17-inch MacBook Pro
Perhaps the least surprising announcement of an unsurprising keynote - the upgraded 17-inch MacBook Pro - also contained the morning's biggest surprise: The new notebook will, like its diminutive sibling, the MacBook Air, have an integrated - meaning not removable and user-replaceable - battery.
The reason given for the iPodization of the MacBook Pro's power source was that a replaceable battery requires that a large amount of otherwise useful space be devoted to latches, interfaces, and the like - space that could otherwise be packed with a larger battery.
The new MacBook Pro has both battery-saving integrated and speedy(er) discrete graphics
We're not one to quibble with that logic, but even with the new battery system's reported eight-hour maximum runtime, we'd prefer the option to carry a spare. After all, it's a 10-hour flight to Paris, the city that keeps cropping up in Apple's keynote-presentation demos over the years.
But Apple also gives as it takes away - although for a fee. The 17-inch MacBook Pro, unlike its smaller sibs, can be optionally fitted with an anti-glare screen, albeit for a $50 fee.
The big guy's specs are impressive: The base $2,799 model comes with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 6MB L2 cache (2.93GHz is a $300 upgrade), 1066MHz frontside bus, 4GB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB by Apple for $1,200), and a 320GB 5400rpm hard drive (320GB 7200rpm is available for a mere fifty bucks more, and 128GB or 256GB solid-state drives are $500 and $900, respectively). It shares the integrated/discrete graphics scheme with the MacBook Pro, using an integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M that shares 256MB of main memory plus a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB of its own GDDR3 memory.
For information on the new iTunes pricing structure, Apple's new DRM policy, and the availablity of iTunes purchases over the iPhone's 3G connections, see our companion article, "Apple iTunes Store goes '100% DRM-free' - allegedly."
And so comes to a close Apple's long history of Macworld Expo keynotes, maybe not with a whimper rather than the traditional bang, but with a bit of a stifled yawn.
It was fitting, however, that the event closed with Tony Bennett, his weatherbeaten voice still impressive despite his 82 years, crooning "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."
And it must be noted that Bennett received the most impressive ovation of the morning - though that may have been because of the first number he sang: "The Best Is Yet to Come."
Let's hope. ®
Apple unveils 17in MacBook, iLife tweaks, Tony Bennett
Not a whimper, but not a bang
I just finished watching the key note. I commend Phil for doing as good a job as could be expected, after all he doesn't have the gift for gab that Steve has. Over all I was pleased with the tweaks to the iLife and iWorks apps and the new bundle with OS X is good deal. While there were no "wow" moments as there have been in the past it was at least a pleasant and respectable close to MacWorld.
The none swappable battery thing I admit confuses me, I hear their reasoning but at the end of the day swappable batteries in a laptop computer should be a no brainer. After all for a great many people carrying a fully charged spare is standard operating procedure as they often will be some time/distance between a suitable power outlet to charge up. Now if they are going to deliver the battery life promised it might not be as huge an issue, but as everyone who has used a portable computer regardless of the manufacturer can attest to. The stated battery life is rarely if ever equal to what is actually delivered. I foresee a roll back on Apples part fairly soon on this issue as a matter of fact I'd be surprised if their engineers weren't already working on a different design to accommodate what is going to be peoples biggest complaint regarding the new MacBooks.
I did like the tweaks to the various apps though and the new version of iMovie looks great. It wont fit everyone's video editing needs to be sure. But it's now what 90%+ of the home video editing market will want/need. Over all nothing that stands out but as I said a nice low key end to an era. Hopefully Apple will take the money saved not doing MacWorld and pony up that extra cash to their engineers to develop a proper netbook or some good upgrades to the mini.
Re: "If having a fixed battery reduces costs"
"If having a fixed battery reduces costs"
Apparently, it doesn't...
I don't care about either argument.
If I'm paying £2k+ for a laptop, I want the bloody CHOICE.
Not only are Apple expos getting boring, but the products just defy logic.
I don't know about Steve's physical health, but all indications are he definitely needs a head doctor.
Paris, cause even she has use for removable batteries occasionally.
With regard to the RAM chat above, it makes sense not to let Joe Average swap the RAM himself as most of you reading this will remember that to swap RAM one should remove the battery and press the power button to ensure the kit is fully discharged.
A few of you may also remember the fleeting panic when one forgot to do this, found a stick of the stuff was a bit stuck and one's fingers were too fat or nails too short to get it out so grabbed a pair of tweezers and then filled one's pants when the sparks began...
Non-removable battery means the RAM should definitely should be non-removable! (easily)
Is it just me, or does it not seem that if making the battery removable would take up precious chassis space, it would make more sense to have non-removable batteries on the MB and MBP15, than on the MBP17 where there is far more chassis space available?
If they can fit the same spec of the MBP17 (i.e. Core2Duo, dual graphics cards, HDD/SSD, optical drive and RAM) into a 15 inch chassis, would that not leave them with loads of space to spare, to fit in an even bigger battery AND a release mechanism for it? The only component that might take up more space is the inverter for the larger LCD.... oh, and that generous extra 1 USB port.