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Rumor: 17-inch MacBook Pro going unibody, no replaceable battery

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cimg1074MacWorld is almost here and there are definitely less rumors flurrying about what Apple may do than usual.  One rumor emerging has to do with the refresh of the 17-inch MacBook Pro.  The biggest MacBook was the only model not refreshed last year and it’s no surprise that Apple is planning to go with the unibody of all the new MacBooks.  What is surprising is the rumor that has this model getting a non-replaceable battery a la the MacBook Air.

I can’t believe this is true as the only reason the Air has a fixed battery is due to lack of space.  That’s certainly not true of the big 17-incher so I can’t believe that Apple would take the ability to augment battery life away from the mobile worker by fixing the battery in place like the iPhone.  The rumor also states that Apple is going with a super new battery technology that will last much longer than those in the other MacBooks.  Even so I will only have one word for the fixed battery rumor should it come to pass:  FAIL.

(via 9to5mac)

13 Responses to “Rumor: 17-inch MacBook Pro going unibody, no replaceable battery”

  1. Kevin said it well so no need to add too much to the Apple coverage comments. What I am hearing is that if we cover Apple then some folks feel we are somehow dissing Windows. Not the case, we are just covering the mobile tech as always.

    Not everything I’ve written about Vista is negative but that is often what folks concentrate on. I will always call it as I see it and that won’t change.

  2. Jake, I don’t take offense to honest feedback and constructive criticism, so no worries there. Apple does represent a small part of the overall market, but their growth in the mobile and computing space is rising fast while most others are declining. Just a generalization of course and there are a few examples to the contrary.

    Good point about Windows 7, but we did offer a bit of hands-on commentary when we first put it on a netbook in October. Back then, I explicitly stated that Windows 7 wouldn’t likely stay on my netbook for long. At this point, not all of the bits are in the the test / pre-beta build, so I think it’s a bit early to do “serious reporting” on this very early state that’s not publicly available. That changes when the public beta hits, which I expect should be in the next week or so.

    As far as “no other single company gets as much space on your site as Apple”, I hear where you’re coming from, but I ask that you consider another side to that story. No other company has a hardware, software and services eco-system like Apple right now, which makes them unique. Does that mean they should get the most coverage. Of course not. But how should we handle an innovative cloud sharing productivity application that just became available for the iPhone today? I have that post ready to go and I find the solution to be better than any other on a different platform. Should I not share that news because we did one too many stories that have the word “Apple” in them? Again… of course not.

    Your point is well taken, but Apple has come to be a major player in the mobile technology space rather quickly, while others continue to squander leads in market share and innovation. When those folks have something innovative that we’re made aware of, we cover that too. I hope that provides my perspective on the matter and I do appreciate your commentary.

  3. James one of the problems with saying that now is that you may eat your FAIL if their fixed battery really is some form of super battery. The 17″ Macbook Pro is ideal for a new battery technology since it’s the lowest unit volume notebook making it easier to ramp a new battery chemistry. With Intel finally delivering low power mobile chips I think we’re close to a tipping point where practical all day computing doesn’t require bringing along a stack of extra batteries. Apple may also be introducing a new battery with rapid charge that needs better integrated monitoring. I for one wouldn’t mind a fixed battery that charges in under an hour and provides 8 hours of run time.

  4. No offence Kevin but I think you’re being a little economical with the truth. On an average day there are usually numerous Apple-related posts on this site despite the fact that Apple represent a tiny part of the market. I think it would be fair to say that no other single company gets as much space on your site as Apple.

    To look at the flipside to this argument, where is the commentary on Windows 7? James is forever complaining about how he can’t use Vista on his laptops (despite the rest of the world getting on just fine) and yet I’ve not seen any serious reporting on how 7 runs on the sort of low end hardware that you guys like to talk about. With Microsoft talking up the fact that 7 will run on netbooks I thought you guys would be all over it by now.

  5. For once James, I have to disagree with you! :-) I have an older 17″ PowerBook and a spare battery. Over three years, I have changed the battery only twice in actual use. The PB is so large that it really isn’t a “portable” device, so it really gets used more as a desktop replacement. And in such a case, there’s usually an outlet nearby.

    Now the MB Air is a different story and its uses would lend themselves more to the swappable battery scenario. A 17″ laptop… meh, not so much.

  6. I think a removable battery is less important for a 17″ monster laptop than for, say, the iPhone (which is inherently more mobile). But I’d still prefer to have all my machines to have user-replaceable batteries.

  7. Pete, you must have impeccable timing when you read posts. ;) We feature 10 articles on the front page and right now there’s only one post that covers Apple news. There are a few that hit BlackBerry, one with Windows Mobile, some awesome Windows freeware, an innovative dual-screened Windows laptop, potential details on a pocketable PC from Sony, & a podcast that talks about Android, netbooks and VoIP.

    Love ’em or hate ’em, Apple is part of the mobile space we cover. Not every little detail mind you, but when when we hear that they may continue the integrated battery trend in notebooks or might offer a new battery technology, that’s worth coverage in my book.

  8. This is feeling more and more like an Apple blog. I don’t know why it feels like that, but every time I come in to read, there’s an article about Mac something-or-the-other near the top.

  9. So why is it OK for every other Apple product to have a non-replaceable battery but not this laptop? The excuse you gave for the Macbook Air is weak considering that Lenovo don’t have the same problem with the X300.