Apple Introduces Built-in Battery with New 17″ MacBook Pro

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The big hardware news from Macworld 2009 was not a new Mac mini, but rather an update to the 17″ MacBook Pro featuring the same precision aluminum unibody enclosure introduced on the MacBook and MacBook Pros unveiled in October. This new notebook features a built-in battery that Apple claims will deliver up to eight hours of use and up to 1,000 recharges, for more than three times the lifespan of conventional notebook batteries. This design innovation is sure to have people lining up in short order on either side of the Apple is Awesome / Apple is Evil divide.

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro has a high resolution LED-backlit display and the same large glass Multi-Touch trackpad introduced with the new MacBook family in October. In addition, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro includes state of the art NVIDIA graphics and the latest generation Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processors.

As part of what the company calls “the industry’s greenest notebook family”, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro is made of highly recyclable materials, meets stringent energy efficiency standards and is made without many of the harmful toxins found in other computers.

Follow the jump for availability, pricing and full feature information on the new 17″ MacBook Pro.

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro will be shipping at the end of January and will be available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $2,799 (US), and includes:

* 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.

Build-to-order options for the 17-inch MacBook Pro include a 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 8GB 1066 MHz DDR 3 memory, 320GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB or 256GB solid state drive, anti-glare display for $50 (US), Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

12 responses to “Apple Introduces Built-in Battery with New 17″ MacBook Pro”

  1. jim says:

    If this new battery technology is as awesome as presented in the video, why don’t the other new MacBooks also use it? Longer run time and 1,000 recharges. would more than meet my needs for the life of a laptop.

    Will this be in the next revisions for the MacBook and MacBook Pro?

  2. Dann says:

    But what effect will the non-removable battery have on the resale of the machine? Laptops in the second-hand market typically have bad batteries that are replaceable, hence prolonging the use of them. Once the battery goes in the new 17-incher, if the machine dead? Will I have to send it in under AppleCare? If it’s out or warranty, will it be $200+ to fix?

  3. imajoebob says:

    Dann makes some great points. I’d also like to know what constitutes 1,000 full recharges? If I use it for an hour, then plug it in, have I used one recharge, or a portion of one? Will partial recharges shorten the life of the battery? What’s the recharge time compared to Li batteries? Is the battery covered by Apple Care? While not removable, is it replaceable? Will the OS tell me the condition of the cells, and can they be replaced discretely? I don’t want to pay 200 bucks for 4 cells when a single one goes bad. And how difficult is it to access the battery? I’m an experienced professional, and I’ve always done minor repairs to equipment myself. I can replace the battery and drive in my iPod. Can I do it in a MacBook, or will it cost hundreds of dollars, like Apple wanted to replace the iPod drive?

    It looks like great technology, but it also looks like they made it as difficult as possible for me to service it.

  4. Sky says:

    I expect that we will see this new battery technology in MacBook / Pro updates. 8000 hours per battery is basically 40 hours per week for 4 years, which is around the time that a pro user is ready for a new computer anyway. One battery swap then puts the laptop back into the secondary market for 4 more years which is fantastic.

    Apple has likely gambled correctly that 8 hours runtime on a 17″ screen with no practical downside for most users is highly desirable. The key will be strong execution in manufacturing and aggressive support response if any battery runs start to fail.

    Between unibody, glass and smart battery technology, I think Apple has built a winner in terms of product stability over time. This may create lower-risk revenue opportunities for Apple and others in refurb and resale markets.

  5. Camperton says:

    So. Lame. Nobody’s buying it Apple.

  6. Levi says:

    I really hope the entire lineup does not go this route. I use my MBP as a primary computer. So, when I’m at home the battery is off and adaptor on. I only put on the battery if I need to use it without the adaptor.

    The battery is in use from 100% to 95%. Then it charges back to 100%. I think this kills battery life so that’s why it’s always off at home. Plus, this helps the laptop from heating up too.

    So, for folks like me. This is built in battery is no good.