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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  • nangryo - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    Do you realize the PC hardware you mention to replace MAC product is equivalent in price or even worse, more expensive (Adamo, AlienWare) please stop trolling. If you don't like it, don't read it. No one force you to come here and whine like a crybaby.
  • tuskers - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    I love your argument-- "you bring up competition in a similar price range, so you must be a troll." You're using the traditional PC-versus-Mac argument of "PCs cost less!", except with even less basis.

    I want to read a fair comparison of Mac versus the competition, not a slaughter of value-designed PCs. Mac very well might be the best out there-- I think it's pretty well conceded that Macs win on battery life, and OS X certainly has those that swear by it. And I'm absolutely fine with those sections of the article.

    This simply isn't an Apples-to-apples comparison. I'm not saying the other companies' brands are better-- what I'm saying is, Apple produces products with a specific type of user in mind-- one at the mid-to-upper performance range (in terms of hardware), with as much dedication to form-factor as it has to functionality. Yes, I expect other companies to ask

    If I go shopping for a luxury car, I don't compare Lexus to Honda and Chevy, I compare Lexus to Acura and Cadillac. Similarly, I don't compare $1100 computers with $2500 computers. But you don't even need to escalate past $1000 to find the MSI X600 or GX720. Adamos cost more than 13" Macbooks, but they also ship standard with SSDs, higher screen resolution, and slimmer chassis (although with disadvantages as well). The Envy ships with more horsepower in a similar form-factor for slightly more money (much less than some of the disparities in the article).

    These are the compare/contrast elements that make for interesting decisions, rather than a "look at the shiny Macs!" article.

    I'll take back the implication that this might have been a "sponsored" article, but it's simply the first thought I had after I read it.
  • The0ne - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    As I said earlier it seems Anand is all "giddy" because he got a new toy to play with. That excitement alone causes all sorts of things :D fun things in most cases hahaha

    I can't help but agree with your comments. After reading others comments I'm not only shock at Anand but at some users supporting the $2500 MacBook to no end. If I had the money or my company allows the spending I would like to have one, of course. But it's really not practical at all when you have so many other choices in the market.
  • blufire - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Just released.. may address the excessive battery drain for 64-bit Safari with 32-bit Flash. Reply
  • citan x - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Why does it feel that there is too much Mac pro coverage? Most of the info on here has already been available. Why a full blown article on them now?

    Also, why wasn't the new Asus UL80 that was just reviewed compared here. What I would like to know is how the Asus UL80 compares to the 13" Mac when both have an SSD.

    The 17" Macbook Pro is nice, but just too expensive.
  • mitaiwan82 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Good article, but the product shots are a bit overexposed for my taste. The MBPs almost blend into the white background of the site. Reply
  • blufire - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    The image of the 15" MBP on page 3 appears to be a 17".
    Thanks for the article!
  • JimmiG - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I hate it how Apple doesn't use the extra space of the 15" and 17" models to put in a better keyboard and a numpad. My 15" HP Probook comes with big, nicely spaced keys that use all the available space, and they even managed to cram in a numpad without making things look cramped or crowded.
    The 17" Macbook looks absolutely ridiculous with that *huge* emptiness around the tiny keyboard. I see they no longer include a numpad on the keyboard that comes with the iMac, either. I guess it's to show the world that Macs are "fun", while PCs are only used for Excel and stuff...but still, some of use need to be boring from time to time, and then a numpad is a must.
  • MrPete123 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Anand, I heard there were unofficial ways of running MacOS X on standard PCs... would it be possible to do this and do battery tests to see how it handles it? I'm really interested to know what Apple's doing to make their OS so power efficient.

    Maybe it disallows C-states or something in their BIOS for non-OSX operating systems?
  • nangryo - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    Not, it's not possible, at least in a formal/official benchmark / reporting. Because it would face legal problem etc etc.

    He may do it unofficially though.

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