capsule review

17-inch MacBook Pro/2.16GHz

At a Glance
  • Apple 17-inch MacBook Pro/2.16GHz

    Macworld Rating

    The widest MacBook Pro retains a few PowerBook options missing from the 15-inch MacBook configurations -- namely, a FireWire 800 port and an 8X dual-layer SuperDrive. The 17-inch MacBook Pro runs on a...

The 17-inch MacBook Pro is a fabulous machine for people who can afford it -- and who conclude that its high performance, huge screen, and impressive versatility justify its size and weight. If you meet those criteria, the only real question is timing: Users who make heavy use of Adobe Creative Suite and other applications not yet available in Universal format may want to steer clear of the MacBook Pro for now. For everyone else, Apple's latest 17-inch model once again defines the gold standard for portable computing.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    The widest MacBook Pro retains a few PowerBook options missing from the 15-inch MacBook configurations -- namely, a FireWire 800 port and an 8X dual-layer SuperDrive. The 17-inch MacBook Pro runs on a 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo chip -- the same processor available as a $300 build-to-order option on the 15-inch MacBook. While slightly wider and deeper than the 15-inch model, the 17-inch configuration retains the 1-inch height of Apple's pro laptop line.

    Pros

    • Excellent performance with Universal software
    • MagSafe power connector
    • 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support
    • Much improved AirPort reception
    • Virtually silent operation
    • 1GB of RAM now standard
    • Adds a third USB 2.0 port
    • Includes FireWire 800
    • Big, bright, beautiful widescreen display
    • Built-in iSight

    Cons

    • No internal modem option
    • No PCMCIA or ExpressCard/54 slots
    • Mediocre performance with non-native applications
    • Disappointing battery life
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