17″ MacBook Pro: 1920×1200

Apple 17-inch MacBook Pro Specifications

Display Size: 17″
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Pixel Format: 1680×1050, 1920×1200
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 512MB DDR3 Dual-Link DVI
CPU: 2.5 to 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
HDD: 250GB SATA 5400RPM, 200GB SATA 7200RPM, 300GB SATA 4200RPM
RAM: 2 to 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Input: FireWire 400 (1), FireWire 800 (1), USB 2.0 (3), ExpressCard/34

I have been waiting for Apple to offer high PPI, that’s pixels per inch, on its notebook PCs. It has been a long time. One of the main reasons why I have a 17-inch Dell notebook is because 2 years ago, there were only a few brands that had 17-inch notebook PCs with a 1920×1200 LCD. I wanted to improve my productivity by having two windows side by side. For instance, when I am writing a report, it is very convenient to have the information source on one side and the article on the other. Excel on the left, PowerPoint on the right. I do realize that you don’t get two full screens as each is only 960×1200. The ideal would be to have each window at least 1024. You can get that with the 2560×1600 30-inch monster LCD, but cramming that many pixels on a 17-inch or even a 20-inch LCD designed for a notebook PC might be tad too much. But who knows, 1280×1600 for each window might be too tempting to overlook! Anyway, I applaud Apple for jumping into high PPI territory with the option of getting a 1920×1200 LCD for its 17-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. I am sure the fonts and icons are rendered so that they are not too small to view, which is the case in XP and still the case in Vista. I have Vista on my Dell and though there are options to change the “DPI” setting, the result is less than satisfactory. I can’t wait until I lay my hands on a 1920×1200 17-inch MacBook Pro!

Update 2008.03.09: The new faster 17-inch MacBook Pro is available from Apple. CPU speeds top at 2.6GHz and the GPU gets a bump up to nVidia’s GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB. Now, the surprising feature is in the display. The 17-inch high-resolution version gets a LED backlight! With 1920×1200 pixels, the high-res version of the 17-inch MBP was impressive enough but with the addition of LED technology, not only is there some power savings, but structure of the display subassembly becomes more simplified as you do not need an DC-AC inverter to run a CCFL-based backlight unit (BLU). With a LED backlight the DC power you get is the power you need and the DC-AC inverter disappears. I could see DYIers to go one step further and replace the HDD unit with a SDD when Samsung finally comes out with their 128GB version. Now we’re talkin’.

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