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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  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    LOL. Not to mention all their products that have caught fire, melted, discolored, overheated... I could go on and on. QC is definitely NOT one of Apple's strong points. Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    When any other laptop discolors, it's business as usual.

    When it happens to an Apple product, the users raise hell, and Apple replaces it for free even if it is no longer under warranty.

    There's your explanation.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Tell that to many, many people that have dead ipods/iphones/macs. Just read some forums and you'll find that apple often turn people away EVEN when in warranty Reply
  • JimmyJimmington - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    My dead iPod was turned away at an Apple store even though it was under warranty. Took one look at it and said no way. I shipped it to them using some online form and they replaced it no questions asked :/ Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    [quote]Even Apple's default hardware choices make a lot of sense. You pay more for faster processors and larger screens. My biggest complaint, as always, is that Apple doesn't give the entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro enough memory.[/quote]

    — For their cheapest machine it’s more than adequate for the average consumer. This shows that without having a single piece of crapware installed the memory footprint of a new system is quite low compared to other vendors.

    • [url]http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/352903/apple-the-c...[/url]
  • fyleow - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I'm a bit surprised on the lack of comment regarding screen resolution. The 15 inch MBP is a particularly bad offender with only 1440 x 900. That's unacceptable when competitors have been offering much higher resolution for awhile now.

    Hopefully the next generation will bring higher screen resolutions. The only acceptable resolution in the line up is the 17 inch and maybe the 13 inch though some manufacturers are offering 1600 x 900 screens.
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    One area that Apple just doesn’t do well is scaling of visual elements. Until they can offer something like Windows Presentation Foundation or actually get RI then they really can’t move to a higher dot pitch. The 17” ppi to high for me.

    The area that I’m surprised I didn’t see mentioned is the display type and backlight used on all MBPs. These are uneven, low-luminous LCD backlights and cheap TN displays. I don’t know if the non-Macs in the article are using similar tech, better, for the comparison, but most notebooks on the market use cheap displays. I find this to be as important than having a slightly faster CPU.
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Oops, meant to write… "These aren’t…" Reply
  • londor - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Current MBPs have high quality displays.

  • Zak - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Um? Not sure what you're talking about. They're very bright LED back-lit screens.


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