Macworld Expo 2009: New 17-inch Macbook Pro, with 8 hours of battery life

Apple today showed what you can do with battery technology on a notebook computer. This is the part I find fascinating about Apple: yes, the graphics are hot, the MacBook itself is cool, Mac OS X isn't Windows and so on. But the idea that you can work unplugged for 8 hours continuously actually makes mobile computing...mobile. At Macworld Expo the company unveiled a 17-inch MacBook Pro. It's similar to the other MacBooks unveiled last October, with a aluminum unibody enclosure and Nvidia-powered graphics. Not to mention Apple's premium price tag: $2,799 (although that's the same price as the previous 17-inch MacBook model). But it's billed as the lightest, thinnest(less than one inch), fastest 17-inch notebook, and it has a unique, but non-replaceable battery. Apple engineers designed their own lithium-polymer battery cells, allowing them to increase the size of the battery by about 40%, and then designed the laptop with the battery built-in, eliminating additional housings and other other components demanded by removable batteries. Apple claims a single charge will deliver 8 hours of battery life, about 3 hours more than other MacBooks, and can be recharged 1000 times, compared to the 200-300 times typical for other rechargeables. Finally, Apple added a microchip to the battery, creating a two-way communications link with the computer, to figure out the best way to charge the battery cells: the current can be increased or decreased depending on various conditions, reducing the wear-and-tear on the battery compared to conventional recharging that uses a constant rate. Other features include: slight faster Core 2 Duo processor, 4Gbytes of memory, 320-Mbyte disk drive, 1,920x1,200 pixel LED-backlit screen. More details from our sister publication, Macworld. And Apple's own Web page on the newest MacBook. From Apple's spec sheet: • 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200, glossy display; • 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 6MB shared L2 cache; • 1066 MHz front-side bus; • 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM; • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics; • NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics with 512MB GDDR3 video memory; • 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor; • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive; • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately); • built-in AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR; • Gigabit Ethernet port; • built-in iSight video camera; • three USB 2.0 ports; • one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible); • ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot; • one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog; • glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard; • built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; and • 85 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

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