We all knew when mobile Nehalem processors were coming out. I kept referencing Q1 2010 as when you're going to want to replace your MacBook Pro. As far as I was concerned, there was nothing Apple could do to make me recommend anything but wait.

Then this happened:

From the outside it looks like the same unibody MacBook Pro Apple launched at the end of 2008. Look a little closer and you'll realize it's actually a little worse:

The original unibody MacBook Pro

The original unibody MacBook Pro had an easily accessible hard drive bay, a first for Apple's aluminum notebook line. I feel bad for the engineers that worked to make that bay both functional and sleek, because in the updated unibody MacBook Pro it's gone. A brand new feature only sticking around for one generation, that’s gotta hurt. Replacing a hard drive now requires removing no less than 16 screws (10 on the chassis, 2 holding the drive in place and 4 on the drive itself). In the original unibody MacBook Pro it only took five.

The mid 2009 unibody MacBook Pro

The easily accessible HDD bay was a side effect, the point of the sleek removable panel on the elder unibody was to house the replaceable battery. Something that also vanished from the new MacBook Pro.

The new integrated battery (lower right)

Apple did something that no mainstream notebook vendor had dared to do before: kill the removable battery. The rationale was simple: new battery technology allowed batteries to take virtually any shape, and making them fit into user replaceable containers proved to waste a lot of space. Wasted space amounted to larger and heavier notebooks.

It all started with the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

And The Story Begins


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  • sprockkets - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    While in general their stuff just works better with OSX for the general public, and this issue will never affect any of them, still, this issue, plus the stupidity of having unlocked iphones legally purchased in other countries lose their ability to teather and other stuff makes for a big disconnect.

    They didn't handle the SATA issue well at all, and the efi update didn't help either when there was no easy downgrade option.
  • martinw - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Not really news, it's just the way Apple works, particularly towards developers. For some reason they do not admit to faults, they just go away and fix the problem in a future version. Not ideal from a developer angle as I'd prefer to get an acknowledgment that something is definitely wrong and that it will be addressed, but at least the problems do get fixed eventually. Reply
  • windspast - Thursday, April 1, 2010 - link

    I was a bit disappointed with this article. In a technological website, an article like this with many pages only spent ONE single page on the actual TECH. This article only spent ONE PAGE talking about the spec and it wasn't even any comparison on how fast (or slow) this computer is. For a technological website, this article only talked about things that didn't matter.

    When it comes to comparing Mac and DELL or HP, the rest of it is irrelevant. Design is purely objective. I don't care if the MacBookPro is thinner by a tiny little bit. It's not that big of a deal. 2 pounds worth of difference? WHO CARES. I buy a computer for the power that it offers, not whether or not it's thin enough to be a coaster.

    I don't care if the DELL is one or two pounds heavier if it cost half as much and is twice as fast. I don't care if the MacbookPro has a "stylish" design. I think it's plain and boring looking. I don't care if it has a longer battery life. That's not important to me. I want POWER out of my machines without having to sell a kidney to buy one.

    This is a TECH website, not a style website. I bet if you spend one second showing how much the i7 blows the core 2 duo out of the water, none of the other stuff will even matter.

    Mac isn't a BMW or a Lexus or a Cadillac.

    Mac is a beat up Honda with a new paint job and a higher price tag.
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  • roxyland - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Anand, while the rest of your article seems like a very objective analysis, I couldn't agree less with your comment "virtually anything you can do in OS X can be done in Windows 7"...

    I don't even want to touch on the subject on UI capabilities on each platfrom, where it all comes down to user preference, but if you were more than the average desktop user, OSX give you all the power and flexibility of UNIX via a shell. It wouldn't even be fair to compare the far limited command line utility available on Windows to a UNIX shell.

    Anyone with experience on either linux or any flavour of unix will tell you how invaluable this is for more serious work on an OS. On these terms Windows 7 is still more comparable to "buying a car with it's hood welded shut".

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