17-inch Apple MacBook Pro Review
- 1.1 PROS
- 1.2 CONS
- 1.3 Minimalist Construction
- 1.4 Features
- 1.5 Mechanical and optical mice
- 1.6 Thunderbolt on Intel
- 1.7 Performance
Although Apple’s 17-inch MacBook Pro was kept in the lineup when reintroduced last fall, it has since been updated to have the same unibody design as the 13- and 15-inch models. Although it has the same form factor and the same visual customization options as the 15-inch Pro, there are two major differences: the battery is nonremovable and claims to last for 8 hours on a charge, and the display’s color spectrum is boosted by 60% compared to that of the 15-inch Pro. Additionally, it’s the world’s lightest and thinnest 17-inch laptop. The 17-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,799, which is outside everyone’s price range. However, this computer is practically ideal for creative professionals with deep pockets.
17-inch Apple MacBook Pro Specs
|Screen||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)|
|Battery||Up to 20 hours|
|Storage||256GB to 4TB|
|Processor||Apple M1 (8-core)|
|Memory||8GB, 16GB, 32GB|
|Ports||2 x Thunderbolt 4 ports|
|Dimension||12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches|
- Ultra-solid unibody build
- Beautiful, high-resolution screen
- Fast, efficient Core i7 chip
- Intel Thunderbolt, FireWire 800, ExpressCard 34
- Superb speakers
- About average battery life
- Backlit keyboard
- The screen reflects light and doesn’t tilt back far enough; it’s glossy.
- Limited USB ports, no SD card slot
- Thunderbolt parts are currently scarce.
Avoid presumptions that a 17-inch notebook screen will make it less convenient to carry around than a lower screen size. The MacBook Pro, with its 17.3-inch display, weighs in at 6.6 pounds and is 0.98 inches thick, making it the thinnest and lightest notebook. In truth, many 16-inch laptops weigh more than this machine, and the difference is negligible. Laptops like the 15.6-inch Gateway MD Series and the 15.4-inch HP Pavilion dv5t weigh 6.8 pounds.
Apple’s MacBook is still available in 13-, 15-, and 17-inch screen sizes. We tried out the 17-inch model, which is already a powerhouse with its base setup of a 2.2GHz Core i7 and AMD Radeon HD 6750 graphics. (For a price tag of $2,499), it better be. The desktop replacement model’s LED-illuminated, 17-inch LCD screen, offered in glossy or antiglare, is the focal point for graphics pros and multitaskers. In addition to the new Thunderbolt port, ours had a 750GB Toshiba hard disc with a 5400RPM spin rate.
Mechanical and optical mice
Apple’s Chiclet-style keyboards achieve the company’s trademark minimalist design, and the built-in illumination is a plus for night owls. Still, we’ve never been fans of the mushy feeling of their keystrokes. We also need to understand why Apple made the keyboard so small, reducing the size of crucial keys like Delete and leaving off the numeric keypad. The chassis measures 15.47 inches long, although the keyboard only takes up 10.75 inches of that space. Apple may have installed speaker grilles there, but those components could have been moved elsewhere.
On the other hand, the trackpad does the reverse, covering much of the space under the keyboard with a smooth, glass surface that is easy on the fingers. Apple’s buttonless design, which makes the entire pad click, may take some time for purists. Still, we find it the superior method, especially when combined with multi-touch gestures for functions like right-clicking, browsing, and the Expose feature.
Thunderbolt on Intel
Never before has a new type of data connection received as much attention as Intel Thunderbolt, so it’s no surprise that Intel rode on Apple’s marketing experts to introduce it on the MacBook Pro. Thankfully, the feature lives up to the hype. Thunderbolt, as its name implies, is lightning quick: It can reach up to 10Gbps, more than 20 times faster than USB 2.0’s 480Mbps and twice as fast as USB 3.0’s 5Gbps. According to Intel, it’s fast enough to copy an HD movie in 30 seconds.
Despite their superficial similarities, the Thunderbolt port is physically indistinguishable from the older small DisplayLink port. The same small DisplayLink connections may be used with Thunderbolt to connect displays. The technology’s daisy-chaining capabilities allow as many as six devices to be connected to a single port.
There needs to be a display available for testing: For instance, a vendor currently needs to be offering a Thunderbolt-enabled hard disc. Canon has stated that future cameras would be Thunderbolt compatible; however, even these cameras were merely speculation at the time.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro is a good workhorse because it has Intel’s latest Core i7 processor with the Sandy Bridge design and AMD’s powerful new Radeon HD 6750 graphics card. You can use it to research with dozens of open tabs or try your hand at video editing. With 4GB of RAM and a quad-core processor, the MacBook has a lot of room for multitasking around the desktop, which is good since it has a 17-inch screen.
Even though the MacBook has a full-power Radeon HD 6750 built-in, it also has an Intel HD graphics chip, which switches to when you’re not doing heavy work to save battery. There is no warning, there is no dark screen, and there are no hiccups. When we finally started to play games, the only sign that the Radeon was finally working was a slight whirring from a fan. And game it does. OS X only has a few games, but the ones it does have work great. We could play Half-Life 2 with all settings on high and the original 1920 x 1200 resolution, and the frame rate never dropped below 90 fps.