Apple MacBook Pro 17in 2.66GHz [2009] full review

The new 17in Apple MacBook Pro 2.66GHz is described by Apple as 'the ultimate mobile creative studio', with hefty battery life and a high-resolution LED-backlit display. We tested the 17in Apple MacBook Pro to find out how true these claims are.

When Apple announced its upgrade to the new unibody MacBooks, we were surprised to see the MacBook Pro remain in the old aluminium casing. Apple announced the new 17in Apple MacBook Pro at the Macworld Expo in January.

As with much of Apple's product range, the 17in Apple MacBook Pro's price has gone up. Although this time by a more palatable £41, from £1,908 to £1,949. Mind you, Apple did take the price up from £1,799 when it last upgraded the model in October 2008. (We'll come back to pricing in our buying advice).

No matter which way you look at it, the 17in Apple MacBook Pro is a premium model. But it's also an incredibly stylish laptop and the new unibody casing seems to get more impressive every time we closely examine at it. As with the Apple MacBook and Apple MacBook Air the unibody shell gives it a sturdy feel, yet it's slightly thinner and lighter than before.

As before, the 17in Apple MacBook Pro comes with a gorgeous 17in display and top-of-the-range specs across the board. The 17in MacBook Pro has 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard drive, and illuminated keyboard (now the new square-key type). As with the MacBook it sports two graphics processors, the 9600m with 512MB of GDDR3 RAM and a 9400m with 256MB of GDDR3 RAM. The idea is that you switch between the two depending on whether you want graphical prowess or better battery performance.

There have been some small boosts to the the processor, system bus and RAM speed, but, of course, the big change is the new battery design. Apple claims that the 17in Apple MacBook Pro's battery is 40 percent larger than its predecessor. And this should, in theory, enable the 17in MacBook Pro to run for up to eight hours on a single charge.

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See also: Laptop Advisor

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