Whither the 17″ MacBook Pro?

Notably absent from today’s laptop announcements regarding the new MacBook line was the 17″ MacBook Pro. Well, it wasn’t truly absent, because it was refreshed.

The new configuration is definitely sweeter than before; for the same price as yesterday’s base model ($2,799) you now get: 

  • A 320GB drive
  • The full 4GB of memory,
  • The formerly-optional 1920×1200 resolution.

Those of you that waited until today are getting very nice additions for the same price as yesterday. I believe they were an additional $350 until today.

This model already has a backlit keyboard that is very well thought of, and you can still get a matte or glossy screen (your choice) as well. And, unlike the 15″, it still has both FireWire 400 and 800 ports. In short, this is a great machine at a better price than before. 

Still, the question remains what will become of it, and why wasn’t it updated with the other models. Daring Fireball seems to think it’ll be history

I don’t know if the 17-inch revision is simply forthcoming, or whether it’s being phased out. My hunch is that it’s being phased out. 

I disagree. 

Apple is going to go with a 15″ as their maximum laptop screen size? A 15″ will be the flagship of the “pro” series? No way. It seems to me that by offering the 1920×1200 resolution option (and today making it standard), Apple has already acknowledged that there is most definitely a market where resolution is king.

I believe this model will get all the advancements from today in a future update. I suspect the reason it wasn’t part of today’s announcement was simply because it made sense to start with the volume machine (MacBook) and most popular pro model (15″).

I’d be surprised if a large-screen step up from the 15″ pro model disappeared from Apple’s lineup.

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