. Apple electro-chemists developed advanced chemistry that maintains the battery's charging capabilities longer than ever. And while most notebooks wear down their batteries by charging them at a constant rate, the 17-inch MacBook Pro takes a different approach. Using an Apple-developed technology called Adaptive Charging, a microchip on the battery constantly communicates with the computer to determine the optimal way to charge its cells, adjusting the current up and down depending on a variety of conditions. Combined, these advancements offer a dramatic improvement in battery lifespan: more than three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries--up to five years.
Off-the-shelf lithium-ion cells come in fixed, cylindrical shapes. The 17-inch MacBook Pro is powered by custom-made, ultrathin lithium-polymer batteries.
The hafnium-infused circuitry--which reduces electrical current leakage in transistors--conserves even more energy, giving you more time away from the wall outlet. With 6 MB of shared L2 cache, data and instructions can be kept close to the two processor cores, greatly increasing performance and allowing the entire system to work more efficiently. And, because the processor cores share the L2 cache, either can use the entire amount if the other happens to be idle.
Video Processing & Output
The 17-inch MacBook Pro combines the efficiency of an integrated graphics processor with the desktop-class performance of a discrete graphics processor thanks to the inclusion of both. Out of the box, it runs the integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M processor, which provides plenty of performance for everyday use with up to 5 hours of battery life. But when you need turbocharged performance for the most graphically intensive tasks, the discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT processor delivers--such as for demanding 3D games like Quake, Call of Duty, and Spore. And thanks to a new graphics architecture, it's easy to switch between these two processors. The 9400M graphics processor shares 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM with main memory, while the 9600M provides 512 MB of dedicated GDDR3 video memory.
The MacBook Pro includes a next generation Mini DisplayPort, which delivers a pure digital signal that can drive up to a 30-inch widescreen display. The Mini DisplayPort is ultra-compact at just 10 percent the size of a full DVI connector, and is compatible with Apple's 24-inch Cinema Display. Adapters are also available for using VGA, DVI/HDMI and Dual-Link DVI displays
Hard Drive and Memory
The 500 GB Serial-ATA (SATA) hard drive (5400 RPM) quickens the pace with a higher speed transfer of data--akin to USB 2.0. The 4 GB of PC3-8500 DDR2 RAM (two SO-DIMMs of 1024 MB) has an industry-leading 1066 MHz speed, and the RAM capacity can be increased to 8 GB.
The built-in 802.11n wireless networking provides up to five times the performance and twice the range of 802.11g, but it's also backward-compatible with 802.11a/b/g routers, enabling you to communicate with the a wide variety of Wi-Fi resources. It works seamlessly with the new AirPort Extreme with 802.11n. Use the built-in Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to your PDA or cell phone, synchronize addresses, or download pictures from your cell phone. You can also use a wireless headset for iChat audio chats and VoIP calls as well as quickly share files with a colleague.
Video Conferencing with Built-in iSight
Artfully placed in the glass display is an iSight camera, which enables easy video conferencing as well as allows you to snap pictures of yourself and create video podcasts. Using the iChat AV application, video conferencing is integrated into your iChat buddy list, so initiating a video conference is a breeze. iChat also lets you hold audio chats with up to 10 people and provides high-quality audio compression and full-duplex sound so conversation can flow naturally. For video podcasting, you can record a short clip using the iSight camera, then use iWeb to create a video blog entry or post your GarageBand-recorded podcast.
Because Apple makes both the hardware and the software for the MacBook, they're designed to work together to produce a smarter product that uses less electricity. For instance, to reduce energy consumption, the hard drive spins down automatically when inactive. MacBook Air also decides which processor--CPU or GPU--is best suited to efficiently perform a task. The LED-backlit display in the MacBook Pro is another feature that plays an important part in conserving energy, consuming 30 percent less power than conventional LCD displays. And the display is designed to dim when you enter a darkened room.
The MacBook Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it ENERGY STAR certification. MacBook also meets the latest efficiency requirements of ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 Specification for Computers before its July 2009 effective date.
The MacBook Pro has also earned the highest rating of EPEAT Gold. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it's designed and manufactured.
What's in the Box
MacBook Pro, display cleaning cloth, 85W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, install/restore DVDs, printed and electronic documentation
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