At a Glance
- Classic design
- Huge screen, with new ultra-high-resolution option
- Much improved graphics performance
- 2GB of RAM, which is expandable to 4GB
- Excellent overall performance
- Some software needs tuning for new graphics chip
- No PCMCIA slot or eSATA port
- Large screen inevitably increases size, weight, and price
The MacBook Pro gets a new chipset, which means processor bumps, a faster frontside bus, and more RAM capacity. However, the more significant refinement in this update is a new graphics system powered by the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT. Unlike the 15-inch models, the 17-inch MacBook Pro does not sport a new LED-backlit display for better battery life; however, a build-to-order option lets you select a higher-resolution display with 1,920-by-1,200 native resolution.
Current MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo owners will want to skip this upgrade, but owners of the original MacBook Pro and PowerBook will see a dramatic performance boost. The 17-inch model obviously remains the choice for people who require maximum screen space, no matter this model’s heavier weight, bigger size, and higher price.